Unpacking the UK Venture Capital Landscape

White Star Capital
Jul 31, 2019 · 2 min read

We are very happy to announce the launch of our inaugural annual report, in which we take a look at the UK venture capital landscape and tech ecosystem.

Our outlook

From day one, it was crucial for us to have a significant presence in the UK, as it has long been the European capital of venture funding.

In recent years, we feel the UK has really cemented its position as a global leader in venture capital and entrepreneurship. The UK’s reputation as a global hub for financial services has really driven this agenda, and the UK is maintaining its influence in a number of other large markets, particularly the US.

Our report delivers a vote of confidence for the UK’s fast-growing businesses and the wider ecosystem during an important period for the nation. But it also addresses how UK start-ups are likely to be affected by leaving the European Union, as we consider how the nation can continue to attract high quality talent and boost later-stage funding for the most innovative firms.

We very much believe that the nation’s future success will rely on regulation that encourages business growth, greater investment in education and research, and nurturing and investing in tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to ensure that the UK can consolidate its position on the global stage.

So what did we find?

  • Investment: Following a record H1 in which UK tech companies attracted $4.9bn, VC activity in 2019 is expected to be well above the record levels of 2017. UK VC investment in H1 represented 63% of European deal value so far this year.
  • Talent: Home to four of the world’s top ten universities, the UK has never struggled for talent. 50% of UK unicorn founders attended UK universities. 63% of Series C+ founders worked with UK-based companies prior to launching their start-ups. However, globally, there are no UK universities in the top 50 schools for entrepreneurship — demonstrating a need to further encourage this mindset and support innovation in the nation’s education system.
  • Crowdfunding: The UK’s propensity for technology has played a major role in the growth in popularity of crowdfunding. Seedrs and Crowdcube have been a financing conduit for over $1bn of seed stage investments and the UK leads the next most active crowdfunding region (Spain) by almost 3x. From January 2016 to June 2019, over 50% of seed deals were crowdfunded.

As always, we’re keen to hear your thoughts so please do reach out to us if you’d like to discuss the report.

About White Star Capital

White Star Capital is an international venture and early growth-stage investment platform in technology. Our presence over three continents, differentiated perspective, and people enable us to partner with founders to help them scale internationally.

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Learn more at www.whitestarvc.com

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