London’s TechCrunch invasion is coming to an end, but the rollick wrought by our roving band of reporters is nothing compared to the party that startups and investors are having in Shoreditch and Camden town these days.
For the first half of the year, investors have poured nearly $1 billion into UK-based startups. In all $911 million has been invested in the UK, up from $362 million in the year-ago period, according to data from CrunchBase.
The venture investment scene in the UK is riotous and London is indeed calling, but more with the ring of cash registers than truncheons. And those investments are fairly evenly geographically distributed, according to CrunchBase data.
Some of the UK’s biggest rounds this year were in companies like the cloud call-center NewVoiceMedia, which raised $50 million from investors led by Technology Crossover Ventures, with participation from previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Highland Capital Partners Europe, Eden Ventures, Notion Capital, plus one strategic investor: the cloud-based CRM giant Salesforce.
WorldRemit, a money-transfer service, also raised a big round in one of the largest ever Series A financings for a European startup. Accel took all of the $40 million round.
“We like their focus on the long tail, and on the smaller corridors,” said Harry Nelis of the WorldRemit deal. “Instead of focusing on Sterling to euro or to U.S. dollars, what WorldRemit does is think of how to service, for example, Filipinos in Norway remitting back to the Philippines.”
Thanks to the big rounds for Nutmeg and WorldRemit financial services was one of the top targets for UK investors in the first half of the year. Other big sectors include mobile technologies, software and e-commerce companies, which each saw roughly $100 million in new commitments through the first half of the year.