Investment – Tech boom boosts start-ups

Accountancy firms should take advantage of the boom in European technology investment, says PricewaterhouseCoopers, which launches its first annual report on the sector today.

European technology investment reached a record ECU 4bn (£2.7bn) in 1998, with start-up companies benefiting from the most interest, opening the way for firms to advise on a range of services from potential venture capital partners to human resource requirements.

The survey, conducted with the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, found that technology investment increased by 75% with the total number of investments made up from 2,113 in 1997 to 2,998. UK-led investments accounted for 44% or ECU 1.8bn.

Keith Arundale, director of PwC’s business development for the European technology group, commented: ‘The results are very encouraging with a greater number of firms needing a whole range of services and advice.’

The trend has encouraged a major shift in corporate activity from management buy-outs to interest in start-up companies.

The report found the number of start-up investments increased from 1,160 to 2,071 and the number of start-ups financed almost doubled from 956 to 1,793. The amount invested rose to ECU 1.5 bn.

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