Investment in UK tech sector from US and Asia surges

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Deliveroo's latest funding round is partly responsible for the surge in investment. Photo: AP Foto/Frank Augstein

More than half of the money raised by UK technology companies so far in 2019 has come from US and Asian investors, according to new data.

Overall, the sector has raised more money in the first seven months of the year than it did in the entirety of 2018.

New research released on Wednesday shows that UK-based technology firms have received $6.7bn in funding thus far in 2019, with 55% coming from investors based in either the US or Asia.

On average, more than $1bn has been invested per month in the sector, 1.5 times the amount raised in the same period in 2018.

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The figures put the UK technology sector on track for its best year ever, according to the Digital Economy Council, who commissioned the research.

The surge is partly thanks to huge investments in firms like Checkout.com, which raised $230m; Greensill, which raised $800m; and Deliveroo, which raised $575m.

Will Shu, the CEO of Deliveroo, said his company was “proud to be a British tech company.”

“The UK is a fantastic place to start and grow a tech company, attract talent and, ultimately, turn great ideas into products and services that consumers know and love.”

Though more than a third of investments in the UK come from domestic sources, at least another third come from either the US, Japan, or the rest of the world, the council said.

In comparison, countries like France and Germany receive relatively low levels of foreign investment.

The council noted that the mix of funding sources not only proved that the UK had a tech sector that was attractive to a wide range or investors and investment types, but also offered “stability”.

“Today’s figures demonstrate investors’ confidence in the UK tech sector, which continues to go from strength to strength, growing one and half times faster than any other sector in the economy,” said Natalia Black, the UK trade commissioner for the Asia-Pacific region.

The research was conducted by Tech Nation, which supports the UK tech sector, and Dealroom.co.