10 Cities That Could Be The Next Silicon Valley
4 London, England, UK
TechCrunch brought its Silicon Valley conference, Disrupt, to London in 2014, and the London Technology Week is beginning to rival London’s Fashion Week. There is huge potential in the UK capital’s tech boom, with London acting as a bridge to US tech companies entering Europe, and for European companies to scale their businesses before expanding into the US.
Many US investors prefer to invest in UK businesses because of its proximity to Asian and US markets. In the second quarter of 2014, there were 92 European tech “exits,” including 10 IPOs, an increase of 74% from the 54 deals tracked in Q1 2014. In 2014, two London companies sold for £1 billion: AI startup DeepMind, bought by Google, and games company Natural Motion, bought by Zynga.
In 2013, 22 tech companies raised $795 million in equity funding on the London Stock Exchange’s main market. The first to market, Just Eat, saw its shares soar on the first day of trading, pushing its valuation above £1.5 billion, joining Zoopla and Markit as the tech industry’s biggest IPOs in Europe for Q2 2014.
The most highly valued British company coming from the tech boom has been King Digital Entertainment, makers of the smash-hit game Candy Crush Saga. Bloomberg has reported that in the South East of England, there were 744,000 techies, versus 692,000 in California, and London tech-job growth (11%) has outpaced both California and New York, showing that London has no plans to slow down.