Tech News: May 31st

Media Image

London has retained its crown as Europe’s most attractive city for foreign investment despite a slower-than-expected recovery from a pandemic slump, fresh data has revealed. The capital recorded foreign direct investment (FDI) into 394 projects last year, up from 383 in 2020, according to data from big four firm EY. Analysts at EY said that overall funding levels into the capital remained subdued on pre-pandemic levels, as a shift in investor sentiment towards manufacturing projects had sparked a slowdown in London’s digital sector. Just 194 digital projects in London attracted investment last year, down from 289 in 2019. EY’s chief economist said that investment into the rest of the country had also risen at a sharper rate than the capital as investors pumped cash into the so-called levelling up agenda. City AM

Britishvolt — an electric vehicle battery company building what will be the UK’s largest gigafactory — has announced plans for a separate £200m “scaleup” facility in the UK’s West Midland. Britishvolt’s gigafactory, in Cambois in the northeast of England, will be the UK’s first large-scale battery plant. It’s set to open in late 2023 or early 2024. The newly announced site is separate to that and will be used to develop new battery types and test existing ones before they’re manufactured en masse to customers. The company says the move will allow it to develop higher performance and more affordable cells. Earlier this month, Britishvolt acquired German battery cell developer EAS and Bulgarian manufacturer Monbat to help scale its own production. The deal was worth $38.6m. Sifted


Despite the U.K. having one of the most robust startup ecosystems in Europe, not all is well in the country. Post-covid inflation fears and the sluggish growth of the economy are blowing the froth off the country's enterprise culture. In desperate attempts to prevent their businesses from going into liquidation, an ever-increasing number of young entrepreneurs under the age of 35 are using their own money to run the business as cost of the living starts taking a toll. 74 per cent of entrepreneurs said they have had to rely on personal finance to keep their business afloat. This was revealed in another recent research by the Parliament Street think tank. Of this figure, 31 per cent said they had to dip into their personal savings on more than one occasion in a desperate attempt to prevent their business from going into liquidation. Tech EU


Venture capital firm Atomico, which has backed several fintechs including Stripe and Klarna, has hired former Revolut executive Don Hoang as a partner. Hoang headed up Revolut’s strategic initiatives as its VP global business and before that was director of business for Uber, responsible for its commercial efforts. Hoang, who in his earlier career was a private equity investor with Terrra Firma, and has been an angel investor as part of US venture capital firm’s Sequoia Scout Program, joins Atomico, as it looks to raise $1.35bn in new funds for financing startups. Atomico was founded in 2006 by Niklas Zennström, the founder of Skype, and has grown into one of the largest venture capital investors in Europe. According to Atomico, Hoang will head up investments across the venture and growth stages with a focus on earlier stage firms. Altfi


Revolut is looking to hire an Investor Relations team, a move that could mark the starting gun on its long-awaited stock market listing. The job advert, published on Revolult's careers page, is for a head of Investor Relations with public company experience, who will be responsible for building a team and hiring up to two Investor Relations analysts. The CEO and co-founder of Revolut, Nik Storonsky, is on record saying Revolut’s IPO will happen at some point, but in an interview last year suggested it could be some wait. In September last year Storonsky told Bloomberg: “To be able to IPO successfully, we need to be at least in the few billion dollars range of revenue a year." Revolut’s adjusted annual revenue was £261m ($359m) in 2020. A report in Business Insider last month also said Revolut would not list this year. Altfi