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2019 a record year for US investment into UK firms despite Brexit

by LLB Editor
19th Nov 19 7:40 am

US venture capital firms are showing a strong appetite for investing in London and UK companies, with latest data from PitchBook showing that 2019 is already a record year for US VC investment into British businesses1. The findings have been released to coincide with this week’s Silicon Valley Comes to the UK event series, bringing together investors, entrepreneurs and CEOs from the UK and the Bay Area.

According to the research, American investors have been involved in $4.4bn worth of deals into UK companies so far this year, with London businesses accounting for 77% ($3.4bn) of all VC investment from the US in 20191.

Major funding rounds for UK companies involving US investors in 2019 include: a $144m series F funding round for London fintech unicorn, Monzo, led by Silicon Valley investment firm, Y Combinator; a $70m Series B round into London Cybersecurity firm, Snyk, by Palo Alto based investor Accel Partners and a large $200m Series A funding round, for UK data privacy firm, OneTrust, led by New York based investor, Insight Partners.

As London continues to produce high volumes of unicorn companies, US investors are increasingly looking to the UK capital as the scale-up capital of Europe, with the findings showing that over the past five years, London companies have received significantly more funding from US VCs than any other European business hub2.

Investment ties between the UK and Silicon Valley are particularly strong, with Bay Area VCs investing almost double the amount into UK companies ($10.7bn) in the last five years than the levels seen in Germany ($5.95bn) and France ($2.87bn).3

Sherry Coutu CBE, Angel Investor and Co-founder of SVC2UK said: “The UK remains a top place for global investors because it is now producing high volumes of scale-up companies. While Brexit has created some uncertainty, investors from the US and further afield continue to look to London as Europe’s leading tech hub because it is home to world class talent and an abundance of innovative companies – especially in areas such as Fintech, Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence. We’re excited to bring together some of the best minds from the UK and Silicon Valley this week as we see lots of opportunities for companies and investors to do business across both regions.”

David Hornik, General Partner at Silicon Valley based investment firm, August Capital added: “The UK and Silicon Valley share strengths in technology and innovation. As an investor, I always like to keep an eye on what’s happening in London as it is a truly global centre for business with a large pool of companies building breakthrough technologies. I’ve been involved in the SVC2UK programme for a number of years now and it’s a great way to build networks and connect two of the world’s leading start-up hubs.”

London’s booming Fintech sector is particularly attractive for US investors, with a number of large deals this year including: a $175m Series D investment into London online money transfer platform, WorldRemit, involving Accel Partners; a $75 million Series E round for online payment service, GoCardless and a $40m Series E round for online international money exchange platform, CurrencyCloud – ­­­­both led by GV, the venture capital investment arm of Alphabet Inc.

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