Friday 13 December 2013

More than 25 international technology companies have today announced major new investments in London as the city’s booming tech sector goes from strength to strength.

Technology firms from all over the world, including from the US, India and Europe, have pledged to invest tens of millions of pounds and create more than 750 new jobs in London, indicating the success of strategies enacted by the UK government and the Mayor of London to attract the world’s best tech companies to the city.

Major new investments, announced by London Partners and Tech City UK, include Realex Payments, an Irish firm that offers new ways to pay online, opening new London offices and recruiting 40 people over the next two years; computer manufacturer Kano establishing an office in Tech City and planning to grow to 250 staff over the next three years; and US software company Pivotal investing £100 million over the next 10 years and employing 75 staff at a new office in Old Street.

In addition, New York-based Gansevoort Hotel Group will develop a new £60 million hotel in Shoreditch that will cater for East London’s entrepreneurial community, creating at least 150 jobs.

The news follows Tech City’s third anniversary last week, to mark which the Prime Minister welcomed a new report highlighting the rapid growth of Tech City from a local initiative to establishing itself as the digital capital of Europe. Independently produced figures from the report highlight how London tech companies are contributing to economic growth, inward investment and high value jobs across the country.

The report found that:

• Between 2009 and 2012 the number of tech/digital companies in London increased 76% growing from 49,969 to 88,215.
• 27% of all job growth in London comes from the tech/digital sector, with approximately 582,000 people now employed by the tech/digital sector in London.
• Between 2009 and 2012, the tech/digital sector in London grew by 16.6%.

In the last three years, new Government policies and programmes such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), RD Tax Credits, Patent Box, Entrepreneur Visa, Opening Government Procurement, the Future Fifty, changes to IPO regulations and the creation of the High Growth Segment on the London Stock Exchange have created a landscape favourable to digitally enabled firms, helping to scale and grow.

These changes to the business and policy landscape have caused Tech City to grow from its initial hub in Shoreditch and for tech clusters to emerge and thrive across London, among them Imperial West, Level39, Croydon Tech City, King’s Cross, Royal Albert Docks, Soho, Silvertown Quays, iCITY and the Olympic Park. As a result, the capital has experienced considerable growth during this period.

London Partners – the Mayor’s promotional organisation for London – and Tech City UK have worked to attract tech and digital companies from around the world. Major firms brought in in recent weeks include US cloud storage company Box and Chinese social game developer Rekoo, joining the raft of leading tech companies – among them Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, FourSquare and Pinterest – already based in the capital.

Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City UK and Ambassador for Digital Industries said: “It’s only natural that some of the world’s fastest growing digital businesses are making London their home. With its unrivalled package of policies and support programmes, the UK is already helping businesses at every stage of their lifecycle drive economic growth and create jobs across a range of sectors.

“Three years on, a real transformation has happened. Tech City has driven a new era of tech and digital growth which has seen clusters emerge and thrive all across London. From a city previously reliant on the financial services industry, we have established London as Europe’s digital capital and a true challenger to Silicon Valley and New York.”

Gordon Innes, CEO of London Partners said: “London has emerged as the digital capital for Europe, which is why so many companies from around the world are moving here to grow their business. In addition to an operating environment designed to encourage tech companies to flourish, London also boasts a talented workforce, an attractive work environment and world-beating universities, all of which are attracting the smartest minds in the globe to our city.”

High-profile investments in to the capital

Realex Payments, one of Europe’s largest and fastest growing online payment gateways, is aggressively scaling up its UK operations and moving to new London offices. In addition to a number of staff relocating to London, the company plans to recruit an additional 40 people in the UK over the next two years. The company – founded in 2000 by Colm Lyon – has chosen London because of its prominence for FinTech and because of the environment the UK offers for growing businesses.

Cisco and The National Virtual Incubator (NVI) Alliance have achieved their target of reaching 12 members by the end of 2013 with the addition of University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), Swansea University (Wales), The Landing (Media City), Manchester Science Park (Manchester), and IDEALondon (Shoreditch). The announcement is part of their ambitious goal to connect multiple centres of innovation and incubation all over the country, and the addition of IDEALondon to the NVI now enables the connection of Tech City to some of the leading innovations clusters across the UK.

Pivotal, the fast growing software company, is investing over the next ten years approximately £100m in Tech City and opening an office in December on Old Street with 75 people – making it the largest tech start-up in the UK. Capitalising on the area’s skills base and position for growth across Europe, Pivotal works with customers including Funding Circle, Aridhia and The company enables the creation of modern software applications that use big and fast data on a single platform – this approach is crucial to business growth and innovation which in turn helps fuel long-term economic recovery.

UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller officially opened the new Samsung Innovation Centre at Fleet Place in London last week. The centre brings together the design, software, product innovation and mobile product planning parts of the Samsung electronics business. There is a growing number of employees based at the centre, focused on leading innovation in software and design and providing services to the UK and rest of the world.

New London headquarters

eToro, the world’s largest social investment network is moving its corporate HQ to London’s financial heartland. The Israeli business is looking to expand in the UK and create a significant number of jobs over the next 18 months.

ZipZap, the global cash transaction network founded in San Francisco, is setting up its global HQ in London and creating at least 10 jobs in the first quarter. ZipZap chose London for its strategic location and the tax breaks available for start-ups. ZipZap is in the process of creating the largest cash payment network in the world, launching in the UK with 28,000 locations and expanding to 60,000+ locations within months.

Shopzilla, a global leader in shopping intent and consumer feedback, has chosen to base its European head office in the UK as the company plans to significantly increase its European presence from its London office through their portfolio of products. Shopzilla chose London for the city’s diverse talent pool, availability of multi-lingual staff and infrastructure to support growth and expansion.

Payango, a German FinTech company, has located its new international headquarters in Tech City to access London’s high-calibre financial, technical and marketing expertise. Payango has already raised several million pounds, which it is using to implement the first stage of its new payment application, and plans to create at least 30 new high-skilled technical and marketing jobs within the city in the next two years.

Domain name registry Donuts Inc, which is headquartered in Washington, opened its European Headquarters in Tech City in October. The company has invested more than £40 million in new English-speaking domain name extensions, targeted to the UK and Europe.

New openings and job creation

Heckyl, providers of real time financial news and data analytics, has set up a London office to carry out Sales, Development and RD work, where it will initially be investing £1 million. Heckyl will be creating 25 jobs in the next three years and will take 10 interns per year. Based in Mumbai, Heckyl has won a competition as India’s most innovative company, run by UKTI and launched by the Prime Minister on his visit to the country in February.

Kano, a firm that makes computers for people of all ages, has established an office in Tech City with a team of eight, from six different countries, planning to grow to 250 over three years, backed by local and international investors.

Hightail, the leading secure online file sharing and storage company, is to open a new office in London. Initially focussed on sales and technical support, the move is part of a plan to ramp up its UK and European presence over the next three years and better meet the needs of EMEA customers.

SurveyMonkey is opening a London office in what will be its biggest investment to date outside the US. The move will see 50 local jobs created and the company is very much looking forward to having a permanent home here and tapping into the UK talent pool.

The career accelerator Startup Institute has announced its expansion outside of the US, starting with London. Startup Institute will accelerate the careers of Londoners and cultivate the talent that high-growth companies need to succeed.

CloudFlare, the fast growing web performance and security start-up, has secured new office space in Aldersgate to further expand its RD team. The London office started with one person and has grown to 10, with plans to hire 10 more technical, engineering-focused employees in 2014. The company was drawn to London by the software talent available and supportive policy initiatives such as RD Tax Credits.

Metail, a high growth company that develops cutting-edge online fitting room technology from its offices in Tech City and Cambridge, has announced plans to move to a new 6,000 sq foot space in Whitechapel to accommodate a rate of growth that has seen the number of employees double in the last year. The company is planning on hiring an additional 10 new staff in 2014.

Since setting up its European HQ in London, AposTherapy, a clinically proven, drug free and non-surgical treatment that helps fight knee osteoarthritis, has expanded into Asia and the US. In the UK alone it has already invested £15 million pounds as well as creating over 50 jobs in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Kent and Sussex and is expected to create an additional 100 jobs in the next 3 years.

Codecademy, a site that teaches the world to code, will open an office in London at the beginning of next year. Hundreds of schools across England are already using Codecademy to prepare for a change in the national curriculum which will from next September bring computer programming to primary and secondary schools.

On-going investment and new partnerships

Invoke Capital, the UK investment company founded by Dr Mike Lynch, announces today its investment in Taggar, the first social augmented reality app powered by Neurence. Neurence is an intelligent cloud-based platform, also funded by Invoke Capital.  For the first time, using Taggar, users can create and share their own content on any object in the physical world, giving them the opportunity to create hidden worlds which they share with friends and followers.

Through its successful partnership with The Bakery, AB InBev is announcing a new collaboration with the start-up firm Bar Pass. This will see Bar Pass’ innovative technology – which enables consumers to order and pay for their drinks through their smart phones without going to the bar – rolled out across the country in 2014.  As well as upfront investment, this will provide Bar Pass with a vital route to market and a great platform for growth.

Less than a year after its move to Tech City, Quirkat has seen tremendous support from UK organisations and is now developing a London themed game, to be launched early next year. While seeking out £2m of VC funding to invest back into the UK, Quirkat has created 5 new UK jobs as it moves its entire development operation to London.

iCITY is transforming the former Olympic Press and Broadcast Centres into a new tech and creative quarter to support the explosive growth in this sector across London. Having recently submitted its planning application, iCITY is investing over £100m into the building infrastructure, with individual tenant investment set to take this figure to several hundred million pounds. iCITY will provide over 7,500 jobs directly on-site and in the local community, with a GDP lift of over £500 million.

Qualcomm, a founding partner of the Tech City initiative, continues to work with the UK Government on wireless communications technology solutions that support new, data-driven business models for UK industry. Going forward Qualcomm is committed to working with the Government to help deliver the right regulatory framework that can best address the challenge of the exponential demand for data, something Qualcomm refers to as the 1000x Data Challenge.

MusicQubed, the British start-up that has created a new category for digital music is poised to announce multiple deals across the US, South America and Australasia. With innovative, disruptive technology, it reaches new demographics and wins back lost customers. Made for mobile, MusicQubed delivers an entertainment experience of the most popular music and has, following proven success with Samsung and O2, amassed over 500,000 UK users.

New investments in property and infrastructure

A partnership has been agreed between Central Working and Brookgate to develop a members lounge and co-working space on Station Road, Cambridge further cementing the relationship between the tech clusters in Cambridge and London. Central Working runs a well-established co-working space in Tech City.

Lendlease and London Borough of Newham are committing to provide accessible housing for entrepreneurs in forthcoming schemes at the Olympic Park.

Resolution in Tech City has invested in developing Alphabeta on Finsbury Square, and a site in Mile End, to make affordable space available to enable companies to stay close to the heart of the cluster.

New hotel opening

Michael Achenbaum, founder of New York-based Gansevoort Hotel Group is developing a full service urban resort in Tech City in partnership with SUSD and Hondo Enterprises. A £60 million project will feature 120 guest rooms with seven luxury suites, a restaurant, bi-level bar, rooftop lounge pool, 24 hour fitness centre and over 6,000 sq ft of meeting and event space, plus a tech incubator. The project is expected to create at least 150 jobs.

Education and skills

UKTI is working with MIT, RBS/NatWest, and a team of corporates, entrepreneurs and academics to set up a blueprint for supporting innovation communities. This work will drive entrepreneurship both in physical locations and as part of a virtual experience for entrepreneurs looking to succeed.

Notes to Editors

About Tech City UK
Tech City UK supports the existing tech cluster in London by helping the businesses based there to scale and grow, bringing international companies and investors to Tech City and supporting companies based in London to expand overseas. We support entrepreneurs with practical advice and guidance on everything from location to contacts, talent development and mentoring.  We also help companies make international connections, with tailored advice and guidance on exports and through the links we have with UK Trade Investment (and their 94 consulates and offices around the globe). The organisation also represents the views of the business and tech community to Government, feeding in to and helping shape national policy that promotes enterprise and

About London Partners
London Partners is the official promotional organisation for London. Our company attracts and delivers value to business, students and visitors. London Partners is a not-for-profit public private partnership, funded by the Mayor of London and a network of commercial partners.

Our remit is to drive leisure and business visitors as well as bidding to secure major events in London, to unlock the city for overseas businesses who want to set up or expand in London and to promote the capital’s world class universities to international students.
Our intention is to work in partnership with organisations in London and across the world to deliver our goal – that London be globally recognised as the best big city on earth.
For more information visit     


To contact the Tech City UK press team: 020 7367 6001 /

For London Partners, please contact Norval Scott, Media PR Manager – FDI:, +44 207 234 5789, +44 7720 737 378
Phil Nettleton, PR Manager,, +44 207 234 5787, +44 7920 759 018