UK tech firms smash venture capital funding record

london tech

The UK’s technology sector raised more than $3.6 billion in 2015, according to figures from by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s ‘promotional’ company.

The investment represents an increase of more than 70% on the record amount raised in 2014 ($2.1 billion). London-based tech companies raised a record $2.28 billion during the period, representing a 69% increase on the $1.3 billion raised in 2014.

Analysis of VC investment by London & Partners shows that since 2010 UK tech companies have collectively raised almost $10 billion with London-based companies accounting for more than half of the total ($5.2 billion).

Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP said: “With a flourishing tech scene and one of the world’s leading financial centres, it is no surprise to see that London’s tech companies are attracting record levels of investment. Our world-class talent pool and our culture of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are helping the sector to grow from strength to strength.

London’s booming FinTech sector has also continued to secure record funding during 2015. The sector accounted for almost a quarter of all investment raised by London-based tech companies. Some of the largest FinTech deals this year include: Zopa ($106m), TransferWise ($58m) and WorldRemit ($100m).

In April 2015, London-based peer-to-peer lending company, Funding Circle secured the largest single deal of the year with a $150m funding round led by DST Global. Last year was also a strong one for the UK’s ecommerce sector, with a number of companies featuring in the top ten deals including: FarFetch ($86m), ($60m) and Secret Escapes ($60m).

Investment into London’s technology sector has been boosted by a growing number of venture capital houses choosing to setup funds and operations in London. In October 2015 Octopus Ventures announced a $140m London based fund, joining the likes of Passion Capital, Index Ventures and Hoxton Ventures who already have a presence in London and have chosen the capital as a strategic base to invest in European technology start-ups.

Manic Boris Johnson Google Hangout with Silicon Valley

As can be seen in the video above, Boris Johnson ‘met’ with heavyweight US tech investors via his first Google Hangout in London last week to learn about what the UK needs to do to accelerate the growth of its tech economy.

Aside from the barmy camera angle and the panellists looking as if they are broadcasting from Mars, it’s worth 15 minutes of your time. The upshot is that everybody (still) loves the right-wing Boris and that UK companies need to ‘buy British’ if they are to emulate the success of Silicon Valley.

They also told Boris that UK investors need to think long-term and acquire tech start-ups on their strategic value. Wow, that is a new one on me, why did nobody think of that before? What an excellent idea, Jesus, let’s all suck eggs.

But I won’t replicate the press release in the post, better for you to watch the video and make up your own mind. The bit about the BBC not buying enough tech companies is a particularly weird one, and you’ll also find out that Google Hangouts have a long way to go.

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