The private sector, independent network of 7,000 tech leaders, experts and investors, has released the findings of a new study into the impact of Brexit on London tech. The results show that access to capital and talent have both become more challenging in the past two years.
39 per cent of tech companies reported finding it harder to access capital in London, with this figure increasing to 60 per cent when asked if this challenge will increase over the next 12 months.
Nearly two thirds of London’s tech entrepreneurs have found it harder to attract international talent during Brexit negotiations, with 29 per cent claiming their staff have formally raised concerns around changing visa and immigration regulations.
Given these findings, it is perhaps no surprise that the technology industry remains highly supportive of the UK’s close relationship with Europe. When asked about the desired outcome from the ongoing negotiations, more than a third are hoping for no Brexit at all, whilst 23 per cent want a quick decision, regardless of the outcome.
An overwhelming majority of tech companies believe Brexit has damaged London’s international reputation.
However, despite the increasing challenges facing UK tech companies, confidence in the future success of London’s tech ecosystem remains strong. 82 per cent of tech companies believe that whilst other European tech hubs might see more demand for global tech HQs, London will retain its crown as the tech capital of Europe.
The research is being launched today at the Investor Showcase 2.0, a major event at Here East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, bringing together tech investors to share their perspectives on the future of London tech investment.
The event will give a platform to representatives from the most active investors in London – including BGF, Balderton Capital, Accel, LocalGlobe, Amadeus Capital and Lakestar. 800 tech leaders are expected to attend.
Tech London Advocates exists to campaign to address the challenges facing tech companies in the UK. As such, the organisation is also launching its newest working group – TLA VC. Run in partnership with Beringea, this working group will convene investors to increase access to capital in London.
Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates comments, “It is no surprise that London tech investment fell in 2018 when so many tech companies are experiencing investors deferring decisions until they see some clarity around Brexit. One thing is certain – the political situation is harming our fastest growing industry and making access to capital and talent harder than ever before.
“It is incumbent on the private sector to provide leadership in such uncertain times, to celebrate the strength and success of the industry to continue attracting investment and to work together as a community to address the challenges we face.
Gavin Poole, CEO, Here East comments, “London has a diverse and eclectic business community which lends itself perfectly to an ecosystem of experimentation and innovation through collaboration. This is what makes London a magnet for investment and those who hold ambition and creativity are drawn here from all over the world.
“We see this reflected in our tenants at Here East: from Sports Interactive, developers of the world-famous Football Manager and the V&A’s Collection and Research Centre who will be on site by 2023, to internationally-renowned UCL The Bartlett School of Architecture, the diversity across London’s businesses and institutions creates a uniquely vibrant investment landscape.”
Source: Business Matters