emfizz.com May 30, 2017

There's still investment in tech in London - despite the spectre of Brexit

20 April 2017, 09:31 | Anna Nguyen

Map of incubators and accelerators in the UKInnovation foundation Nesta

Map of incubators and accelerators in the UK

At a government-backed conference last week created to trumpet the United Kingdom as a post-Brexit fintech powerhouse, the CEO of Transferwise went off-message, suggesting startups should avoid London and confirming that his own firm will move its European headquarters to the mainland. "More recently, our expertise in Fintech, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics has shown that the city is at the cutting edge of technological innovation", said Russ Shaw, London Tech Week ambassador and Founder of Tech London Advocates.

"London's strength derives from the city's diversity, rich pool of talent and global connections". This, he added, signified "that London remains open to investment, talent and innovation from all over the world". Many in the tech and finance industries forewarned an exodus of talent and money from the capital due to the United Kingdom leaving the EU.

90% of respondents agreed that if banks work together with London's tech community to overcome obstacles and invest in these areas, the capital will have an ecosystem capable of "producing a critical mass of globally successful tech start-ups".

Fintech has attracted the most cash over the last five years, followed by mobile, software and e-commerce.

AI and machine learning attracted £86m in funding last year, rocketing from just £3m five years ago.

Further silencing the Brexit fear-mongers is the performance of the capital in Q1.

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Startups working in the hot tech space attracted £177m in funding in the first three months of the year, more than any quarter in 2016 and its highest since the second quarter of 2015.

Since the referendum to leave the European Union, London tech firms have received more than £1 billion in funding, over 70 per cent of the total £1.59 billion invested into United Kingdom tech during that period.

"London is the technology capital of Europe".

Another report from tech investment bank GP Bullhound, positions London as the European capital for fintech unicorns, pointing out that the United Kingdom houses four tech behemoths with a combined value of $18.5bn, compared to just two in the rest of Europe, which are worth $4.6bn between them.

The survey of Level39's 900-strong community found that most think a shortage of talent is the biggest threat to banks and financial institutions in the United Kingdom (19%), followed by a lack of investment in research and development (17%) and digital disruption (15%).

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