Massive fall in tech investment in London last year and Berlin is gaining ground

… could it be Brexit related?

It seems people still want to hide the damaging effects of Brexit. Or am I missing something?

Figures from London & Partners about Tech investment in the UK and the capital were published this week.

Reading it gives you the feeling that the UK and London are going from strength to strength, but beneath the surface and not even mentioned in the press release is a huge drop in investment last year. Almost 30% in fact.

Judge for yourself.

The press release headline read “London and UK top European tech investment tables.” True London and the UK have attracted the most tech investment.

The opening paragraph read: “The UK and London continue to dominate the European tech investment landscape, with latest figures revealing Britain’s tech sector attracted more venture capital investment and tech IPOs than any other European hub in 2018.” Again true.

But shouldn’t readers be made more aware of the fact that for the first time tech investment fell in London and the UK. In 2017/18 it didn’t just fall, it plummeted. From £2.53bn in 2017 to £1.8bn in 2018. See the table below with the figures from London & partners and PitchBook.

 

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
London £384.43m £732.09m £999.76m £1.11bn £2.53bn £1.8bn
UK £603.24m £1.02bn £1.63bn £1.50bn £3.12bn £2.49bn

 

And indeed London still has by far the most money invested in tech out of all European cities, but investment dropped by over £700m last year, getting on for 30%.

So this must be related to a general downturn I hear you say.  Think again.  French tech firms raised over £1 billion in 2018, compared with the £748m raised in 2017. And Berlin’s saw strong growth.

Here are the London & partners and PitchBook figures.

City Total Funding in 2018 (£)
London £1.8bn
Berlin £936.53m
Paris £797.04m
Stockholm £224.23m
Barcelona £182.74m
Amsterdam £163.51m
Zurich £156.97m
Copenhagen £111.37m
Dublin £104.13m
Cambridge £97.2m

Deputy mayor for business in London, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “These figures demonstrate that London is going from strength to strength as a global hub for technology, innovation and creativity.” Which figures is he talking about?

Perhaps questions should be asked about his next statement: “Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, London will remain open to innovation, talent and investment from all over the world.”

So am I missing something?

Why was there such a big drop?

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