British tech firms raise record £11bn in venture capital funding last year

London maintains pole position as venture capital hotspot of Europe, raising $10.5bn in 2019, three times the amount of other European tech cities.

British tech firms raised a record $15bn (£11bn) in venture capital last year with London maintaining its position as Europe’s biggest tech centre.

Tech firms based in London raised $10.5bn in venture capital, over three times the amount of investment raised by other European tech cities, despite Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was close to last year’s record $10.7bn raised in venture capital by London tech firms.

>See also: Global Ventures raising second $50m fund targeting healthcare

Research from and London & Partners found that in 2019 London alone raised a quarter of the total VC funding in Europe’s tech sector.

Notable deals lifting last year’s total included a massive $500m (£367m) Series D funding round for London fintech firm Revolut.

British tech venture capital

London has become the unicorn capital of Europe, home to 43 unicorn companies – more than Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam combined. Dealroom identified 81 potential future unicorns headquartered in the capital – double the amount of Paris or Berlin. London emerged as a unicorn capital due to increased access to later-stage funding – with the data showing a sharp increase from $1.8bn (£1.3bn) in 2019 to $5bn (£3.7bn) in 2020.

>See also: Foresight VC plans £500m float on London stock exchange

London’s European dominance looks set to continue with London-based VC firms raising $7.8bn (£5.7bn) in new funds in 2020, which on top of the $4bn (£2.9bn) raised in 2019, accounts for one third of all new European VC funds over the past two years.

Combine this with data showing that non-European investors account for 57 per cent of all tech VC investment into London over the past two years and London appears to be in good shape to hold onto its position this year and beyond.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, said: “London is the global tech capital of Europe. Despite the challenges brought about by Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, London’s tech sector continued to thrive in 2020 and has an important role to play in the city’s economic recovery. London is already home to some of the world’s best technology companies and will remain open to international investment and tech talent from all over the world.”

Further reading

24 venture capital firms you need to know about – Growth Business guide

Rory Bennett

Rory Bennett

Rory was a reporter from 2020 to 2021 before moving on to write for MyLondon and then Reach plc.

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