Asian and Middle Eastern capital invested in UK tech startups during the first half of 2021 has almost surpassed the total amount raised during the whole of 2020. By the end of June, Asian and Middle Eastern investors had poured more than £1.7bn (€2bn) into UK tech companies, equating to 13.2% of total investments made in the country.
New figures compiled by Dealroom.co for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Digital Economy Council, released to coincide with the inaugural Asia Tech x Singapore (ATxSG) startup event, show that 2021 is on track to be an even better year than 2020 for investment flows from Asia to the UK.
The strong flow of investment from East to West is complemented by similar flows the other way, with leading UK-based venture capital firms increasingly investing in startups in Southeast Asia in particular.
Last year, Asian investors took part in a record number of deals in the UK, totalling 106, according to figures from Dealroom.co. The running total for 2021 has already reached 95 and is expected to comfortably surpass last year’s total by the end of the year, as institutional and angel investors are attracted by the UK’s increasing expertise in tech.
Within Asia, the country investing most heavily in UK tech is Japan. Other active investors from the region include Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and China. However, Japan’s dominance of Asian investment flows to the UK has become weaker in the last five years, as investors in other countries have backed investment opportunities here.