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London Named Unicorn Capital of Europe

Picture of Claire Lancaster
Tech & Entrepreneurship Editor
Updated: 31 October 2017
London is home to more tech unicorns than any other country in Europe, while the UK has been named the most attractive tech hub for Silicon Valley investors.

Research from investment firm GP Bullhound has this week revealed that London is home to more unicorns – a startup valued at over $1bn – than any other European city.

The 2017 Titans of Tech report found that London accounts for almost a third of all unicorns in Europe. With 17 out of the 53 unicorns founded in London, the UK capital has more unicorns than Stockholm (7), Berlin (5) and Paris (3) combined. Recent London companies to join this year’s list include Improbable, Deliveroo and Purple Bricks.

London is home to more tech unicorns than any other country in Europe
London is home to more tech unicorns than any other country in Europe

Separate investment data released by London & Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional company, has also found that the UK is the leading European destination for Silicon Valley investors, with British tech companies raising more venture capital from Bay area VCs than any other European country.

Over the last five years, UK tech companies have received more venture capital investment from West Coast investors than France, Germany and Ireland combined. The London & Partners data also found that despite Brexit, 2017 has already seen a record $1.13bn raised since the beginning of the year.

‘London’s digital economy has demonstrated unprecedented levels of talent, ambition, and investment, delivering an exceptional cohort of billion-dollar businesses. These pioneers have been critical to the rise of European tech and will drive the industry forward to create companies of scale to rival the US and Asia,’ said Manish Madhvani, GP Bullhound CEO and founder.

London’s Old St Roundabout, at the centre of east London’s Tech City
London’s Old St Roundabout, at the centre of east London’s Tech City | © London & Partners

The findings were released to mark the start of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK), a week-long series of events bringing together leading figures from the Bay area and UK tech scenes.

The organisation has announced the latest cohort of 50 high growth UK technology companies who will join to join the 2017 Scale Up Club. Made up of some of the UK’s fastest growing tech businesses – from HomeTouch, the UK’s top online care agency to food-sharing app OLIO and Mumsnet, the country’s largest online network for parents – the 50 firms had a combined revenue of £94 million in 2016, employing over 1,900 people across the UK.

SVC2UK’s events week, which kicked off in Cambridge on Monday, will culminate with the Good Growth Summit on Friday 3rd November, bringing together inspirational women leaders at the Institute of Technology and Engineering. Speakers will include SVC2UK Founder, Sherry Coutu, Debbie Woscow, Obi Felten, Google X and a keynote address from Shiza Shahid, CEO of Malala Fund.

© Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SV2UK)

For more on the UK’s tech scene, meet the 25 hottest startups in the UK or check out what the Uber ban says about London’s tech culture.