Tech experts put this success down to the city’s high concentration of growth capital, talent and corporate headquarters, as well as a strong reputation as Europe’s finance hub and a customer base open to new ideas.
US Financial Technologies (FinTech), Karma, is one of the many overseas companies expanding in the UK. Co-founder, Nichole Mustard, calls London “one of the top centres of FinTech innovation” and points to the UK’s early adoption of “open banking” rules.
These rules mean that big banks now have to share their customer data with third parties – with their customers’ permission, of course – which paves the way for nimble FinTechs to offer new products and services to patrons.
This winning set of circumstances makes London a natural home for FinTechs; in fact, it is just behind New York and Silicon Valley as a global start-up ecosystem. London-based FinTechs, such as GoCardless, Starling Bank, Onfido and TransferWise, pulled in just south of half a billion pounds from eager investors this year.
London’s reputation is bolstered by the commitment of the world’s leading companies to build their presence in the city. Apple will open a new campus in 2021 at Battersea Power Station, Google is opening a new headquarters in King’s Cross and Facebook is on a hiring spree to double its headcount. Amazon UK, Microsoft, Spotify and LinkedIn are also making waves in the capital.
And Mayor Sadiq Khan is keen to push the sector even further: “London’s tech sector is envied across the globe,” he says. “I’m determined to ensure we become the world’s leading tech hub.”
THE TECH YOU NEED ON A BUSINESS STAY IN LONDON
Make sure your business trip goes smoothly withour selection of the top luxury travel gadgets.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, £349.95
Get some much-needed quiet time on the plane to nap or perfect that work pitch with the latest noise-cancelling headphones from Bose. Revel in an audio-augmented experience with these smart headphones that do more than just block out the world – you can connect to your voice assistant or take a work call using its powerful microphone system. bose.co.uk
Aspinal of London Large Mount Street Laptop Bag, £650
Look classic but stay connected with this black Saffiano leather laptop bag that can fit an internal battery charger pack, with cable paths for charging on the go, and a padded compartment for your laptop. Dual top straps and a detachable strap make this a good option for travelling to business meetings. aspinaloflondon.com
VARIDESK ProPlus 36 Standing Desk, £365
Are you working in the London office on your business trip? Reply to those emails and take care of your health at the same time with a standing desk. Alternating your desk-side posture can lower the chance of cardiovascular disease. The ProPlus 36 requires no assembly and is height adjustable. uk.varidesk.com
Savoir Beds The Three Sixty, POA
Check in to the Savoy or Hotel 41 to sleep in The Three Sixty, an extraordinary bed from luxury British bed maker, Savoir Beds. You can rotate the bed using an app, catch up on emails under its reading lights and charge your devices with its power and USB outlets. This magnificent bed has it all. savoirbeds.com
Steamery Cirrus Travel Steamer, £110
Throw this hand steamer into your carry-on and avoid turning up to a meeting in crumpled business attire post-travel. It’s small, easy to use and heats up in just 25 seconds. steamery.co.uk