Growth Capital investment in the UK is continuing to grow year on year and we are seeing UK companies (e.g. Deliveroo and former ELITE company SkyScanner) making a global impact and attracting significant overseas investment.
A number of the world’s leading technology companies have demonstrated their long-term commitment to investing in London of the last couple of years. e.g.:
• Google which has put forward a £1billion investment plan for a new headquarters in King’s Cross;
• Facebook’s announcement of an additional 500 jobs for London;
• Apple’s decision to build their new headquarters in Battersea Power Station; and
• Softbank’s significant commitment to invest into UK technologies
These companies’ commitment highlights the strength of UK technology companies and, with investment capital from overseas growing, we recognise that the ELITE companies would benefit from accessing international investment.
With the international market trends showing great potential ELITE is delighted to announce the launch of a partnership with the Department of International Trade (“DIT”), working in collaboration with their Growth Investing Team to provide international capital opportunities for our UK based companies. ELITE launched the partnership at the London Stock Exchange with the DIT AI Showcase.
The UK not only has a growing technology industry but specifically has a growing AI market with UK businesses applying AI across all sectors, AI is estimated to add £654bn ($804bn) to UK's economy by 2035 (Accenture study).
There are more than 1000 innovative AI start-ups & SMEs in UK, many of which have completed successful exits and are internationally successful. This is more than Germany & France combined (MMC Ventures 2019 ).
The UK Government has, for the first time, committed a funding package of £0.95bn (of $1.17bn) to support the sector. The AI Sector Deal focuses on improving access to data, supply of skills, maximizing UK AI research and supporting uptake of AI.
In addition, the UK has a great entrepreneurship ecosystem with existing incubators and accelerators which can support AI start-ups, an example being Entrepreneur First. This ecosystem is supported by academic institutions which conduct research that result in many university spin-outs being created.
Having outstanding universities and new Centres for Doctoral Training has contributed to the UK’s reputation as a hub for diverse talent and skills, not least within the UK AI community which is strong and supportive, fostering creativity and collaboration. UK universities, including Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford, London, and Bristol also have solid clusters as internationally recognised universities with expertise in AI.
ELITE were delighted to host the ‘DIT AI Showcase’ on 15th November 2019, which brought together 11 of the UK’s innovative AI companies, pre-selected by the DIT’s growth team, with and audience of 80+ international investors. The participating companies included: CENTURY Tech, Caristo, Sensum, mind foundry, Black Swan Data, SLAMcore, our very own ELITE company, SafeToNet, Dogtooth Technologies, Streetbees, CloudNC andIeso Health.
The event was opened by key-note speaker David Weinberger Ph.D. senior researcher and best-selling author on the effect of technology on ideas. David shared the story of growth of technology, particularly, AI and how it is shaping the way businesses are thinking.
The aim of the event was to support the innovative AI companies in making connections with an audience of international investors who are seeking high quality companies in which to invest capital and so support the UK economy. The event had strong attendance from the Venture Capital and Corporate Venture Capital communities and we were excited to host: Octopus Ventures, Accenture Ventures, Albion VC, Forward Partners, Sky Ventures, Saudi Aramco Ventures and Samsung Ventures to name just a few.
Helping companies grow is at the core of the ELITE business, not only through the support provided as part of the ELITE programme but also in assisting them in raising the capital they need to achieve their next stage of growth. In this context, we understand the importance of helping our companies engage with the investor community and welcome the invaluable feedback provided by participants on this aspect of our business:
“We found the ELITE and DIT showcase an incredibly rewarding event. Raising capital is a time-consuming process and crucial to any fast-growing business. The ELITE and DIT showcase allowed SafeToNet to present its child online safeguarding solution to a significant number of high-calibre investors who were selected to attend because of their interest in AI and companies like ours. We are grateful of these opportunities that ELITE provide to us, and without events like this it could take us weeks if not months to meet investors of this quality. I could not recommend the event more highly. Thank you to both ELITE and the DIT for the opportunity” Richard Pursey, Chief Executive Officer – SafeToNet
ELITE runs a number of its own investor forums annually and has found real value in seeking appropriate partners who align with us to support the scale up companies in the UK ELITE ecosystem, to help them reach their growth goals.
If you want to hear more about our investor engagement business and the opportunities it could provide you and your business, or to learn about the various initiatives coming up in 2020, please contact Kelly Perry, ELITE Investor Liaison & Partnership Manager. Based in London, Kelly has 13+ years’ experience working with the professional investor network across Europe and the US.
Kelly Perry I firstname.lastname@example.org I +44 207 797 1849