London tech startups snare $1bn funding in 2014

Record amount of investment in just nine months

London

The capital's tech firms have managed to attract a record $1 billion (625 million) in funding during the first nine months of this year.

The research, carried out by London & Partners, the capital's official promotional body, found that over 34,000 firms in the city attracted $1.21 billion and this was almost 30 per cent more than the previous full-year record of $719 million raised during 2013. It is also more than ten times the amount raised in full-year 2010.

The organisation attributed the growing levels of investment in part to initiatives such as Tech City and London Technology Week.

"These figures show, without any question, that this is an incredible period for technology firms in our city," said Mayor Boris Johnson.

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"Tech is blossoming and our reputation for innovation and discovery, allied with outstanding talent, is attracting record breaking levels of investment from around the globe."

During 2014, three firms, takeaway.com, farfetch.com and Funding Circle have completed funding rounds in excess of $50 million. Funding Circle attracted $65 million in backing from Index Ventures, Accel Partners, Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital.

Samir Desai, co-founder and chief executive of Funding Circle said the support has helped establish his firm as a marketplace for business loans.

"In the UK, more than 5,500 small businesses have accessed over 370 million, and at the end of 2013 we took our marketplace model to the US, to help fill the small business funding gap which also exists there. The latest round will help us to consolidate our growth even more, and allow us to explore further international markets," he said.

According to London & Partners, new funds worth than $1.5 billion have set up in the capital during 2014, with companies including Index Ventures, Google, Santander and Balderton Capital creating new London-based investment companies.

Other research from Oxford Economics found the rise in funding correlated with the growth of technology companies in the capital.  There are currently more than 34,000 digital technology firms in London. That number is expected to rise to 45,000 in the next decade creating 46,000 new jobs and creating more than 12 billion of economic activity, the analysts said.

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