UK tech firms secure record amount of foreign investment | Business



Fast-growing UK tech companies secured a record £5.5bn in foreign investment in the first seven months of this year, according to research for the government’s digital economy council.

The study for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) body 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 – private companies valued at more than $1bn (£820m) – such as a renewable energy company Ovo Energy and takeaway business Deliveroo, according to the research by Tech Nation and Dealroom.

American and Asian investors pumped £3.1bn into UK firms during the period to July, 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, the culture secretary, 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 long-standing 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.”