Call it Silicon Valley, U.K.
British technology companies received over $795 million in investment from American investors in 2014, with financial technology leading the way, according to London & Partners, the official London promotion firm of Mayor Boris Johnson, who is on a trade mission in the United States this week. This is a significant increase from the $296 million that was invested in 2012, and the U.S. was responsible for over half the investments pouring into London's technology sector. Including other sectors, total investment from the U.S. into Britain was $1.35 billion, up from only $582 million two years prior.
"As the digital capital of Europe, London is clearly the place to create fast-growing tech companies, and our flourishing tech sector has caught the eye of U.S. investors," said Johnson. "London's talent is attracting global investment, enabling our innovators to turn their ideas into companies that create jobs and economic growth in London."
As part of the trade mission, Johnson also announced that one of the startups, financial technology provider TransferWire, has already received additional investments of $58 million from American venture capitalists, signaling that 2015 may be as big of a year for investment as last year. TransferWire also stated that it is looking to open American offices as part of his initial expansion.
Another part of the trade mission is Barclays Bank setting up a financial technology accelerator program in New York City, where 10 startups will have 13 weeks of intensive networking and mentorship to develop "disruptive" financial technology of their own, similar to what London-based companies have been doing.
"Our goal in New York is to help innovators develop new disruptive fintech technologies, particularly in the investment banking, wealth management and credit cards industries," said Derek White, Barclays' chief design and digital officer.
The increase in American venture capital abroad mirrors the record year American venture capitalists had stateside, posting the best year for venture investment since 2000, the height of the dot-com boom.