Central London continues to be the location of choice for an array of tech companies looking to establish an international base.
As we discussed last year, London’s tech scene is a diverse one, both in terms of the type of tech companies based here and their choice of location within the city. Based on recent news, both of these look likely to continue into 2014.
But while these varied companies may have very different needs, they all appear to agree on one thing: London is still the place to be for growing tech companies.
Take SurveyMonkey as an example; the well-established online poll service revealed just last month that it is to open a Central London office to accommodate fifty members of staff. According to the company’s CEO, Dave Goldberg, establishing a London office had always been on the cards for the company, but following some encouragement from Chancellor George Osborne, they decided to make the move sooner rather than later.
The location of their new office is yet to be confirmed although there is already plenty of speculation. Will it be Tech City alongside the startups, King’s Cross near Google’s forthcoming HQ, or Euston, the new base of choice for social media giants like Facebook?
While SurveyMonkey weigh up their options, a number of other tech companies have already reached their own decisions about establishing a London base. US software company Pivotal recently opened its London offices on Old Street in Shoreditch (aka Tech City), where it expects to employ seventy-five workers and to invest £100m over the next decade. The new premises are to become the company’s HQ for its operations in Europe and EMEA.
And they aren’t the only international tech company heading to Tech City, with Indian financial analytics firm Heckyl Technologies also announcing plans to set up office in Shoreditch, as are Irish digital payment firm Realex and computer manufacturer Kano.
Meanwhile, away from the Silicon Roundabout, international IT firm CSC recently agreed to take 28,000 sq ft of space at One St Pancras, part of King’s Cross Central. Twitter too is still believed to be searching for a new London office, after pulling out of plans to relocate to Regent’s Place in Euston.
And it’s not just the prestige of being based in a world leading city. According to Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City UK and Ambassador for Digital Industries, it is the high level of business support which makes London such an attractive option for leading tech companies: “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.”
This formula has already succeeded in attracting Facebook, Cisco, Google, Pinterest and Intel among many others to the capital. We look forward to seeing how it will continue to shape London throughout 2014.
Which areas will be the tech hotspots to watch this year? Share your predictions in the comments below.