Leading the Way Fintech, Deep Tech and AI
Based on the latest industry figures, the UK tech sector has been smashing record after record in recent years. The country has recorded over $11 billion in tech investments in 2019 alone, which is an increase of around $4 billion from 2018’s already strong figures. What’s more, research by Dealroom.com and Tech Nation has shown that British companies were responsible for around a third of the total investments raised in Europe between January and December alone. The UK tech sector is doing so well, it’s close to surpassing both China and the United States. But where is this investment coming from?
The UK/Singapore Connection
Collaboration between United Kingdom and Asia, and particularly Singapore, is at an all-time high in the tech ecosystems with investment in the UK skyrocketing in recent times. Asia invested $2.9 billion in 2019 in tech companies like Benevolent AI. Eight additional unicorns or billion-dollar firms were created in the UK during the year: Trainline, Checkout.com, Acuris, OVO Energy, Rapyd, Babylon Health, CMR Surgical and Sumup – taking the total up to 77. Of these unicorns, four out of the eight are operating from Singapore, including the well-known UK unicorns Revolut, OakNorth, Deliveroo and TransferWise. This paints a clear picture of the two nations’ collaborative efforts.
Strong Early-Stage Investments
Five companies raised over $250 million each and three of them managed to raise more than $500 million in one round. In 2019, some of the country’s largest-ever Series A investments were made. The record-breaking transaction involved an investment of $230 in Checkout.com in May. In October, an even bigger investment was made – $800 million was allocated to Greensill, a supply-chain fintech company. This hefty sum came a mere five months after an initial investment of $655 million was raised. The staggering success the UK has achieved in attracting venture capital investment is partly fuelled by a surge in performance in the country’s top technology sectors.
Major Investments in Fintech, Deep Tech and AI
Fintech companies in the UK raised over $4.5 million in 2019. This was an increase of 100% from the previous year and is attributed to investments like Checkout.com and Greensil, as well as major fundraising drives like Starling Bank which raised $98 million, Monzo which raised $147 million and World Remit which raised $197 million. The ties between the UK and Singapore were firmly cemented at the Singapore Fintech Festival x Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SFF x SWITCH) late last year where fintech companies from the UK, Transferwise, Vox Smart and OakNorth, won awards from the Association of Banks in Singapore and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. In the Deep Tech and Ai sector, investments include an investment of $90 million in Benevolent AI, $60 million in Melody and $20 million in Wayve pushed the total investment up by over $2 billion from the previous year.