“London is rapidly becoming the most exciting city in the world for tech”, said Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners. And he is hard to argue with.
According to the report released by London & Partners only for the last six months the total amount of $1.5 billion has been invested in Britain’s tech firms. Most of the businesses are centered in London which is seen from the figures – $1.18 billion was invested in the companies located in the capital.
Capital investment for the first half of 2015 has exceeded the same period of the last year. Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital and the Mayor of London’s tech ambassador, underlines the success: “Last year it took London tech firms nine months to reach the billion dollar mark, this year they’ve done it in six months”.
As for capital investment, London has left many cities behind and earned a right to be called one of the most innovation-friendly cities in the world. Despite the obvious progress London still loses out to Silicon Valley which raised $5.05 billion only for the first quarter of 2015.
Mr. Innes gives praise to London as well: “Innovative entrepreneurs across Britain’s capital continue to produce exciting new companies which are attracting the eye of the world’s investment community. But five years after the tech city initiative was launched, London is now producing tech companies of genuine scale which are drawing serious money into the sector. It’s no wonder that tech is now such an important part of London’s economy”.
Venture capital investment is led by London’s FinTech sector. The four leading companies – Currency Cloud, WorldRemit, Azimo and Funding Circle – altogether made up around 40% of the total sum raised in London ($472 million).
Funding Circle has been a leader over the last three months – it alone raised $150 million. The company offers natural and legal persons a possibility to bargain online to invest in developing businesses.
Circle’s CEO Samir Desai highlights the support of innovations: “London continues to be a fantastic place to grow a financial technology company. In just five years, the Funding Circle marketplace has become the fifth largest net lender to small businesses. The money we raised in April will allow us to go on to create a sustainable, category-defining business in a multi-billion dollar global market”.
Oxford Economics has published a research recently which clearly shows the importance of digital tech sector for London’s economy. It’s likely to bring £18 billion of profit in 2015.
It’s really praiseworthy that Britain supports promising start-ups. Thus good ideas find financial ground that is so important for them. Frans van Eersel, CEO of developing FinTech company DoPay, is planning further promotion only due to $2.4 million of investment: “Access to this kind of early-stage funding is crucial for companies like us. The money will allow us to push ahead with our growth across Egypt and expand into new markets across West Africa”.
Fintech businesses can also expect future investments from a joint venture of Santander and Monitise who have recently teamed up.
Opay, which was founded by Opera, the web browser developer, just recently raised $120 million in series B round, which mainly was backed by Chinese investors, confirmed Opera’s CFO Frode Jacobsen.
Mastercard and Revolut have formed a new agreement that will saddle Mastercard with the responsibility of operating all of Revolut’s U.S. debit cards as it prepares to launch in the US.
Money transfer fintech startup TransferWise has obtained an operating license in the United Arab Emirates and is set to begin operations next year.