2019 was a record year for UK tech businesses in terms of equity investment, according to new figures from the British Business Bank.
According to a new report, equity investments jumped by more than a quarter last year (27 percent), reaching almost $5bn – the highest sum in the last nine years.
In terms of investments, tech is the single biggest industry in the country, accounting for almost half (47 percent) of all equity investment in UK SMEs (691 deals) last year.
Within the tech industry, software and life sciences attracted the most investment ($2.49bn and $671m respectively), while the SaaS vertical was responsible for the highest volume of deals (471, worth $3.11bn).
Investment value in SaaS companies also grew by 69 percent, compared to the same period last year, while the total value of equity investment in smaller UK businesses rose 24 percent, hitting $10.57bn last year.
The number of deals was also record-breaking, rising four per cent to 1,832 in total. Just over half of the deals (52 percent) took place outside London, with the South West, Scotland and Northern Ireland experiencing the greatest growth (rising by 34, 26 and 24 percent respectively).
“The British Business Bank’s Small Business Equity Tracker report illustrates a strong interest in growth stage investment in the equity market in 2019, with a particular focus on tech businesses,” said Alice Hu Wagner, Managing Director, Strategy Economics and Business Development at British Business Bank.
“Ensuring our high-potential later stage companies have the capital they need to compete on the global stage will be crucial to powering the economic recovery.”