London claims to be AI capital of Europe

London claims to be AI capital of Europe

Not content with being Europe's leading fintech hub, London is also staking a claim to the role of the EU's Artificial Intelligence (AI) capital, home to double the number of AI companies than closest rivals Paris and Berlin combined

The claim is made in a new piece of research commissioned by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, that for the first time maps the capital’s AI ecosystem.

It found that London is home to 758 AI companies - double the total of Paris and Berlin combined. They specialise in more than 30 industries with particular strengths in insurance, finance and law.

A crucial component underpinning London's growing AI cluster is access to talent, with 13 universities in the capital offering AI, machine learning and related undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Acknowledging the booming interest in the sector, investment raised by London’s AI companies grew by more than 50% in 2017, reaching over £200m. This represented approximately 10 per cent of the record £2.45bn raised by London’s technology firms in 2017.

As if to emphasise the report's findings, local AI startup Eigen Technologies today announced a £13m ($17.5m) Series A funding round co-led by Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments (PSI) and Temasek. Eigen, which uses natural language processing to sort unstructured data, was founded in 2014 and now has a team of 50 people based in London and New York. The company's clients include Goldman Sachs, Linklaters, Evercore, and ING.

London mayor Khan, says: “The research describes a city with a rich technology ecosystem, a strong pipeline of AI innovation and an academic and investment base set up for the long term. London’s unique global status as a capital of finance, business, government and technology is our standout asset. Everything entrepreneurs need is here in one place - not least access to clients.”

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