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2018 has been a very buoyant year for the venture capital industry.
Almost 5 billion of capital has been deployed over the course of the year.
The theme we’ve seen across that is actually larger deals and fewer of them.
On the private capital side companies like Darktrace saw an incredibly successful valuation which launched them into the Unicorn Club.
And some of the challenger banks, like Monzo and Revolut, also had incredibly successful years with great fund raisings.
During 2018 some of the tech themes we saw were around the proliferation of AI and firmly embedding itself as the technology of 2018.
Block Chain is starting to come through but there are some issues around how that can be really deployed into industry and how it can really work.
But more broadly seeing tech permeate its way into all industries and really be able to help traditional industries be disrupted and changed has really been a theme for the course of the year.
I think one of the key challenges we’re going to see during 2019 is around valuations particularly as more capital finds its way into the VC industry.
Data from Pitch Book published earlier in 2018 showed that almost two times more capital was raised by funds than was deployed.
Data published by TechStars during 2018 showed that as a share of early stage investment levels.
France’s proportion has really grown significantly over the last few years.
Now as that early stage investment level grows to being later stage that could really challenge the UK’s dominance.
For me the opportunities for 2019 are all focused on the founder and entrepreneurs.
It’s a really buoyant time to be a founder operating and starting a brand new business.
If you’ve got a credible idea in a disruptive and innovative market there’s tonnes of support right across the UK for you.
Whether that’s government support in the way of visa schemes to bring in technical talent from across the globe.
Or accelerator programs and incubators not just here in London and around the Silicon roundabout eco-system but right across the UK.
And also capital.
There’s lots of capital there ready and waiting to be deployed for really sensible credible commercial opportunities.
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