The UK has always captivated the sentiments of overseas private equity investors, as it has always been one of the leading countries in the worldwide tech industry. This is not just due to its world-class resources and encouraging policies, which favour the advanced technology utilised by many startups, but also its high-profile technology ecosystem and high-growth finance marketplace.
From a foreign investor’s perspective, the UK’s encouraging legal and governmental policies are the most significant attractors of foreign investment. The UK’s finance and technology ecosystem has matured since the financial crisis by standardising technology transfers and cross-board equity investment. The risk on overseas investment is reduced, and inflation on the finances of technology enterprises is prevented. As such, the technology transfer eco-chain, a two-way tactical operation, will inevitably balance out the overwhelming growth of technological innovation, as well as bridge the gap between the UK technology startup business and the international market.
Cocoon Networks focuses on Sino-UK equity investment and technology transfer. Backed by both governments, we allow technology startup enterprises to flourish, providing them with a nurturing technology ecosystem and potential of an alternative finance market. Research by IW Capital found that the attractiveness of SMEs to investors is resoundingly high; a survey uncovered that 71% of private investors with over £40,000 worth of investments feel confident in the growth capabilities of UK SMEs. In order to substantiate the reciprocal correlation of local SMEs, and open the floodgates of the international investment market, we are launching the largest European technology innovation centre in London, which offers a distinct technology innovation platform that will connect ambitious entrepreneurs and diversified business resources, including facilities like accelerators and mentoring services.
A short while ago, Cocoon assisted in organising a pre-conference to the Pujiang Innovation Forum- China’s most well-known technology and innovation event in London- to celebrate China-UK tech investment ties in the ongoing ‘golden era’ of Sino-UK relations. The pre-conference aimed to promote continued ties between the two countries and strengthen a two-way technology ecosystem, combining Chinese-backed investment funds with the capital’s thriving tech startup scene, as well as the wider UK. In the event, the Shanghai Innovation Centre and Shanghai Technology Exchange opened branches in the Cocoon Networks Innovation Centre to help develop start-ups.
As such, by placing technology organisations inside our international incubators, we strengthen bonds between the two nations’ technology and finance landscapes, offering UK SMEs a wider territory, with promising governmental resource in the process. One company that really caught people’s attention during the pre-conference uses virtual reality (VR) to facilitate house-viewings. It aims to allow a group, such as a family, to explore properties together in real-time, making decisions about which one suits them best without ever actually having to visit it.
UK-based SMEs prompt technology developments and innovation that reshapes the world that surrounds them, which will inexorably lead cross-board investments to a notable future. Besides, technology companies are absolutely dependent on talent, and the UK is bristling with it at the moment. Through combining the technology from the UK and, in particular, London, with Chinese capital, there is a huge opportunity to push innovative technologies out on a global scale. We want Chinese investors to see that the US and Israel are not the only places for investing in technology and the UK, second only to Silicon Valley in terms of tech innovation, is also a dominant player.
The rise of equity crowdfunding reflects that the UK has embraced oversea investment, as investors are confident in the growth capabilities of UK SMEs and have become far more open to directing their capital into growing businesses through verity of platforms. In SME Outlook 2016, conducted by The Aldermore, it is clear that almost four out of every ten (39%) businesses intend to expand the scale of their company in the next five years to foster growth. Furthermore, almost one fifth (19%) of SMEs plan to grow by joining forces with another business through a merger or acquisition.
Despite increasing uncertainty about the future path of the UK economy, due to the fallout of Brexit and the referendum, the ongoing two-way collaboration between China and the UK, indicate that SMEs in Britain are confident about investing in their businesses and attracting investors from overseas. This is the best way to entrench their position in the market. With a significant proportion of SMEs intending to scale up further than offshore countries, prospects for the UK’s SME market remain strong.