CURATING LUXURY FOR THE DISCERNING TRAVELLER

Ready, Tech, Go: London’s tech investments

Ready, Tech, Go: London’s tech investments

London’s ‘Silicon Valley’ set a record this year for venture capital investment and figures show it is the world’s favourite capital for overseas companies to set up or expand in. So why is London’s tech scene booming, asks Farah Khalique

In the 10 years since Tech City – affectionately known as Silicon Roundabout – was launched, London has bolstered its reputation as a hub for technology companies to bloom and home-grown talent to shine. Foreign direct investment (FDI) is flowing freely into the city, a recent survey by the Financial Times revealed.  

The capital has won 916 tech FDI projects over the past decade – more than any other tech city globally – which are worth almost £10 billion to the economy and have created more than 27,600 jobs. In the past year, 91 international tech companies either expanded or set up a new hub in London, more than the number of new tech investment projects in New York and Paris combined.

Oct 7th 2019
Farah Khalique
Investment

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.

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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.”

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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
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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
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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

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