There's been much fear that Brexit will lead to Techxit -- a mass exodus of tech companies, investment and talent from the city. Despite this, investment in London tech was twice that of any other European hub in 2017, according to London & Partners.
Last year saw the UK capital receive £2.4 billion in tech investment, followed by Paris (£564.97 million) and Berlin (£456 million) with an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 tech startups active in London right now.
So what's driving the city's success?
Theresa May says the government will invest £20 billion in organizations conducting research and development into emerging technologies by 2020. The prime minister has also pledged to review current tax incentives to ensure the international competitiveness of London in terms of innovation and investment, although it could be argued that current tax relief for investors is already quite favorable
There are a number of other resources aimed at supporting UK founders and business owners too. Tech.London is a platform conceived by Mayor of London, Gust and a number of other partners. From workspaces to incubators to jobs, it covers everything you need to know about scaling a tech startup in the capital.
Tech Nation (formerly Tech City UK/Tech North) is another government-funded body that offers support to tech entrepreneurs through growth programs, mentoring initiatives, events and Visa schemes.
The volume of technical talent is higher in London than other tech centres. Research from StackOverflow
states that the British capital has more software developers than San Francisco or New York. Although the skills gap has been a global challenge for tech companies and SMEs, London is home to four of the most renowned universities in the world
and ranked the number one city for students according to a QS study
. For startups that means access to some of the world's most exciting talent and a steady supply of skilled, ambitious candidates.
London tech is built not only on investment but on a community of energetic founders and entrepreneurs, and up-and-coming tech professionals. There's a sentiment of collaboration and peer-to-peer learning within the ecosystem that can be seen through the number of regular events and meetups taking place within the city. The Tech Nation 2018 Report found 3,527 tech meetup groups, with over 1.6 million members across the UK. The report also found that London is the second most-connected city globally showing the emphasis on building international connections and partnerships.
Events like Startup Open House, TechDay and Higher are also testament to this, bringing together the brightest and most ambitious professionals and students to discuss the future of the sector, emerging trends and career opportunities.
London has a large number of angel investors contributing to the scaling of startups. Over the past few years we've seen more and more angels form syndicates, often focusing on specific verticals or founder profiles to invest in. For example, Angel Academe
is an angel network made up predominantly of female investors specialising in tech startups with a female founding member. Connect London
is another example of an angel network that works across a wider number of industries and provides mentorship and networking opportunities.
London is the leading city for a number of sectors within the tech industry namely fintech and e-commerce. Last year, Innovate Finance reported that £1.8 billion was invested into UK fintech startups with Transferwise and Oaknorth ranking in the top 20 deals globally. The fintech sector is worth around £7 billion to the UK economy and currently employs around 60,000 people, making it high on the priority list when it comes to government investment.
Get to know some of London's biggest and best startups at Startup Open House.
Aoife Geary, Content Editor, Jobbio