Canary Wharf Group today announced it will dedicate a further 15,000 square feet of office space to financial start-up accelerator Level 39 in order to accommodate growing demand from expanding technology companies.
The accelerator helps growing businesses deliver their financial technology products and services by providing them with access to offices and events. The comapny also states on its website that it puts its "high potential entrepreneurs in the same space as some of the world’s most influential technology buyers and investors, accelerating their traction and access to markets".
Level 39 received over 310 applications when it launched and today there is no desk space left anywhere on the 39th floor.
A Canary Wharf Group spokesperson told Techworld: "On Level 39 there are currently over 50 hot desks, fixed desks and dedicated office spaces in occupation. The capacity of Level39 is around 350 people (including the event spaces)."
To respond to demand, the Canary Wharf Group, which is tasked with developing Canary Wharf as a whole, has created an additional ‘high growth’ expansion space on the 42nd floor for technology companies that are deemed too big for Level 39.
The Group said the new space can accommodate 150 desks and is suitable for businesses of eight to 60 people, adding that it comes with a dedicated reception and pantry area, along with a connecting lift to the Level 39 community.
"We have potential to expand beyond this on the same floor (which totals 29,000 square feet, or close to 300 desks), depending on demand," the spokesperson said.
The facility is ready for occupation this week and the accelerator has already exchanged contracts with three companies that have "graduated" from the 39th floor, including Digital Shadows, Crowdrooster and Growth Intelligence.
The Group said it is in talks with a further 11 technology companies about occupying the new space and hinted that it could be offered with flexible terms that support the high growth rate of the technology companies it's looking to attract.
Level 39 is headed up by Eric van der Kleij, who stepped down as chief executive of the UK's Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO) in June last year to launch the accelerator.
Van Der Kleij said: "Level 39 is a soft landing for technology companies at Canary Wharf. Beyond that, we can help firms scale up in a very short space of time, moving from say a dozen employees to a hundred, then to a thousand, without having to be displaced from the local area."
He added: "The aim is for us to offer something completely new for London, a physical centerpiece for Fintech which complements the other tech clusters across the UK and helps cement London's position as the tech capital of Europe, while helping to return the financial services sector to growth."
There has been much talk about Tech City and the areas around Old Street and Shoreditch, but Level 39 claims that Canary Wharf – home to a working population of 100,000 people and over 240 cafes, bars, restaurants and shops – is an increasingly popular location for technology companies.
However, a study in July by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young revealed that Canary Wharf and Bishopsgate only managed to attract 4,900 new businesses last year, while the area around Old Street, or Silicon Roundabout as it has been dubbed, attracted 15,720.