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UK ‘raised more tech investment than any other European country’ in 2016

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The UK’s technology sector drew more investment than that of any other European country last year, according to research revealed by London & Partners.

Having tracked activity across private equity and venture capital deals, the research shows that UK technology companies attracted £6.7bn in investment in 2016.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan commented on the findings: “With our unbeatable blend of talent, creativity and access to finance, it is not surprising that London continues to go from strength to strength as the undisputed tech capital of Europe.”

Report: UK tech retains top spot for VC funding in Europe despite Brexit

Despite the Brexit vote, he continued, London continues to attract record levels of investment and remains the best in the world to grow a business.

“I have no doubt that this important sector of our economy will continue to generate jobs, investment and world-leading technology for decades,” he concluded.

Tech verticals

According to the research, London’s AdTech, e-commerce and big data firms proved popular with investors last year.

AI firms in London, the data revealed, also benefited from a significant increase in VC investment – with firms receiving a record £100m in 2016, compared to the £27m raised in 2014 and the £52m in 2015.

On the other hand, e-commerce businesses based in the capital attracted a total of £486m across 69 deals.

M&A activity

A total of £71bn worth of M&A deals were completed in the UK last year – over fve times the amount of completed deals in the two years prior.

UK tech transactions in 2016 included SoftBank’s takeover of Cambridge-based chip maker ARM, which sold for £24.3bn and EE’s £12.5bn acquisition by BT.

Companies in London represented more than half of all M&A deals completed last year. These included Microsoft’s £175m purchase of SwiftKey and Twitter’s £105m purchase of AI startup Magic Pony.

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