Record venture capital funding for tech start-ups

A recent study has found that venture capital (VC) funding for tech firms reached £10.1 billion in 2019, a 44 per cent increase year-on-year and an all-time record.

In addition, growth for the UK surpassed that of any other country, including the US and China, where investment fell by 20 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.

According to the research, the UK won one-third of Europe’s £30.4 billion total, receiving more funding than Germany and France combined, which came in second and third place at £5.4 billion and £3.4 billion.

The research also found that London far surpasses the rest of Europe in terms of the number of accelerator programmes for start-ups, and the number of so-called ‘unicorns’, meaning businesses valued at more than $1bn (£767.6m).

It also found that the top-performing tech start-up sectors of last year were fintech, artificial intelligence and clean energy.

Fintech continues to be the UK’s standout sector, more than doubling its 2018 total to reach £5.4bn last year, three times more than in Germany, and 7.5 times more than in France. In fact, the capital was the fourth-best city in the world for tech start-up funding, coming in behind San Francisco, Beijing and New York.

The surge in investment came in spite of fears of a slowdown over Brexit uncertainty and was in large part due to huge interest in the UK from outside Europe. Almost half of the UK investments in 2019 came via US and Asian investors, double the previous year.

However, critics claim that many start-ups in Europe are receiving fund when they should not be and others claim that last year’s record funding would have been higher without the distraction and uncertainty caused by Brexit.

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