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Tech Investments At Highest Since Dot.Com Days? Surely Some Mistake…

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The amount of investment finance going in to UK and Irish technology companies last year was the highest since 2001, and even 15 percent more than 2007, according to a new report from corporate finance advisor Ascendant.

That flies in the face of doom and gloom which holds that VCs would sit on their cash during the downturn – but Ascendant MD Stuart McKnight says he’s “triple-checked” his analysis, compiled from seven different sources: “It would be tempting to say that VCs are retreating to the safe haven of later stage deals and increasing syndication to reduce their risk, but at this time there is very little evidence to support this.”

Specifically, McKnight says, just over £1 billion was invested in 253 deals of over £500,000 in 2008 – that’s 4.5 percent more deals and 14.8 percent more cash than the year before. Thirty-eight percent of the deals and 23 percent of the cash were in first-round hand-outs, suggesting startups were viewed positively. Amongst the biggest recipients were SpinVox (£50 million) and Real Time Worlds (£20 million), though the report is missing the likes of <a href="" title="Blyk's big