– China remains second largest tech investment market in the world
– Asian companies second in the world for investment in emerging technology
– Asian investors looking for opportunity in the UK: 21% of UK tech investment was from Asian investors in 2019
LONDON– Tech Nation, the growth platform for technology leaders, reveals findings today on the UK and Asian tech sectors in its annual, Tech Nation Report.
China remains second largest tech investment market in the world
The US continues to lead the world in tech investment for another year. In 2019, £81.9bn was raised by US tech companies. China closely follows for total investment at £32.2bn, and then the UK at £10.1bn.
Investment into UK tech companies rose by 44% from 2018, however, investment dropped by 20% in the US from 2018, and in China investment dropped by 65%.
Emerging Tech Investment
London was the leading European city for investment into emerging technology at £4bn between 2015 and 2019. Beijing and Shanghai led in Asia for investment into emerging technology at £10bn and £2bn respectively. San Francisco led globally with the city attracting £16bn of VC investment into emerging technology from 2015 to 2019.
Almost half of the total investment into Asia was made towards AI development at £15.56bn. Tech investment made into Beijing (accounting for 38% of all VC investment in Asia) focussed on AI development, robotics and cybersecurity, while in Shanghai (accounting for 9% of total Asian tech investment) it focussed solely on AI development.
In Singapore (5%) investment focussed on AI and blockchain, in Tokyo (3%) investment focused on robotics and in Seoul (2%) investment focussed on AI and blockchain. Ho Chi Minh City (2%) received investment only for blockchain technology development.
UK & Asian Tech Collaboration
£4.9bn was invested into UK tech companies by US and Asian investors in 2019, accounting for 45% of all investment made into UK tech. 21% of this investment came from Asian investors. For instance, Greensill received $800m from Softbank and Oaknorth received $400m from Softbank and Singapore’s Clermont Group.
This is a strong health indicator for UK unicorns of the present and future, and of the UK economy, given that the top 30 foreign-funded tech companies in the UK have created more than 5,000 UK jobs.
In 2019, 118 Venture Capital deals were completed in Asia by UK investors. Entrepreneur First was the largest single UK investor with 24 deals. 21 of these deals were into Singapore companies, such as Hydroleap, a cleantech business which collects and purifies water that raised £1.54mn and SensorFlow, a cleantech business that manages energy for hotels that raised £25.mn.
Gerard Grech, Chief Executive, Tech Nation commented: “Asia continues to push the envelope when it comes to innovating emerging technologies, such as AI, robotics and cyber. We look forward to continuing to work with some of the best tech founders and investors across the continent, building on the UK’s growing tech specialisms as we see investment into the UK tech sector increase, up 44% in 2019 from 2018.”