Tuesday 4 June 2019 3:02 pm

UK startups break records with $4.8bn VC funding this year

UK tech startups have already broken past their half-year record for venture capital investment, reaching $4.8bn (£3.8bn) of funding across the burgeoning tech sector in just five months.

It topped the previous record set in the first six months of 2017 of $4.2bn, according to data from Tech Nation and Dealroom through their new Data Commons platform.

Startups in London took the lion’s share of the investment, grabbing $3.2bn from venture capital firms around the world since January. This also broke past the city’s previous record, set in 2017 at $2.6bn.

The capital was followed by Bristol which has raised $291m so far this year, Cambridge at $142m and Oxford at $114m.

Read more: Fintech unicorn Oaknorth to nail $440m round led by Softbank

Notable rounds in the first five months of 2019 included Greensill and Oaknorth’s raises of $800m and $440m respectively from Japanese mega-investor Softbank, and takeaway startup Deliveroo’s $575m round led by Amazon.

Fintech more than tripled its previous record to hit $2.3bn of venture capital funding so far this year, up from the sector’s earlier record of $1bn in 2017.

The tech industry’s best-performing player stormed past its counterparts, with foodtech coming in second place with $667m of investment, and $473m raised for enterprise software startups.

The UK now has 78 unicorns – companies with a valuation of $1bn or more – both current and acquired.

Read more: London startups to take fintech unicorn crown from San Francisco

The Data Commons platform, a national database launched today by Tech Nation and Dealroom, has also identified a further 78 startups that are poised to join the unicorn ranks within the next few years.

The platform, designed for use by UK tech startups, entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers, has been released ahead of London Tech Week, which begins in the city next Monday.

Digital secretary Jeremy Wright said: “This timely initiative from Tech Nation and Dealroom is a world-first with the potential to spark a new wave of investment in the UK’s tech startups and help create new jobs and prosperity across the country.”

George Windsor, head of insights at Tech Nation, said: “This open database will help all of us to build a true picture of the UK’s fast-growing tech sector, to spot opportunities, make smart connections, reduce costs and drive innovation.”