I like this article recently published by Dave Hendrick, CEO of LiveIntent
Last week I moved my family from the safe suburban confines of Stamford, CT to the leafy Muswell Hill neighborhood of North London in support of LiveIntent’s expansion into the UK and Europe.
Why London? One reason is the business climate.
London has become a legitimate contender in the business of technology. According to London and Partners, VC funding in London’s technology sector reached $682 million in Q1 2015. This represented a 66% increase over Q1 2014. Total investment in the UK Technology sector totaled $856 million in Q1 2015. On any level this is significant, but it is even more significant because the London market has so few ‘Unicorns’ in that number. Only one company in the report – World Remit – received an investment of more than $100 million. ‘Unicorns’ usually require investments of $100 million or more to achieve their valuations, so the fact that only one of those occurred means that UK Investments are true ‘earlier-stagers’.
While VC tech investing is just getting started in the UK, as compared to Silicon Valley or New York, the market for technology services is well-established in the UK. Imagine your favorite US-founded consumer service – it will expand here if it isn’t already. Imagine the B2B service that you can’t live without – it will expand here if it doesn’t get copied.
Progressive Investment and knowledge-sharing programs from the UK Government branch UKTI and TechCity are reaching across the city and across the ocean to attract and nurture relationships with technology companies and entrepreneurs. Visa programs have been established to support immigration and business-creation. Co-working spaces like WeWork have expanded aggressively in London to help start-ups focus on their operations and create community.
The rapid adoption of mobile technologies and the ‘sharing economy’ have only made London and the UK in general, an attractive market for investment.
LiveIntent is very excited to be part of this burgeoning tech scene. The next decade will show London to be a leader not only in Finance, but also in fashion, food and forward-thinking innovation.
Dave Hendrick, CEO LiveIntent