If there was one industry that seemed to be more in favour of the UK staying in the EU than any other, that industry was surely tech. There was a good reason for this, because these days many tech companies have offices and staff scattered across Europe.
The tech sector, especially at the start-up stage also happens to be one of the UK’s most dynamic and promising aspects of the UK economy. So there was much trepidation within tech circles on what affect the Brexit vote might have.
There is good news today. According to London & Partners, venture capital firms ignored fears related to the EU referendum, and took to the UK with gusto.
During the first half of this year, no less than $1.3 billion worth of venture capital money found its way into British companies, matching the level of investment seen in the same period in 2015. Since the referendum, $200 million of venture capital funding has been agreed, covering over 42 deals. Also, since the referendum Santander has announced plans to invest a further $100m into the UK fintech space, via Santander InnoVentures, topping up the total funds available from the venture to $200m.
Larger deals include CityMapper, which secured $40 million, student.com which grabbed $60m and Darkforce, a cyber security firm, which received $65m after the referendum. Other deals announced since the referendum include festival booking site Festicket, Network Locum, fintech firm Revolut and what3words. These four companies secured around $32m, between them.
Eileen Burbidge MBE, partner at London based venture capital firm, Passion Capital, said: “London remains the biggest tech centre in Europe and continues to attract the best talent and companies from all over the world. These are attractive factors for any investor and there will be plenty of opportunities for investment in the coming months and years ahead. London’s success has been built on strong entrepreneurial spirit and it is important that we remain positive and continue to promote our tech sector at home and abroad.”
Last week, when Santander announced its additional fintech plans, group executive chair, Ana Botín, said: “A deeper investment in our fintech fund represents Santander’s success in investing in disruptive new technologies that will help our transformation towards being the best bank for our customers – in the simple personal and fair way they expect and deserve today.”
She added: “The fund’s base in the UK has allowed it to benefit from London’s position as a fintech hub, while talentspotting our investments on a global basis. Santander remains committed to the UK and excited about its Fintech enterprises.”
According to London & Partners, venture capital firms which have pledged to support the UK’s tech sector include Index Ventures, Octopus Ventures, Balderton Capital and Hoxton Venture.