London attracts record overseas tech investment

London attracted a record number of investments from Silicon Valley IT firms last year, according to new data.

Think London, the agency responsible for promoting the capital to overseas investors, said 2006 saw 250 such investments, up 40% on the previous year – and technology is largely responsible.

America accounted for 54% of investments in the city, while 15% came from the tech mecca of California, which contributed 25 tech-specific investments in London – the largest industry sector.

Foreign tech investments are now at a greater level than even the dotcom boom of the late nineties, reported.

Google, MySpace and Bebo have all opened London offices in the last 12 months, and now Think London has opened an office in San Francisco to attract still more companies over from the heart of the Valley.

The agency recently reported 43% of US tech executives regard London as the global technology and creative hub, second only to San Francisco.

“The London ICT market, worth $27 billion, and growing by more than 6% per year, is the largest ICT city economy in Europe,” it said.

“More than one in eight of all global investment projects into London originate in California, and nearly half of these are from the ICT sector.”