Internationalisation and localisation: Foreign venture capital investments in the United Kingdom

Richard Harrison, Yohanna Babangida, Yannis Pierrakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Venture capital plays a significant role in economic development through the emergence of new firms, technologies, industries and markets. This role, however, is associated with systemic uneven development regionally as both the supply of venture capital and the investment in new and growing ventures is highly concentrated regionally in the core economic regions of a country. Over the past decade this intra-national regional concentration has been accompanied by an increasing internationalisation of the VC industry as cross-border investment becomes more significant. In this paper we explore the implications of this internationalisation for regional economic development in the UK. We conclude that the geography of venture capital in the UK has been shaped since the turn of the century by a significant increase in venture capital investments made by foreign funds, mainly in the form of co-investments with local funds. These foreign venture capital investments are primarily concentrated in London, Southeast England and East of England which collectively attracted 82.5 percent of all foreign VC investments made to UK companies in 2017, strongly reinforcing the existing spatial concentration of VC investment. The paper concludes by questioning whether this increased dependency of these regions on foreign venture capital matters to regional development, and draws out some of the implications for public policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-256
JournalLocal Economy
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • foreign venture capital
  • cross-border investment
  • internationalisation
  • regional development

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