Britain excels at nurturing tech enterprises. Through a combination of access to investors, high technological skills, access to accelerators and incubators as well as the UK’s seemingly unmatched position as the financial hub of Europe, Blighty has become a hotbed for entrepreneurs leveraging new innovations to make lives easier. And it seems as if confidence in British tech startups isn’t diminishing despite the uncertainties of Brexit with investments in this sector having already broken new records in the first five months of 2019.
Looking at data from Data Commons for UK Tech, the new startup database launched early in June 2019, investments into the sector reached $5bn over the first five months of the year. That’s more than half of the $8.8bn raised in total in 2018.
While waste management company Red Industries kicked off the year by raising £39m in growth equity in January, the money kept pouring into the country’s technology enterprises with Greensill having raised the biggest round so far this year. In May, the non-bank provider of working capital finance for companies announced mega-investor SoftBank injected $800m into the scaleup. Food-delivery unicorn Deliveroo raised the second biggest round so far this year with its Amazon-led $575m series G investment in May.
And the investment rounds show zero signs of stopping any time soon. Indeed, two fintech startups have already raised dauntingly huge rounds in June. Mobile payment company WorldRemit set the tone of the month on Tuesday June 3 by announcing its $175m in series D round. VC firm Accel as well as private equity firms TVC and LeapFrog Investments returned as investors in the round. This puts the total funding raised by the company to $407.7m and its valuation at roughly $900m, $100m shy of unicorn status.
Already serving almost four million people across the world, WorldRemit will use the money to further develop and diversify its services to better help the company’s clients.
“For more than eight years our core purpose has been and continues to be to help migrants send money to their families, friends and communities,” said Breon Corcoran, CEO of WorldRemit. “Our customers play a key role in the economies where they work and their remittances are important to their home countries.”
Another huge round in June was won by UK fintech startup TrueLayer. The startup providing open-banking software to help people better manage financial information from different providers has raised a $40m series B round led by Tencent Holdings, the Chinese internet service portal. Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek also contributed to the round, according to Business Insider.
In the doom and gloom days some Brexit pundits argue we’re going through, it’s great to see that UK tech startups still have the confidence of investors from both near and far away.