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Silicon Valley funding for UK tech start-ups hits record

IBOS member Silicon Valley Bank investors put a record £1.1bn into British technology start-ups last year, boosting claims that the UK is spreading its wings as a global tech hub.

The figures, revealed in a report from law firm Pennington Manches, appear to knock back claims that international investors would turn their backs on the UK’s technology companies after the Brexit vote.

West Coast investment into UK tech companies rose by 47pc last year to £1.08bn, according to the report, and is up from just £213m in 2011. The number of deals has also increased significantly, climbing from 21 in 2011 to 74 in 2017.

The report, made using figures from the UK start-up database Beauhurst, said that a third of all investments in 2017 were now by North American investors. Those from West Coast investors account for just under 5pc of the total, while investment from the US East Coast is similarly at a record high, at £1.3bn.

High valuations and an increasingly-overcrowded field have meant more US investors looking overseas for deals, while UK start-ups often see an investment from abroad as a stepping stone to entering a market.

Just over half of investors surveyed for the report said the Brexit vote had not dampened their enthusiasm for investing in the UK. While 45pc said it had made an investment less likely, 46pc said it had not made a difference and 9pc said it had made them more likely to invest.

They cited skills as the biggest reason to invest, along with proven science, a common language and lower valuations. While the majority of the £2.8bn invested since 2011 has been in software companies, life sciences start-ups have also raised £472m from Silicon Valley in the last seven years.

Read more in The Telegraph here.