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London retains tech start-up crown: study

Tech Talk

London - London is Europe's most attractive city for technology start-ups, despite a sharp slowdown last year, a study showed Wednesday.

With Brexit looming, the Mayor's promotional agency London & Partners said that £1.8 billion ($2.3 billion, 2.0 billion euros) was invested in fledgling tech businesses in 2018. That represented a near 30-per cent slump in 2017 and was the first slowdown in six years, L&P said in a statement.

But London's 2018 total was still double the level of Berlin, which stood in second place at £936.53 million, while Paris was third with £797.04 million. Investment is being propelled by a "significant" increase in funding for emerging sectors such as fintech -- or financial technology -- as well as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain.

Britain continues to be a major force in European tech, with a growing stable of so-called "unicorns", private companies that are worth more than $1.0 billion each. Such titans include online banks Monzo and Revolut.

Britain's entire tech start-up sector raised almost £2.5 billion last year, down 20.2 percent from 2017.However, the comparison was skewed because 2017 saw vast deals, including food courier Deliveroo, virtual reality specialist Improbable and money transfer firm TransferWise, that did not materialise last year.

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