US Venture Capital Firms Back London Tech Companies Post-Brexit

London ranks as Europe’s leading destination for technology and financial services, and is the best city in which to build a European operation according to a post-Brexit survey of over two hundred senior US tech executives.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will announce the findings today in New York during his international trade mission to North America, aimed at strengthening business ties between London and the US following the EU referendum vote.

The findings of the poll commissioned by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional company, reveals that the majority of tech execs surveyed rank London as Europe’s leading tech hub ahead of other cities such as Berlin, Paris and Dublin. Fifty seven per cent also view London as Europe’s leading financial services centre ahead of Frankfurt, Zurich and Amsterdam.

Further analysis of the survey, which was conducted in August after the EU referendum vote, shows that London is seen as the number one destination for US tech executives looking to establish a European operation. The American tech leaders citied London’s superior access to finance, rich talent pool and ease of doing business, in terms of favourable time zones and lack of language barriers.

Khan will today address leading figures from New York and London’s tech and business communities at an event hosted at WeWork’s HQ in New York City. He will call for greater collaboration between London and US tech hubs such as New York, and declare that London remains open for US businesses.

Khan stated;  “Our great city has long been at the very forefront of financial services. When you combine that with our new-found technological expertise, it creates an unrivalled opportunity for companies looking to break into the European market. Despite the country’s decision to leave the European Union, there is no doubt that London will continue to be the booming and successful city it is today, open to talent and creativity from across the world and a leading destination for American business.”

Speaking alongside the mayor at today’s event, Rich Riley, CEO of London-based Shazam, added: “New York and London have always shared an entrepreneurial spirit in creating new and emerging technologies. Since Shazam is based in London, we have always benefited from cultivating this vital relationship between these two innovative cities. I am honored to welcome Mayor Sadiq Khan to New York in support of his message to America that London is open for business.”

Separate research shows that US venture capital investors are similarly undeterred by the UK’s vote to leave the EU. US investment into the UK’s tech sector remains robust with companies attracting more than $500 million since June 23rd. London has received more investment than any other major European tech hub, with London’s tech companies attracting $425 million across 33 deals since the Brexit vote – that’s more than Dublin, Paris and Amsterdam combined2.

Over the last five years London’s booming tech sector has been an increasingly attractive investment destination. American VCs have pumped $4.4 billion into London’s tech businesses, more than the amount invested in companies based in other rival tech hubs such as Berlin, Stockholm and Dublin2.

Jan Hammer, partner at Index Ventures, San Francisco and London-based venture capital firm said: “We believe that for the foreseeable future London will remain the preeminent European base for startups and retain its role as a key launchpad for US companies expanding to Europe. There is no denying that the Brexit vote has created uncertainty about the future relationship with the EU and the impact it will have on hiring and trade, however, all of these changes will take years to negotiate before they come into effect and should not deter companies from expanding into the capital. Our investment strategy hasn’t changed and we are encouraged by the steps the Mayor of London is taking to protect London’s leading role in Europe.”

Gordon Innes, CEO London & Partners added: “The success of London’s tech sector is built on strong foundations of innovation, a diverse talent pool and a thriving culture of entrepreneurship. Despite the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, London remains Europe’s leading tech and financial hub in the eyes of leading US investors and tech executives. But we must seize the opportunity of forging closer working relationships with other global tech hubs such as New York to strengthen our tech ecosystem and show that London is very much open for business.”

During his appearance at the technology focused event in New York, the Mayor will highlight that London should be the first choice for US tech companies considering business markets outside the US. He will urge them to follow the example of two New York based businesses, which will today confirm that they are expanding their operations in London.

To coincide with the Mayor’s visit to New York, WeWork announced it will be opening two additional spaces in London: London Fields in Hackney and a new flagship location, Aldwych House, near Covent Garden. WeWork is already one of the largest New York-based companies to invest in London with 10 locations across London and over 10,000 members.

In addition, in partnership with The Entrepreneur Network, WeWork is launching “Mission Possible,” an entrepreneurship program designed to support mission-driven companies through access to the WeWork platform while facilitating service in the local community.

Adam Neumann, co-Founder and CEO, WeWork: “We are delighted to be hosting the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and their #LondonIsOpen delegation at WeWork Headquarters today. London is WeWork’s second largest market after New York with 10,000 members, this underlines WeWork’s commitment to London’s entrepreneurial community and our integral role in London’s future as a center for companies both large and small.”

BounceX, a New York based marketing software company, recently announced it has chosen London as the location for its European headquarters and first office outside of the United States. The announcement comes only weeks after the Inc. 5000 named BounceX the #1 fastest growing software company in America in 2016. BounceX will use London as base to continue this growth by expanding into international markets. The company plans to employ over 300 people in its London office over the next five years.

Ryan Urban, Co-Founder and CEO of BounceX said: “As a high-growth company, BounceX is always looking for opportunities to further our reach and better serve our clients,” said Ryan Urban, Co-Founder and CEO of BounceX. “Our European client base is always on the rise so London’s vibrant tech community was the obvious choice for our first foray into international expansion,” he continued. “Our London team is not only well positioned to serve the needs of existing clients, but will also be able to meet the growing demand for the BounceX platform among European businesses.”

The Mayor will also be joined at the event by a trade delegation of thirty of London’s fastest growing technology companies looking to secure investment and explore export opportunities into America. The US is the UK’s largest single trading partner and is the destination for 20 per cent of all UK exports3. The delegation is being led by the Deputy Mayor for Business and London & Partners Chairman, Rajesh Agrawal, as part of the Mayor’s International Business Programme.

At the event the Mayor will demonstrate new technology from London-based cleantech start-up Pavegen, which today announced the launch of its V3 smart tile technology for the US market. The Mayor will join Pavegen founder and CEO, Laurence Kemball-Cook in showing how Pavegen’s flooring technology can turn footsteps into renewable electricity by stepping on some tiles to light up a #LondonIsOpen sign. The Mayor launched the #LondonIsOpen campaign in June to show London is united and open for business to the world following the EU referendum.

Following the technology event, the Mayor will join a delegation of London based female entrepreneurs at the New York Stock Exchange where he will ring the closing bell and further highlight the opportunities for trade and investment between London and the United States.

London is the leading global city for foreign direct investment from the United States, with US businesses investing $30.9 billion and creating 70,100 jobs for the London’s economy between 2005 to 2015. London is also the leading destination city for foreign direct investment from New York City in the last 10 years


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