2015 was a record-breaking year for the UK’s venture capital scene.
UK tech companies raised over £2.5 billion last year, up 70 percent from the £1.4 billion raised in 2014.
Whether the market will stay as buoyant this year is currently open to debate. 2015 has set a high bar to aim for.
Peer-to-peer lending, money transfer and other fintech ventures made up almost half of the investments, underlining London’s reputation as the capital of fintech in Europe, maybe even the world. The rest of the funding went to startups with niches in augmented reality, fashion, furniture, food and luxury travel.
Here were the top 10 biggest VC deals in 2015, from highest to lowest value…
1. £102 million: Funding Circle
Peer-to-peer lending service Funding Circle, which lets savers lend money directly to small and medium-sized businesses, raised £102 million in April 2015 in a round led by DST Global. In November 2015 the company raised £150 million by listing on the London Stock Exchange, selling shares at £1 each.
2. £66 million: Deliveroo
In November 2015, restaurant food delivery service Deliveroo raised £66 million in a Series D funding round led by DST Global and Greenoaks Capital. The funding round was its third in just one year. Existing investors Index Ventures, Hummingbird Ventures and Accel also participated, taking the London startup’s total value to over £130 million.
3. £65 million: WorldRemit
In February 2015 money transfer startup WorldRemit raised £65 million in a funding round led by Silicon Valley venture capitalists Technology Crossover Ventures, with participation from existing investor Accel Partners. The company is now valued at £324 million.
4. £59 million: FarFetch
FarFetch, a luxury fashion website selling products from independent boutiques, raised £59 million in March 2015 in a Series E round of investment led by DST Global, bringing its value to £687 million (the much-vaunted $1 billion ‘unicorn’ status). Existing investors Condé Nast International and Vitruvian Partners also participated in the funding round.
5. £57 million: Ebury Partners
Fintech startup Ebury Partners, which helps small firms that trade internationally, raised £57 million in November 2015 in a round led by private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, with participation from existing investor 83 North.
6. £45 million: Deliveroo
Another earlier deal for Deliveroo in July 2015 made the top 10 list. It raised £45 million in a funding round led by Greenoaks Capital and Index Ventures, with existing investors Hoxton Ventures and Accel increasing their stakes in the startup.
7. £41 million: MADE.com
Online designer furniture retailer MADE.com raised £41 million in a July 2015 funding round led by Partech Growth Fund and supported by Fidelity Growth Partners (now branded 'Eight Roads Ventures') plus existing investor Level Equity.
8. £41 million: Secret Escapes
Luxury online travel company Secret Escapes raised £41 million in July 2015 in a funding round led by Octopus Investments and Google Ventures (which has since ditched its European investment fund). Existing investors Index Ventures and Atlas Venture also participated.
9. £40 million: TransferWise
UK-based peer-to-peer money transfer service TransferWise raised £40 million in January 2015 in a Series C funding round led by US VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, with previous investors Valar Ventures, Index Ventures and Seedcamp also taking part.
10. £31 million: Blippar
UK firm Blippar, which sells an augmented reality visual browsing app, raised £31 million in March 2015 from undisclosed investors.