Will London still be Europe’s top city for tech after Brexit?

New research ranks London as the top hub for tech start-up investment, but Britain’s exit from the EU could lead to problems with talent recruitment and salary stability

London is the most important technology hub in Europe, according to a new survey published today from venture capital firm Balderton Capital.

The comprehensive report, titled The European Talent Landscape, revealed that London’s tech has attracted €8.9bn in investment between 2011 and 2016; more than that of any other European city.

Tech businesses in Berlin, ranked as the second fastest-growing tech centre, have received €6.58bn in investment since the start of 2011, while tech companies in Paris – ranked third – have received €4.58bn.

Dublin was also found to be a significant tech hub, housing the eighth highest number of tech start-ups in Europe – despite ranking relatively low in terms of investment.

Among oversees job hunters, London was found to be the most popular search location for tech roles. The UK capital’s mobile workforce was shown to be a driving factor in the growth of its tech sector with 40% of London tech companies boasting a non-UK founder.

However, whilst evidencing London’s current success, the report highlighted Brexit’s potential to reverse the city’s winning streak.

Though the UK is currently home to 31% of European start-ups, the report predicts that this number could drop to 24% if Europe’s mobile tech talent becomes less inclined to migrate to the UK following Brexit.

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The report also highlighted that, if policies towards skilled workers change after Brexit, the costs of recruiting staff who need visas could hinder the growth of many tech start-ups.

The Referendum result created so many doubts and concerns that in July, Tech London Advocates and London & Partners launched a post-Brexit email support service for tech start-ups.

The report’s suggested impact of Brexit shouldn’t be disregarded, as the report highlights that UK tech salaries had already dropped sharply since the UK voted to leave the EU on June 23.

James Wise, partner at Balderton Capital, commented: “London, together with Paris and Berlin, dominate the tech scene in terms of employees and investment today.

“But the relative weakness of the pound since the referendum vote, together with developers’ willingness to be mobile and work in smaller tech hubs, could reduce the relative advantage the capital enjoys without proper policy support post-Brexit.”

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