Fintech leads the charge as VC investment in UK tech firms hits record highs

Fintech leads the charge as VC investment in UK tech firms hits record highs

Venture capital investment into Britain’s technology companies has hit a record high of nearly $1.5bn during the first six months of this year, with London-based fintech firms leading the charge.

The figures, released by London & Partners, the Mayor’s promotional company, show the capital's technology companies scooping up the lion's share of VC investment by securing more than 80% of the total funding and 70% of all deals. This in turn has been driven by the buzz around fintech-based startups, with firms like Funding Circle, Azimo, WorldRemit and Currency Cloud raising $472million - equivalent to 40% of the total amount raised in London.

Peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle secured the largest deal of the last three month by raising $150m in April. The company is now valued at more than $1bn. Samir Desai, CEO and co-founder of Funding Circle says: “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.”

His words are echoed by Passion Capital's Eileen Burbidge, who says: “Last year it took London tech firms nine months to reach the billion dollar mark, this year they’ve done it in six months. The city has become such a tech powerhouse because it excels over other tech hubs around the world. London combines the technology and digital innovation of Silicon Valley with the Wall Street financing heritage of New York and the policy making of Washington DC - all in one phenomenal city.”

VC investment into UK tech firms during the first six months of 2015 eclipsed the same period in 2014 when firms raised just over $1bn and are hundreds of millions of dollars higher than the full 12 month totals from 2010-13.

The data comes after research from GP Bullhound revealed that Britain has 17 tech unicorns commanding $1 billion-plus valuations with 13 in the capital.

Lower down the scale, London’s army of budding fintech startups are also continuing to secure record levels of funding. DoPay, a company that graduated from the Barclay’s Tech Stars accelerator programme last year and which allows people who’re excluded from the traditional banking system get access to financial services, successfully raised $2.4m in two separate deals during the last three months.

Frans van Eersel, CEO of DoPay said: “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.”

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