Britain will be home to 25 per cent of the billion dollar companies being created in Europe over the next few years, according to technology investor and consultancy GP Bullhound.
Meanwhile, London attracted more foreign direct investment into fast-growing businesses than any other world city in 2018. According to fDI Markets, last year London saw more overseas investment than other major international business hubs including Singapore, New York and Dubai.
London also welcomed more international financial service companies than any other global financial centre in 2018, ahead of Singapore, Frankfurt, New York and Hong Kong. In the last 10 years, London has seen 740 financial service firms setup an operation in London.
And London is top choice for international scale-up businesses, according to the Mayor of London’s promotions agency London & Partners, which commissioned the research.
London is producing more unicorn businesses than any other European city, with 17 companies surpassing the $1 billion valuation mark since 2010, over double the amount of other major tech hubs such as Berlin (seven) and Paris (four).
London is currently home to 13 unicorn businesses, more than Madrid, Stockholm and Amsterdam combined.
The UK capital’s burgeoning fintech sector is a leading source of scale-up companies, with Monzo, TransferWise and Revolut all featuring in the city’s current crop of unicorns.
The increasing number of high-growth businesses coming out of London has boosted the UK to the top of the European unicorn league tables, with the UK currently housing nearly one third of the 64 total unicorn businesses across Europe.
Since 2010, the UK has created 26 unicorn companies with many going onto even bigger things in recent years. Online fashion giant Farfetch and peer-to-peer lending platform, Funding Circle are the most recent London unicorn companies to go for IPOs in 2018.
Laura Citron, CEO London & Partners, said: “London is a top place to start, grow and scale an international business. From artificial intelligence to fintech, London is home to lots of exciting companies that are leading the way in developing innovations and ideas to change the world. ”
Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank added: “London has something that Silicon Valley never had: in addition to a thriving tech community and an entrepreneurial culture, it is also a big financial centre. This makes for a compelling combination.”