Tech investment hits new heights in London


London's technology companies have attracted a record amount of investment over the year to date, new research showed, but the city still has some way to go before it takes on its Californian rival Silicon Valley.

More than $1 billion in venture capital has been raised by London's tech firms in the first three quarters of 2014, according to promotional company London & Partners, which is funded by the Mayor of London, on Monday.

London's Old Street roundabout, often dubbed "Silicon Roundabout."
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Investment of $1.021 billion in 2014 marks a 30 percent rise on the amount raised in London during the whole of 2013, and is ten times more than 2010's total investment.

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Investor Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital, described this as an "astonishing" rate of growth, and "testament to the exciting innovation that's happening in London".

But although the amount of investment might be booming in London, the total amount remains substantially below that of its rival – and original tech hub – Silicon Valley.

London & Capital said that $719.3 million was raised by tech firms in London in 2013; by contrast, total funding in Silicon Valley came in at $10.06 billion, according to data from venture capital database CB Insights.

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The game of venture capital

But London & Capital insisted that as the British capital develops its reputation as a tech hub, fundraising will only get easier for London tech firms – as demonstrated by the growing size of the funding rounds.

Three British tech firms managed to raise over $50 million over the period, the research showed. Food-ordering site successfully completed a funding round of $102.7 million, high-end retailer raised $66 million and peer-to-peer lending network Funding Circle received $65 million in investment.

Other big fundraisers (which completed rounds of over $30 million) included cloud software company eCommera (now OrderDynamics), money transfer start-up WorldRemit and investment management service Nutmeg.

London has been on something of a PR-push in an effort to establish itself as a viable alternative to its U.S. tech hub rivals, with the city's inaugural Tech Week taking place in June this year.

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who has led the charge, said Monday's research demonstrated that an "incredible period for technology firms in our city" was underway.

"Tech is blossoming and our reputation for innovation and discovery, allied with outstanding talent, is attracting record breaking levels of investment from around the globe," he said in a statement.

-By CNBC's Katrina Bishop