European investment in British tech sector surges despite Brexit

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European investment in British tech sector surges despite Brexit

Cash injected into the thriving tech sector jumped to a record high of £1.89 billion in 2018, up from £1.66 billion in 2017


(Yui Mok/PA)
(Yui Mok/PA)

European investment in the British tech industry surged last year as the sector shrugged off Brexit uncertainty, according to a new report.

Cash injected into the thriving tech sector from Europe jumped to a record high of £1.89 billion in 2018, up from £1.66 billion in 2017, according to new data from law firm Penningtons Manches.

The number of tech deals involving European funds rose marginally to 150 last year, compared to 149 deals in 2017, while the value of the deals rose by 14%, as the average investment size boomed.

The EU remains confident in the long-term prospects of the sector in the UK, the firm said, as the value of deals involving at least one EU investor rose to £1.53 billion, from £1.26 billion in 2017.

Rob Hayes, Penningtons Manches head of tech, said: “When it comes to the creation of cutting-edge technology, the UK is well and truly established on the world map.

“It is no coincidence that in 2018, the country’s high-growth, innovative, tech-focused companies, particularly those in the Golden Triangle, continued to attract attention from international investors.

“Our research has shown that, despite the impact of Brexit, the UK and its leading technology companies continue to be an attractive proposition for overseas investors seeking to deploy their funds into businesses with innovative and ground breaking technology.”

Overseas investment from other regions also rose, as the total number of funding deals involving overseas investors rose to 373 in 2018 from 361 in 2017.

The vast majority of overseas-backed deals, 70%, involved high-growth companies in the British tech industry’s Golden Triangle of London, Oxford and Cambridge.

The US remains the largest overseas investor in UK companies, with a third of the total funds secured by British firms coming from US backers.

Silicon Valley remains a key source of investment, with 101 deals involving cash from the west coast of America.

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