London is a leading global hub for startups and investors. Figures from London and Partners found that London tech firms account for more than 80 percent of all venture capital money invested in the UK since the EU referendum vote in 2016.
Global tech investors see London as a great market to invest in new and growing startups across different sectors, from artificial intelligence to fintech and cybersecurity. “London remains a leading global tech hub for investors,” says the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
There are a number of London-based accelerators which particularly support the growth of startups, while helping to create and strengthen relationships between investors and startups. The Canary Wharf Group’s Level 39 does exactly this.
Located in the heart of one of London’s busiest banking and finance areas, Canary Wharf, Level 39 boasts of being front and centre within the London tech startup scene.
“We’ve got an environment in which technology happens faster, but also business and relationships happen faster which means that companies coming here just improve the odds of success," Ben Brabyn, Head of Level 39 tells Techworld.
“As a subsidiary of Canary Wharf Group, they have access to all the facilities of the whole Canary Wharf brand. So we do scale in a way no one else can and that’s the main point, we have that flexible infrastructure,” he adds.
Level 39 was launched in 2013 and has grown to become a huge digital tech hub hosting over 1,250 people.
It prides itself on its help for startups on issues like scalability and talent scouting, something cybersecurity startup Digital Shadows can attest to.
“We very much follow the kind of criteria that a venture capital investor will use. It’s never going to be easy to find investors, but we make sure that you meet the most refined strain of ambitious, well-capitalised people who might become a good investor base.
“Investors will come if you show traction with the market if you show connectedness with your regulators, which is why investors beat a path to be here,” Brabyn says.
Building a fair society
According to Brabyn, Level 39 emphasises on the importance of diversity and providing more opportunities for female founders.
“By delivering three themes of productivity, security and trust what we also help do is bring in investors, policymakers, regulators and academics to try and make sense of what is actually a real spread of 200+ companies,” he adds.
In order to achieve this, the company puts talent at the forefront of all startup selection.
“So this isn’t about finding a soul mate, it’s about finding sparring partners, people who you can sharpen your skills with. Whether those skills are in AI or business development because this is a place where the capability actually meets the market,” he says.
“We help investors as we explain that the companies here basically deliver three things for our society, and the first one they deliver is a huge increase in productivity. They make our whole economy work better, particularly financial services, but of course, the effect of that shows through the whole industry,” Brabyn adds.