Non-tech companies are about to be the biggest investors in tech for the first time - and finance and Goldman Sachs are leading the way

 
Lynsey Barber
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Finance is leading the way in broadening its tech investments (Source: Getty)

Traditional industries are ramping up their investment in innovation, with non-technology companies on track to become the biggest investors in technology for the first time - and finance is leading the way.

Analysis of the Fortune 500 found 51 per cent of investments in private technology companies so far this year came from non-technology companies, in industries such as finance, media, and retail, compared to just 29 per cent in 2014.

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CB Insights, which conducted the research, estimates that's on track to hit a record high of $8.2bn my the end of the year.

And it will outweigh investments made by technology companies, which despite representing only 12 per cent of the Fortune 500, have accounted for the majority of private tech investments in previous years.

Investments by non-tech firms have grown by 149 per cent between 2013 and 2016, with Goldman Sachs leading the way, followed by General Electric, Citigroup and Disney.

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American Express, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Blackrock were also among the top 10 biggest non-tech investors. And media was the next biggest non-tech investor, with Disney splashing the most cash.

In addition to investments which can boost strategies, some are financial, such as Goldman's investment in Uber, and non-tech companies were found to have invested in a quarter of all so-called tech unicorns, those valued at more than $1bn.

The majority of the corporations' cash is going into private tech companies in the US (81 per cent), but the UK was the only country in Europe to grab a share: two per cent and the same proportion as China, India and Israel.

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