VCs have invested $200m in UK tech since Brexit

 
Lynsey Barber
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Tech startups have landed VC cash after the Brexit vote (Source: Getty)

The UK's tech sector is defying the Brexit blues, with more than $200m (£152.5m) of venture capital cash ploughed into startups since the vote to leave the EU on 24 June.

Top tech leaders heralded the 42 deals which have been made in the past month as the data is an early indicator that the UK remains attractive to venture capital investors amid uncertainty around the fallout from Brexit and negotiations with Europe.

“This is further proof that London leads the way when it comes to technology and, because of its diversity and entrepreneurial spirit, continues to attract investment from across the globe," said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Top five VC deals since Brexit

Darktrace  $65m

Lystable  $13.3m

Post Quantum  $11.39m

MarketInvoice  $10.25m

WeSwap.com $10m

"This investment in the capital shows that London is open for business, open for new ideas and will continue to welcome the best talent from around the world.”

While the early figures for the quarter are encouraging, it's still too early to assess to what extent the vote result will impact the sector across the quarter and in the long term.

VC investment for the first six months of the year stood at $1.3bn with 356 deals, according to the data from Pitchbook and London and Partners, the equivalent cash to the same period last year.

High profile funding rounds include Cambridge security startup Darktrace raising $65m and fintech startup MarketInvoice landing £7.2m.

The value of UK tech M&A deals has already surpassed last year's in the first half of the year, totaling £58.4bn, with high profile deals in the form of Microsoft's acquisition of Swiftkey and Twitter's purchase of AI startup Magic Pony.

Those figures have been further boosted by two major post-Brexit deals: Softbank's £24.3bn purchase of chip maker ARM and Mastercard's acquisition Vocalink for £700m.

“I’m an entrepreneur and professional optimist and still super positive about London and the UK," said entrepreneur and investor Robin Klein.

Read more: MPs call for post-Brexit digital plan - or risk UK's fintech success

"The UK is one of the world’s largest economies and we have been trading with the world and especially Europe for nearly 1000 years - the relationships are deeper than the last 24 years of integration show and I’m confident that they will mostly remain strong.”

The UK's venture capital investors have largely rallied to support the UK tech sector, which has attracted the lion's share of funding over the last five years compared to other European cities.

Startups are approaching business in times of Brexit with a keep calm and carry on approach, but the majority fear the climate could get worse, while separate data from CB Insights indicated a slowdown in tech funding across Europe in the second quarter of the year, including in the UK, as investors held off ahead of the EU referendum in the UK

Read more: Here's how the UK tech industry feels about Theresa May as PM

"London remains the biggest tech centre in Europe and continues to attract the best talent and companies from all over the world," said Eileen Burbidge of Passion Capital and the government's fintech envoy.

"These are attractive factors for any investor and there will be plenty of opportunities for investment in the coming months and years ahead. London’s success has been built on strong entrepreneurial spirit and it is important that we remain positive and continue to promote our tech sector at home and abroad.”

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