Salesforce has announced it will be investing $4bn in its UK business over the next five years – marking a major boost for the UK tech industry.

The US cloud-based software company’s latest investment follows its previous five-year investment of $2.5bn in 2018.

Salesforce, a provider of enterprise cloud computing solutions, said its investment is backed by a high demand for artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformations.

In a statement released on June 29, the company said: “Salesforce is experiencing rapid growth in the UK as companies invest in their digital transformations and leverage the incredible innovation cycle around artificial intelligence.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the investment a “ringing endorsement” of the country’s economy – just weeks after he called the UK a global leader in AI.

Sunak added: “It will strengthen the company’s UK presence, increasing capacity, as well as creating vital jobs, reinforcing our position as one of their largest markets outside of the US.”

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The news comes after the UK received criticism from Microsoft president Brad Smith for the Competition and Markets Authority’s decision to block the company’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

Talking to the BBC, Smith said: “It does more than shake our confidence in the future of the opportunity to grow a technology business in Britain than we’ve ever confronted before.

“People are shocked, people are disappointed, and people’s confidence in technology in the UK has been severely shaken. There’s a clear message here – the EU is a more attractive place to start a business than the UK.”

According to GlobalData, Salesforce reported revenues of $31.3m for the fiscal year ending January 2023, an increase of 18.3% over 2022.