UK tech firms secure record foreign investment

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Investment in the UK tech sector has continued to surge, as British firms secured more foreign funding in the first seven months of 2019 than during the whole of 2018, according to new research.

Fast-growing UK tech companies secured a “staggering” 6.7 billion US dollars (£5.5 billion) in investment in the period to July, according to new research by Tech Nation and Dealroom.

The research for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s digital economy council revealed that the UK has overtaken the US for the amount of investment per capita.

Funding growth was driven by US and Asian investment in unicorns such as a renewable energy company Ovo Energy and takeaway business Deliveroo.

American and Asian investors pumped $3.7 billion (£3.1 billion) into UK firms during the period, making up 55% of all funding.

Other UK firms to secure major investment over the year so far included supply chain finance firm Greensill and fintech firm

Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: “These fantastic figures show the confidence overseas investors have in UK tech with investment flows from the US and Asia at an all-time high.

“We have a longstanding reputation for innovation and the statistics endorse our reputation as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a digital business.”

The figures came as the digital economy council and Tech Nation launched the first Bright Tech Future Awards to recognise talent and achievement in the sector.

Eileen Burbidge, chair of Tech Nation, said: “Investment in the UK tech sector has been steadily rising for years and as these latest figures demonstrate, the momentum is increasing.

“It is incredibly gratifying to see that in addition to domestic and European investors, British tech innovators are also attracting US and Asian investor attention and allocation.”

Will Shu, founder and chief executive officer of Deliveroo, added: “The UK is a fantastic place to start and grow a tech company, attract talent and, ultimately, turn great ideas into products and services that consumers know and love.

“These figures underline the real potential that the UK tech sector has.”

Chris Price
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