London's tech startups attract over £1 billion despite Brexit vote

Data contrasts earlier report finding startups missed out on funding

London

AI, robotics and Big Data are helping London's tech startups attract investment despite the looming shadow of Brexit, with the capital's tech sector attracting more than 1 billion in investment since the Leave vote.

This is according to analysis of recent PitchBook data carried out by the founders of tech networking event London Tech Week, such as Tech London Advocates.

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London AI and machine learning companies have had 20 times more investment in 2016 (85.75 million) than the amount raised in 2011 (3 million). Over these past five years these companies have attracted over 207 billion in venture capital investment, helped by deals for London based companies such as Google's DeepMind and Magic Pony.

Venture capital has also targeted London companies developing robotics and drone technologies, with over 14 million invested in 2016 compared to the meagre 40,000 and 70,000 invested in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Starship Technologies is one of these companies, which develops takeaway delivery robots used by Just Eat and Domino's and who are currently trialling them in Greenwich, and received 13.95 million seed funding in January 2017.

London's current position as a hub for financial services and technology has seen fintech companies receive over 2 billion of VC investment in the last five years which is greater than any other sector including SaaS, Mobile and e-commerce. London fintech companies have seen over 177 million of funding since the start of the year which is more than any 2016 quarter. Major deals include Funding Circle (82 million), Monzo (22 million) and Currency Cloud (20.27 million).

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Despite the UK's vote to leave the EU, London is still viewed as one of the world's most attractive tech hubs. In Q1 of this year, tech firms received 395 million in venture capital investment which is much more than the 245 million received in Q4 of 2016. Since the EU referendum, London tech companies have received over 1 billion in funding. This comes in contrast to Tech London Advocates' study last month that found 12% of London startups had missed out on funding since the Brexit vote.

Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, said: "London is the technology capital of Europe. With a rich melting pot of creative talent, London is leading the way in the development of emerging technologies such as mobile payments, big data and artificial intelligence."

Russ Shaw, London Tech Week ambassador and founder of Tech London Advocates, added: "Over the course of the last decade London has become a global hub for the technology sector. More recently, our expertise in fintech, AI and robotics has shown that the city is at the cutting edge of technological innovation."

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