London leads the way as an artificial intelligence tech talent hub

 
Emily Nicolle
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Large tech companies are flocking to the city for its access to AI talent (Source: Getty)

Investment in London’s artificial intelligence (AI) sector from venture capital firms skyrocketed more than 200 per cent between 2015 and 2017, with funding for the capital’s startups so far this year already surpassing last year’s numbers.


New figures released today by Pitchbook revealed the fast growth of London’s AI scene, which is home to more than double the amount of AI companies than those in Paris and Berlin combined.

London companies are also blazing a path for the UK as a whole, having raised more than 65 per cent of the country’s total £1.27bn in AI funding in the last five years.

Deputy mayor for business Rajesh Agrawal said: "Today’s figures show London has an ideal mix of growth capital and world-class talent, making it the best place for international companies establishing or expanding an AI business."

Additionally, it is leading on diversity in the tech industry. More than 25 per cent of London AI companies have at least one female founder, compared with just 17 per cent of global startups, while 32 per cent have at least one founder from Black, Asian or minority ethnicity backgrounds.


The news follows a report yesterday which said the UK's top 500 technology firms are failing to represent women and ethnic minorities at senior levels, with women making up just 12.6 per cent of board director positions at tech companies.

This is in comparison to performance in other industries, where 30 per cent of board members in the FTSE 100 are women.

It added that only 8.5 per cent of senior leaders in tech identify as black, Asian or another minority ethnicity. This worsens when gender is factored in, as just 1.8 per cent of tech board members are women of colour.

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