UK technology sector mobilizes $3.6-bln VC in 2015

By Staff Writer

Jan 15, 2016 01:36 AM EST

Registering a record level of money raising, the UK-based technology firms mobilized $3.6 billion (£2.5 billion) funds from venture capitalists (VC) in 2015. The British technology firms were able to raise money owing to strong investor appetite for startups and fintech companies. The VC funding for UK technology firms rose 70 percent in 2015. 

The venture capital funding raised by the UK technology companies rose 70 percent from $2.1 billion in 2014 to $3.6 billion in 2016. London-based technology firms accounted for lion's share in the total VC funding in 2015. The London firms mobilized $2.2billion in 2015, an increase of $1.3 billion from 2014. 

Financial Times reports that the growing investor confidence on UK startups and fintech groups can also compete at global level. The UK technology sector is still lagging behind the US technology industry. According to CB Insights, a data research company, the UK technology sector raised $9.7 billion since 2010, while London-based firms accounted for more than half. 

The funds mobilized by the UK technology sector are much lesser than US. It's estimated that US venture funds poured in $35.7 billion in 2014 alone. However, the UK technology sector is steadily growing. 
US companies accounted for 29 percent, Israel four percent and Germany accounted for two percent in the total VC funding to the UK technology sector. 

Bloomberg further reports that the largest single investment was reported by London-based small business lending platform Funding Circle, which mobilized $150 million in April 2015. This funding was led by DST Global. Half of the VC funding into London technology sector was from UK-based firms.

Eileen Burbidge, a founding partner at venture capitalist Passion Capital and a tech adviser to a number of UK governmental bodies, said: "It is a chicken-and-egg situation. More entrepreneurs results in more great companies, which means more money coming to follow to support that growth."

Majority of the UK-based fastest growing technology firms command valuations over $1 billion (£680 million), as reported by Business Insider. Technology startups with valuation over $1billion are considered to be 'Unicorn' businesses. The UK technology industry is yet to produce a global giant company on the lines of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

UK has one advantage over the Californian startups is for fintech segment as its proximity to the London's financial sector. UK fintech companies closed in several funding rounds in 2015. For instance, Ebury raised $83 million, Funding Circle mobilized $150 million and World Remit raised $100 million. 

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