In 2016, the UK secured £6.8bn in Venture and Private Equity investment. Over 1.64million people are currently employed in UK digital tech. London has hosted over 22000 meetups, Silicon Roundabout is home to over 1300 businesses, Since 2010, the value of UK Venture funding has been over $10bn, with London attracting greater than 50% of that number.
London is open. London is growing, London is becoming a tech mecca - so why is it so much on the rise and what makes it a great place to raise your startup? What are the key differences between London and San Francisco that are accelerating London’s startup community?
London embraces all industries in a holistic customer orientated environment. Finance is major, large companies have a base. The accessibility of public transport to visit several potential customers in a day means the acceleration of product market fit and personal relationships with customers is intensified. As the world of tech start-ups shifts to a greater industrial focus and the reinvention of the install base of traditional industries, London will be the place to connect daily, face to face with customers.
In Europe, there has been a seed change in the past 3-5 years which will continue to accelerate. Millennials and indeed the passionate and the driven are no longer saying yes to working in banking or consulting or industry, the top talent is saying yes to starting companies and to doing that in mass.
Within London and her reach are 4 of the top 15 research insinuations in the world - UCL, Imperial, Oxford and Cambridge - that take research from incubation to spin out to seed to world class companies. The key minds in fields of deep learning, agriculture, computer science, manufacturing are embracing the advisor and mentors role for start-ups and eventually joining those companies creating pools of deep tech companies.
Developer talent continues to grow and open markets attract the best from across Europe to grow this generation of company. Facebook, Amazon and Apple have all made commitments to London as a key part of their strategy. As this core base of start-up talent pool continues to evolve, the ecosystem and whole talent pyramid grows.
There is no disputing the values of funding available in San Francisco are higher than London and that it attracts a greater share of the global venture capital investment– in some cases up to 7 times– the numbers speak for themselves. There is a fundamental difference though – after all not all money is created equal.
In London and part of her continued rise is the fundamental belief that funding is there to back great entrepreneurs, to work with them through the challenges at an early stage level, to help create the ecosystem at every level. It’s not about simply picking winners within pools of many – it’s backing fully the right mix of talent, idea, tech and market to bring a cylindrical energy system into fully functioning order.
London – the right base for your startup?
So any entrepreneur considering where their base should be – think through:
· Where are my customers based and where can we enable the closest proximity to a cluster of them?
· What kind of talent and culture do we want to cultivate and where can we access that?
· What type and culture of funding makes sense for us?
· What continued legacy do we wish to be part of?
For ‘London goes beyond any boundary or convention. It contains every wish or word ever spoken, every action or gesture ever made, every harsh or noble statement ever expressed. It is illimitable. It is Infinite London’ Peter Ackroyd, London: The Biography (2000)
To find out more about London, including further detail on numbers: