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London Cementing Itself As Top Global Hub For Impact Technology Investing

London is quickly cementing itself as a top global hub for impact tech according to latest data from international trade, investment and promotion agency London & Partners and VC investment into London’s purpose-driven tech companies has increased by almost eight times between 2015 and 2020.

According to the research, VC investment into impact tech startups in London has grown by almost 800% (7.8 times) since 2015, compared to 3.1 times in Europe as a whole.1 2020 is set to be a record year for London’s impact tech companies, who have received $1.2bn in VC investment from January to October, already matching 2019 levels. London’s impact firms have also secured 429 deals between 2015 and 2020, more than any other city globally.

As the world continues to tackle issues such as the climate crisis and social inequality, investors are increasingly looking to pump money into purpose-driven tech solutions, with the data revealing a 280% increase in global VC investment into impact tech companies from 2015 to 2020. An impact startup refers to any company addressing one or more of the 17 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including climate action, clean energy, gender equality and zero hunger, and startups around the world are rapidly emerging to address every challenge area.

Impact investment into startups is quickly becoming mainstream, with London’s impact companies attracting 14.9% of overall VC investment into the city this year, a larger share than any other year. San Francisco leads globally in terms of VC investment value in 2020 so far, with $1.8bn VC investment into its impact startups, followed by Shanghai’s $1.5bn and London with $1.2bn.

Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “London is a global hub for tech and innovation – these findings show that our city has quickly become a global leader for start-ups aimed at tackling some of the most pressing challenges we face as a city and as a country. As we recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic we have the opportunity to help build a greener, fairer and more inclusive city – and clearly London’s dynamic tech sector has a critical role to play.”

Janet Coyle, Managing Director for Business, London & Partners said: “Today’s figures offer further proof that London is a thriving tech hub with an array of innovative companies striving to tackle some of the most pressing environmental and social challenges we face today. The fact that London is home to more impact startups than any other city is testament to the collaborative and supportive tech ecosystem here, including dedicated VCs and accelerators for purpose-driven tech companies. SVC2UK connects the Bay Area and UK tech communities to foster an inclusive and diverse network of entrepreneurs and inspire the next generation of innovators. It is now more important than ever that we come together to drive good growth as we build back better from the effects of the global pandemic.”

The findings have been released to coincide with this week’s Silicon Valley Comes to the UK virtual event series, bringing together investors, entrepreneurs and CEOs from the UK and the Bay Area to discuss topics like sustainability, inclusivity, the future of tech and the importance of collaboration.

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