London led venture capital deals across Europe last year as it doubled its funding and the amount raised in the UK hit a record high.
In 2019, London-based companies more than doubled the amount of venture capital raised from £2.5bn in 2018 to £5.6bn, according to research by Refinitiv. The number of deals increased from 293 to 319.
The UK topped deals in Europe last year raising an unprecedented £8.1bn across the year, representing an 85 per cent increase year-on-year, with 560 rounds completed.
Across Europe funding reached new heights as the continent doubled its funding to £19.5bn. However deal volumes fell seven per cent to 1,408, marking the slowest start to a year since 2009.
The UK raised nearly double that of French companies (£4.1bn), the next most active European nation. Paris raised £1.7bn across 128 deals while Berlin came in behind with £1.5bn across 83 deals.
Cornelia Andersson, head of M&A and capital raising at Refinitiv said: “It’s fantastic to see record levels of investment driving start-up activity in the UK. Despite the overall economic uncertainty over the last year, it’s clear that entrepreneurs are playing a pivotal role in powering UK plc.”
“With the UK in such a dominant position, it’ll be interesting to see whether Brexit will have a material impact on venture capital activity in the year ahead.”
Six out of the top 10 deals involved a UK company, which included the top £914m funding round into communications company OneWeb and Deliveroo’s £428m investment.
London’s most active investors were Senderwood which invested £34.6m in 18 deals, followed by MM Ventures investing £22.5m.
The computer software and hardware sector attracted the most investment, followed by “internet specific” deals. It follows figures released earlier this week that showed the UK fintech sector’s increasing popularity.
Global investors nearly doubled the amount they invested in UK fintech last year to £37.4bn.