In U.K., VC Cash Highest Since Dot Com Bust

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In U.K., VC Cash Highest Since Dot Com Bust

Venture capitalist investments in Britain and Ireland are the highest since 2001, say analysts.

Venture capital investment in U.K. and Irish technology companies is at its highest level since the inglorious end of the dot com bubble 12 years ago.

That’s the conclusion of corporate finance group Ascendant, which says 2012 saw over a billion pounds ($1.5 billion) of VC funding released to promising tech firms in the two countries.

That £1.01 billion number is up from 2011’s £788m ($1.2 billion), while the number of target companies being helped also rose — to 232 U.K. and Irish companies in 2012 from 193 in 2011.

There are even more backers, too: 248 investors cut checks to contender companies they liked last year, as opposed to 2011’s 228 in 2011. All in all, 93 London technology companies got growth capital in the period, says the group, followed by 17 in Dublin, 14 in Cambridge, 12 in Edinburgh and 10 in Oxford.

That’s the highest VC outlay locally since a 2001 high-water mark of almost twice that — £1.9 billion ($2.9 billion) — and it’s being regarded as a significant milestone in U.K. business circles.

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