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

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.”


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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.


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.


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