With new arrivals, more investment pours into London startups
New sources of investment are setting up to serve London’s tech entrepreneurship scene.
London is rapidly solidifying its place among the world’s top startup destinations. There is a huge amount of potential within the capital’s bustling ecosystem, where firms with lots of potential can find the right support from mentors and investors alike.
TechCrunch Disrupt has highlighted just a small selection of the talent within the UK and Europe more broadly this week. There’s plenty more out there, too. Investment keeps flooding into London to make the most of the city’s potential.
Infocomm extends to Europe
Monday, 21 October, saw Singaporean venture capital firm Infocomm Investments launch in London, its second foreign outpost after setting up in Silicon Valley. Over 100 invited guests attended a launch event where entrepreneurs, tech professionals and investors heard that the company has already made its first investment in Europe – it’s given its backing to fintech accelerator programme Startupbootcamp FinTech.
Infocomm, which has $200 million (£124 million) in funding to distribute, is itself backed by Singapore’s government, and it’s clearly using investment as a means of promoting international trade. Singapore is a hub for start-ups in the booming Asian market, and it’s currently jostling for position with Hong Kong to become the financial capital of the region. Investing in fintech makes sense in that context, and London’s an obvious place to start as a global leader in the field. But crucially, developing links between Singapore and London firms is an important means of increasing market access on either side of the relationship.
“Because Singapore is a strong startup hub in Asia, we want to bring our great startups to London,” said Infocomm chairman and executive deputy chairman of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore Steve Leonard.
“Singapore and London are natural partners, and we see London as our gateway into Europe, and we want London to see Singapore as the best gateway to the booming Asian markets.”
‘Smart city’ tech accelerator
Among the many new sources of investment coming into London, there’s also an exciting new accelerator programme that could bring any number of benefits for high-potential firms. Canary Wharf Group has just launched a brand new initiative aimed at businesses working on “smart city” technologies.
The Cognicity Challenge encapsulates six different sectors aimed at using technology in areas like transport and construction for the purposes of civil engineering. Among the areas where entrepreneurs are working on the cities of tomorrow are virtual design, the connected home, integrated transport, automated building management and integrated resource management.
After the selection process is complete, six startup finalists in each sector will benefit from workspace as well as mentoring and training over an intensive 12-week period to get their technologies off the ground. Then, they’ll battle it out for prizes including £50,000, the chance to pilot their test in Canary Wharf as well as the new development at Wood Wharf.
Ed Vaizey, minister for culture and the digital economy, said the scheme would “help talented tech companies to develop revolutionary new solutions to the challenges facing modern cities, from creating sustainable buildings to building homes that are more digitally connected.”
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