Skip to main content

London is Europe’s biggest hub for generative AI

A recent report highlights London as Europe’s primary center for generative artificial intelligence (genAI), with nearly 30% of Europe’s new startups headquartered in the UK capital. The study, conducted by venture capital firm Accel and Dealroom, analyzed 221 startups and their founders across Europe and Israel over six months, with funding data current as of June 11, 2024.

Funding Dynamics in Europe

While London is the epicenter for genAI startups, France tops the charts for venture capital investment. Between 2021 and 2024, France secured $2.29 billion (€2.1 billion) in venture capital for its AI startups, outpacing the UK’s $1.15 billion (€1 billion). Germany also attracted significant investment, receiving $636 million (€593.6 million) over the same period.

Growth Projections for 2024

The report forecasts that generative AI startups in Europe and Israel will amass over $45 billion (€41.9 billion) in funding by the end of 2024, a substantial increase from $25 billion (€23.3 billion) in 2023. Accel defines generative AI as technology capable of creating text, images, videos, or other data.

Key Factors for the UK’s Success

The UK’s prominence in genAI is partly attributed to the establishment of DeepMind in 2015, which has been pivotal in the industry for over a decade. Additionally, many AI founders hail from leading UK universities such as Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Oxford, often receiving backing from major tech companies. For instance, Google partnered with the University of Cambridge for a multi-year research collaboration and an AI center inspired by human intelligence. In April, Microsoft announced the opening of a new AI research office in London, further boosting the UK’s AI momentum.

France’s AI Powerhouses

Despite London’s status as a startup hub, three of Europe’s most well-funded AI companies are based in France: Mistral AI, Owkin, and Hugging Face. Recently, Mistral AI secured €600 million in new funding, with support from Microsoft and OpenAI. The success of French AI companies is fueled by the country’s strong pool of math, computer science, and engineering graduates from esteemed institutions like the École Normale Supérieure, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, and École Polytechnique.

The Role of French Universities

The high quality of graduates from these universities has attracted major tech firms to France. Meta established its Fundamental AI Research (FAIR) lab in 2015, followed by Google, which now employs 300 researchers and engineers at its Paris AI hub.

In conclusion, while London stands as Europe’s leading hub for generative AI startups, France dominates in terms of funding, driven by its robust educational infrastructure and substantial investment in AI research and development.

At Cornerstone, we are a global mobility company dedicated to helping individuals, companies, and employees relocate seamlessly. Contact usfor expert assistance in making your move to London or any other top destination a success.

Want to hear more?

Get on board