London tech sector attracts record funding from US investors

22 London fintech firms currently in New York on trade mission to win deals for the capital with new announcements from TransferWise and Digital Shadows

London-based tech firms attracted a record breaking $795.2m from US investors in 2014, new figures released by the Mayor of London’s promotional company London & Partners reveals.

The record is more than double that of 2012’s record $296m, with investment from the US into the UK as a whole also a record breaking $1.35bn, compared to $582m in 2012.

Boris Johnson will discuss the figures today during a trade mission to the United States aimed at strengthening economic and cultural ties between the capital and the US.

US funding was responsible for half of all new funding in London’s tech sector, with the cities firms attracting a total of $1.4bn in venture capital funding in 2014.

2015 looks set to continue the exponential trend, with several major US investments into London tech companies already announced. Fintech company TransferWise secured $58m of new investment from Silicon Valley-based Andreessen Horowitz, while music tech company Shazam recently received a $30m investment, valuing the company at more than $1bn.

Along with several other investments to be confirmed today, the Mayor will announce that TransferWise – founded by 2012 Young Guns Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann – is to open new offices in New York and Tampa, Florida, which will employ 50 people.

Johnson will also reveal that London-based cyber threat intelligence service Digital Shadows has received $8m in VC funding led by US firm Storm Ventures, to grow the company’s team and set up sales, marketing and operations offices in New York and San Francisco.

Gordon Innes, chief executive of London & Partners, commented: “As the world’s leading financial centres, London and New York are also leading developments in technology, in particular financial technology.

“The proximity of our world-class financial services infrastructure to London’s booming tech industry is driving innovation across mobile payments, retail banking and crowdfunding, resulting in dynamic products and apps for a plugged-in, online generation, and a similar story is playing out in New York. It makes sense for our two cities to collaborate further, bringing the next generation of financial products to market.”

TransferWise co-founder, Hinrikus, said: “London has been a great place to start and grow our business. Its status as both a tech and financial hub means we’ve been able to grow the company from just my co-founder and I to a company of 250 employees, processing over £3bn worth of customers’ money in four years.

“We’re fortunate to have raised money from some incredible US investors, including Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, IA Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. We’re excited to be opening offices in the US this month.”

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