It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that London is a city that has a number of thriving industries.
However, one area where it is truly thriving is within the tech industry – with the city recently declared one of the world’s biggest tech hubs. At London Tech Week recently there was definite talk about London being the world’s 2nd biggest hub & what this meant for the future of London businesses.
How Technology is Growing
Over recent years we have seen some massive changes in technology both within business and within our everyday lives. The youth of today won’t remember a time when 24/7 internet wasn’t available or when we could only talk to our phones on the landline rather than a mobile & that is all thanks to technological advancements.
These days we can automate parts of our home, speak out loud to devices to ask them to do tasks for us and there are talks of big advances like self-drive cars soon becoming a much bigger part of our daily lives.
Although technology has been changing and evolving for some time, it really was the events of 2020 that forced people to pay more attention. Those forced to stay at home looked to technology to help them communicate with friends, shop online & even be entertained. It was during this pandemic that many businesses had to look at how they could adapt to the needs of their customers; especially if they were deemed a non-essential shop and therefore were forced to close their doors.
We saw quick roll-outs of vaccines, businesses adapting what they offered to ensure they kept up with customer demands and more recently the opening of new tube lines and transport links throughout London.
The 2022 London Tech Week Event
London Tech Week is a yearly event; which, as you might imagine, talks about technology, London businesses and what the future of both might be. The 2022 event was themed “Be Part of the Future”, with various big names talking about how technology is shaping London businesses & how London is one of the front leaders when it comes to thriving technology businesses.
The conference covered several topics with industry leaders giving seminars and conferences for people to attend. One of the most interesting for Londoners was the talk by Chris Philip, where he talked about the London tech sector and how the city has raised £12.4bn in 2022 already – beating similar cities such as Paris.
With huge amounts of companies in London taking the gamble similar to playing live roulette by gaining funding and starting new tech companies in the UK capital, it is no surprise that London has secured its spot as one of the world’s leading tech hubs.
Technology in London
There are many reasons why London is considered the tech hub of Europe by many people, but the number of new tech investment projects that are opening up in the capital is certainly contributing to the statistics.
Recent data shows that there have been over 250 tech investment projects opening up in London, which created over 9,000 jobs for Londoners. “London is already the number one destination for American tech companies to expand, showing we are an unrivalled destination in Europe for US businesses to invest,” said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
However, it isn’t just small businesses within the tech sector that are making a splash within London. Google recently purchased new premises in London, spending £730m to become the owner of Central Saint Giles in the West End. It is that that the tech giant is also looking for new premises in the Kings Cross area so that they can extend their base there too.
Unicorn companies (privately owned start-up companies valued at over $ 1 billion) are popping up in London too – with over £53.4bn in tech company funding happening in London between 2017 and 2021.
The Future of London Tech
Although it can be hard to predict exactly how technology businesses will fare in the future, we can be reasonably certain that technology will continue to evolve in the fast-paced way that it has over recent years.
Consumers are becoming more reliant on technology which means that in order to thrive other industries are needing to embrace technology too. For example, the hospitality sector is now making use of ordering apps and even robots to deliver food to the table – helping to keep things interesting for visitors and ensure that their business continues to thrive.
As technology continues to change it becomes something that people are more reliant on and therefore continues to grow. For example, most of us couldn’t live without smartphones and devices now, even though in the grand scheme of things they’re a relatively new addition to our lives.
As investments within London fin-tech companies continue and people like the Mayor of London continue to support the expansion of businesses within London many believe that the only way is up for London tech-based businesses. Online casinos are busier than ever, transport is becoming more technology-based and the fact that London has bought in the most fintech investment so far this year are all signs that London and technology are two things that go hand in hand.
With the likes of Google setting up large premises in the city it clearly isn’t a place that technology-based businesses are afraid to go. As this happens, more people will become interested and more technologically talented people will make themselves available and this becomes a cycle of growth.
In terms of tech hub numbers, London is only behind the US in terms of what is happening and there are people that will be waiting to see whether there is a time in the future when the UK comes out on top. However, for now, London is 2nd in terms of tech hub businesses and that is something that isn’t looking to change anytime soon!