Where startups lead, corporates follow - why co-working spaces are the next big thing - The Guardian    What I wish I'd known before I hired a PR agency - Forbes    Accel Partners, investors in Slack, Deliveroo, Facebook and Funding Circle, raises $500m for new European Tech Fund - City AM    London-based on-demand delivery service Jinn completes $7.5M Series A funding round!    Azimo raises $15 million from Japanese firm Rakuten for expansion - Business Insider    Onfido, the background checking platform started by 3 Oxford grads, raises $25 million - Business Insider    Crowdfinders launches £100m Race to Scale funding drive for UK scaleups - Tech City News    Peer to Peer lending site LendInvest agrees $40m lending facility with Australian Investment Bank Macquarie - Tech City News    ROLI, East London music connected ecosystem, completes Series B raise of $27m - Business Wire    Future Fifty Fash-Tech company Farfetch raises another $110m in Series F round - Business of Fashion

Two Unicorns; Two Tech Hubs; Big Difference; London’s Tech Scene Is Nothing Like The Size Of Silicon Valley’s, But It Can Be As Influential


Snapchat – the latest “Decacorn” to roll off the Silicon Valley production line

Two of the biggest startup funding stories of the week illustrate the size of the gulf that still exists between London and The Silicon Valley when it comes to creating tech giants.

Many prominent London based techies, entrepreneurs, startup founders and investors have made no secret of the fact they have The Valley’s position as the number one global tech hub in their sights.

When Joanna Shields left her position as Head of Google EMEA to chair Tech City in 2012 after being head-hunted by David Cameron, she declared:

“The seeds have been sown in East London for a dynamic and successful cluster: we have the infrastructure, the technology and the talent, now we need to accelerate the growth.

“There is no reason why we can’t make London the number one location for tech in the world.”

This week, one of London’s most celebrated disruptive tech startups, Transferwise, which had raised a total of $91m in funding by the end of 2015, announced a $26m “top up” funding round led by investment management company Baillie Gifford and backed by a number of existing investors.

According to sources close to the company the round means Transferwise has officially joined the “Unicorn Club”, with a valuation of $1.1bn – something which most observers believed had happened months, if not years ago.

Taking nothing away from Transferwise’s achievement, the company, which is loss-making, is neither fully headquartered in London (most of its staff are based in Tallinn, Estonia, where both company founders, Taavet Hinrickius and Kristo Kaarman, hail from), nor a major player in its sector – money transfer – its revenues of $5m per annum are dwarfed by the likes of Western Union, who generate revenues of around $750m per annum, and have some 600,000 stores and kiosks worldwide.

Now let’s turn our attention to another big fundraise that happened this week. This time in California.

Snapchat, the social messaging app which is much more than just a disappearing messaging app, completed a raise of $1.8bn this week, at an estimated valuation of $17.5bn.

Yes, you read that right; $1.8bn at a valuation of $17.5bn.

According to a leaked pitch deck, the company achieved revenues of $57m in its first year attempting to monetise – until 2015 there was no monetisation strategy. Company projections for 2016 are forecast by the company to be between $250-350m, and somewhere between $500m-$1bn in 2017.

So let’s put things into perspective; London’s flagship startup company, Transferwise, in its flagship sector, FinTech, in which it claims to be the world leader, is worth $1.1bn.

Techies are taking over San Francisco – but it’s not great news for the city’s less well paid inhabitants

Silicon Valley’s second or third most popular social media app, in one of 5 sectors, SaaS (Salesforce), Transport (Uber), Smartphones (Apple), Semi-conductors (Oracle), and social media (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat) at which it could rightfully claim to be the world’s biggest and best, (we may as well add the sharing economy, Airbnb) is worth $17.5bn.

According to Crunchbase, that’s more than twice the size of Europe’s largest “Unicorn”, Spotify, and five times the size of its next biggest, Delivery Hero. Oh, and 8 times the size of the UK’s biggest, SkyScanner, which is based in Glasgow, not London. Since POWA technologies went bust, London’s biggest “Unicorn”, is…you guessed it, .Transferwise.

According to a recent Spectator article, Facebook is worth twice the combined valuation of all of Europe’s Unicorns put together, and Uber, at its current valuation, is worth more than London’s 17 Unicorns combined. And at least one of London’s Unicorns, Wonga, is a payday lender. Hardly what “Digital Dave” Cameron envisaged when he threw his, and his parties weight behind Tech City 6 years ago.

But let’s end the London tech bashing there. Admittedly, those who claimed or continue to claim that London can seriously rival The Valley as an incubator of the world’s largest tech companies are well wide of the mark. This much we know, and don’t believe anybody who tells you otherwise.

Indeed, given how first Facebook, and now Snapchat have won over the hearts and minds of successive generations of young adults, slowly introducing more sophisticated functions as its users mature, becoming friend and guide, trusted source of information, created for and by its most active users, London would do well simply to listen, learn, and use.

If you can’t beat them, join them. And try to make them pay taxes, as Europe has done.

The real value add that London brings today, is individuality and diversity.

Russ Shaw, an American in London, founder of Tech London Advocates sounded a more realistic note in September last year when he said:

“Now, London will not be replacing Silicon Valley in the short term, but the optimism of our technology community is goo dnews for thecapital. In the growing global demand for digital skills and talent, a reputation for diversity must be nurtured. For years we have struggled to find ways of competing with San Francisco’s digital dominance. Maybe the answer has been here all along.”

London needn’t worry about becoming the world’s biggest and best tech hub – it’s not going to happen – what it should be doing is making sure it is nurturing the world’ most talented people, wherever they come from, however they get here. This has always been what has set London apart.

It’s well known that Silicon Valley has diversity issues – there are too few women at the top of the largest, or indeed any organisations. Too many rich, white males in leadership roles, from too few universities. Too many rich techies driving up rents in San Francisco.

Why worry about being biggest, when London can be the world’s most influential and forward thinking. In a connected, globalised, world, pitting one city or region against another in a forced pissing contest is completely counter-productive. Leave that to the sports teams.

Let tech continue changing the world we live in, making it fairer, safer and celebrating its diversity. Its where the real power lies.

Global VC Financing Down Again in Q1 2016, Europe Steadies, Says Latest CB Insights / KPMG Report, Blaming Concerns Over China Slowdown, American Elections


The latest global downturn in global VC funding activity may only be temporary, suggests a new report from CB Insights / KPMG

The global downturn in Venture Capital financing activity has continued into Q1 2016, according to the latest report from CB insights, in conjunction with KPMG.

After experiencing a significant correction in Q4 2015, when both the number of deals done globally fell from 2,141, to 1,907, and volumes dropped to $27.7 billion from $39.0 billion, numbers have declined again, to 1,829 deals and volumes to $25.5bn.

According to CB Insights, however, the latest decline is likely to be a term short one, attributable to concerns over a slowing Chinese economy and VC firms keeping their powder dry whilst they wait to see the results of the upcoming Presidential elections in the US.

London (and Europe’s) Biggest Tech Startup Funds And What They Are Buying


It’s raining funding in Europe – but where are the puddles forming?

Sometimes startup founders must feel a little bit like Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner and his stranded crew mates, who stared at the ocean surrounding their lost ship and cried out in desperation: “water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink!”

“Funding, funding everywhere, but not a penny for me”, is a common refrain across entrepreneur and founder meet-ups across London and yet there are new fund launches being announced almost daily.

So in the interests of helping founders approach the right VC’s (the ones the pension companies, institutional investors and hedge funds are favouring, not the ones proffering the dreaded “sweat equity”), here’s Haggerston Times’ guide to some of the biggest fund launches of the past few months, who the key players are, and what they are investing in.

We hope this guide will act as the launchpad for you to find the funding your company needs, and that you won’t conclude, as Edmund Blackadder once did of his Great Aunt’s fortune, that the funding on offer in London is “as capacious as an Elephant’s scrotum, and just as difficult to get your hands on”!

Earlier this month, E.ventures announced the closure of a $150m fund to invest in tech startups across Europe. The German based VC firm, previously known as BV Capital, is reported to have more than $1 billion under management and has backed startup success stories such as Groupon, Azimo and Sonos.

Co-founder and General Partner at E.ventures, Christian Leybold, says: ““Our willingness to explore every corner of the continent and provide operational support to the businesses we invest in increases the potential of our funds.” Which presumably means the firm, which has offices in Berlin, Hamburg, San Francisco and Beijing, will be looking at London closely.

Frog Capital’s €90m European Growth fund II received a further injection of €9m from the British Business Bank’s Venture Capital Catalyst Fund, also this month.

The fund has also backed Azimo, as well as London based Skimlinks, Ratedpeople.com, also based in the UK, and Order Dynamics. Its Managing Partner Mike Read believes “The European growth capital opportunity for tech is exceptional right now”, but that until recently, “the supply of capital focused on this area has not kept up.”

The British Business Bank itself has now committed more than £71m across 8 different VC funds; says Keith Morgan, Chairman of BBB Investments Ltd., of Frog’s Euro fund; “the fund will provide much needed equity capital to more businesses across the UK”.

Another Berlin based VC, Cherry Ventures closed a €150m fund at the beginning of May, Cherry Ventures II. The firm have invested in more than 20 portfolio companies over the last 3 years alone, which they say have generated €2bn worth of market capitalization.

Backed by the European Investment Fund and private family equity firms, amongst others, Cherry Ventures say that they plan to continue to invest between €700k-1.5m in seed stage rounds as well as adding value by providing strategic mentoring, coaching and recruiting for key positions.

The current portfolio includes companies such as Kitchen Stories, Lenda, and Lesara. The fund will be managed by Filip Dames, Daniel Glasner and Christian Meerman.

(BTW, notice anything about these funds – that’s right, they are all European Funds – does this give the Brexiteers something to think about, perhaps?)

Illustration of very cute unicorn poop

There was a time when VC funding for start-ups was as rare as unicorn poop – not any more!

And here’s another; Pamplona Capital Management have raised a whopping $1bn fund to invest in TMT (Technology, Media & Telecommunications) companies across Europe and the US.

The new fund has already made its first investment, into Dyn, a fast growing, cloud based internet performance management company based in Manchester.

Dyn fits the fund’s requirement for “high growth companies in segements including cloud computing and SaaS companies, mobile platforms and services and industrial technologies.” The fund will consider both controlling and minority stakes.

Pamplona are headquartered in London and New York, although the Fund’s manager, Justin Perrault and his team will be based in Boston.

Back in April, Backed VC, founded by 28-year-old ex-Andressen Horowitz, Index Ventures and McKinsey employee Andre de Haes, announced the launch of its new €30m pan-European seed-stage fund whose mission, he says, “is to be the most collaborative, community-driven fund in Europe.”

The fund, managed by De Haes and fellow Oxford graduate Alex Brunicki, also 28, has already backed 10 startups, including UK based video streaming service Boiler Room, AI music composer Jukedeck, Lystable, and electronic kits for kids manufacturer Tech Will Save Us.

De Haes has said he intends to back sectors whose products are further advanced than their Silicon Valley rivals, such as fashion, music, gaming and Fintech. “We see ourselves as talent scouts”, he has commented.

After closing nearly $2bn of fundign for 2 new funds in the US, Accel Partners quickly followed up by announcing a $500m fund, Accel London V, to focus on Series A and B investments in Europe and Israel.

Accel have good form when it comes to backing European startups, with previous investments including Deliveroo, French ride sharing company Blablacar, and London based lending platform Funding Circle; the latter two are now classed as “Unicorns”.

Accel V, the firm say, will “back the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Referring to Europe and Israel, Harry Nellis, partner at Accel London says: “we’ve never seen so many great founders, both gritty and ambitious, come out of the region, and are excited to help them build the next generation of truly great, enduring businesses.” Accel now has €2.5 billion of funds under management in the regions.

Octopus Ventures revealed in early April that it had added an additional $143m to its early stage growth fund, bringing the total amount raised to more than $570m.

Y-Plan, Secret Escapes and SwiftKey (what an exit they had there, to Microsoft for $250m) backer Octopus say they plan to invest more than $100m into European early stage startups in 2016. The company typically backs 10-12 companies every year.

“About 25% of the money we will invest will go into new investments and 75% will go into follow-on investments”, says the firm’s head Alex Macpherson.

Index Ventures have also joined the party, announcing a $550m fund for seed and venture investments in Europe, Israel and the US, less than a year after closing $700m for later stage startups.

Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Flipbook and LoveFilm have all been Index Venture backed and gone on to…well you know the rest!

Former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has recently joined one of the Venture Capital community’s most famous names, as partner. “Over the past 20 years, we’ve been fortunate to have partnered with some of the most visionary entrepreneurs,” says fellow partner Danny Rimer, who launched Index’s London office all the way back in 2002.

8 of Index’s portfolio companies have gone public in the last 2 years, including PureStorage, Hortonworks and King, who made the game Candy Crush and were acquired for $6bn.

And finally, it’s not just the US and Europe who get excited about London’s startups; Chinese investment firm Cocoon Networks, a spin off from Baidu investors China Equity Group, have $715m to invest in companies ““whose products and services show promise and potential for growth in the Chinese market,”

To show they mean business, the company has launched an incubator space in London and will look to invest in anything from FinTech, BioTech, Fash-Tech, medical and more. It certainly sounds like Cocoon get London’s vibe, and with the help of Cocoon, many London founders will be excited about breaking the notoriously tough Chinese market, something that Facebook, Uber and Google have all failed to do yet.

So plenty of grounds for optimistic founders – now all you have to do is find out which parties all of these firms employees go to, and talk your way on to the guestlist. Good luck!

Are you a fund or a fund manager who has raised or is raising capital? We’d love to hear from you – send us your info via our contact page and we promise to do our best to spread the word.

What Is A Lead Investor And Why Do You Need One? They Are Gladiators, & If You Find One It’s Happy Days


Whilst Ron Howard “made it”, made it, The Fonz had to make do with a role in The Waterboy – but still did pretty well. Echoes of the lead investor / founder relationship?

Disclaimer – this article is pun ridden and uses stereotyping for “comic” effect

The beauty of the tech startup world is that even while it breaks new ground, “changes the world”, builds robots that are supposedly more intelligent than humans and disrupts entire industries, it all begins in a typically awkward, typically human, you might even say typically British fashion.

Squeezing The Truth Out Of British Venture Capital Funding; Deals Down, Funding Up, VCs Asleep At The Wheel?


Stocks and Loans may break my bones but stats will never hurt me?

Torture them for long enough, and stats will confess anything.

At least that’s how the saying goes, but it’s a cynical soul who still decries “lies, damn and statistics”, in the face of today’s data driven analytical world.

Do the stats really lie? Or is it the case that, seven out of ten times, they always tell the truth?

In the world of Venture Capital investing, there’s no doubt that figures are often bandied about that bear little or no relation to reality, or used to support arguments that hold no water.

Fashion Tech & Gadget Site Kwaleo Joins The Personalisation Web Brigade And Makes A Pretty Good Fist (Bump) Of It


KwaleoMillennials, similarly to how the character of Blain, in the Arnie classic Predator, didn’t have time to bleed, ain’t got time to shop!

Shop that is, in the classical sense. Looking at things for more than a couple of seconds before making a snap judgement, trying things on, “browsing”, measuring space at home to see if a new dining table will fit – all no longer necessary, thanks to tech, apps, social media, and a generational shift change in the way we think about life.

Mistakes On A Plane – Why Airlines Can’t Capitalise On Digital Add-on Services


They are the ultimate captive audience, sitting on board one of mankind’s greatest inventions, but in a strangely anachronistic twist if a passenger on a flight requires food, drink, entertainment or assistance they must run the gauntlet of the food trolley, sharp edged metal doors flapping, blocking off at least two of the available bathrooms.

But in an age where several billion people treat their pocket sized supercomputers like standard issue fashion accessories, why on earth, or indeed off it, should this be?

Bridging The Equity Divide – Syndicate Room Announces Latest Funding Round & Report Gauging Size Of Investor Appetite


syndicate room betterSyndicate Room’s latest raise, formally announced last night in front of a packed crowd at The Mermaid Theatre, begun at 9am today; a new report released by the firm suggests appetite for equities and IPOs is stronger than ever.

1 year ago Syndicate Room, the Crowdfunding platform with a unique investment model that allows online investors to follow a syndicate of lead investors into the funding rounds of promising early stage, high growth business, and now also invest in stock market IPOs, raised £1.2m at a pre-cash valuation of £7.2m in a little over 24 hours.

Where There’s A Wine There’s A Way; Baacco Founders Building The “Amazon Of Wine” Believe They Have The Bottle To Build A Unicorn


The Baacco team; from l-r Federico, Tai, Raj and Cosmin – no that’s not a wine cellar, it’s the Mass Challenge offices.

“One day we believe we can turn this business into a Unicorn”.

It’s a grandiose claim but one that Tai Alegbe, co-founder of Baacco, the online marketplace for UK wine merchants, is not afraid to make.

An entrepreneur, twin brother (his twin also runs a startup), and ex-city of London broker, Alegbe is also a wine-lover; he has the WSET certificates to prove it. Baacco was launched in 2015 after Alegbe, who had taken time out to research different business sectors in order to give himself the best chance of success, delightedly realised that there was no single dominant player selling wine online.

From The Outback To Mayfair Via The Concrete Jungle; Apprentice Winner Mark E Wright Lifts The Lid On Life As Sir Alan Sugar’s Business Partner

mark e wright

Apprentice winner Mark E Wright at The Royal Institute. His business acumen is as sharp as his one-liners

Don’t waste your time worrying about what Sir Alan Sugar thinks about you! It sounds like a bizarre statement coming from a winner of The Apprentice TV show, but the point is well made. All will be revealed.

The Apprentice is hard enough to get onto, let alone win; when 2014 winner Mark E Wright auditioned because friends told him they thought he was the kind of the guy who would probably end up winning the show, he was one of 50,000 “wantrepreneurs” to show up to a building on Tottenham Court Road on the day of the auditions.

Silicon Roundup: Beyond Human Endeavour & Triumphing Against The Odds, Tech Is Starting To Eat Up The Column Inches


That thing that nobody thought would ever really happen. It’s happening

here’s a quick breakdown of last week’s news stories – Haggerston Times suspects Tech will begin to dominate the headlines as fantasy starts to become reality.

Last week was notable for some big news stories; Donald Trump steamrollering his way past 17 career politicians to claim the GOP Presedential Candidacy despite his political inexperience and outsider status.

Sadiq Khan’s easy victory over Tory Zac Goldsmith, whose campaign seemed to turn nasty,  veering completely off the rails, to become Labour’s first London Mayor since 2008, and the first ever Muslim mayor of a major European city.

Matchless Mini Bond Issue Returning 6% Launched To Restore The Matchless Motorcycle To Its Former Glories


The Matchless motorcycle, a piece of iconic British design, is being revived by the Italian Malenotti family; a lip smacking fusion of automotive stylishness and true brit grit if ever there was one.

In 2012 the Malenotti family acquired the brand of Matchless and its assets, and after investing £15 million into launching a fashion range, Matchless London Clothing, worn by the likes of Jonny Depp and Kate Moss and the provider of a “Craig Blouson”, an ultra-soft suede jacket to Daniel Craig for the James Bond film Spectre, the firm are putting the iconic Matchless motorcycle back on Britain’s roads.

Meet Mello, The Melon Juice Startup About To Launch New Honeydew Flavour & Enter Snack Market


natural, no added preservatives and made in a unique style – is mello the drink of the summer?

Rehydrate; Repair; Replenish? It sounds like something a shampoo might do or a weekend away at a spa in the countryside, but it’s actually a refreshing melon based exotic fruit juice that you can find at Ocado, Waitrose, The Whole Foods Market and Harrods, and has been featured in Glamour and the Daily Mail.

Mello was founded by 2 female entrepreneurs, half Irish and half Arabic Rose Aldean, who had worked at the UKTI before launching the business, and her childhood friend Sophie.

Mellow If You’re Not Yellow! Hamburg Startup Shaking up e-Mobility Market With Electric Engines For Skateboards

Mellow Boards

Pack to the future? Battery powered electric skateboards are coming to a neighbourhood near you thanks to Hamburg startup Mellow Boards

An ex-BMW Electric Car Engineer, Kilian Green, and a board sports enthusiast and sports economist, Johanes Schewe have developed an electric engine and set of wheels which can be attached to the rear of skateboards and similar devices to provide motorised boarding, reaching speeds of up to 40 mph. Do you dare?

In fact, this isn’t an exclusive product for gnarly boarders but a contraption that its founders say could become a serious player in the e-mobility market. After meeting on a surf trip, the Kilian and Johanes developed a prototype engine and soon afterwards founded the company Mellow Boards GMbh, later launching a Kickstarter campaign, in June 2015, which raised over €300k.

The End Of The High Street, Or The Beginning Of The Click And Collect Revolution?


First Woolworths, now BHS – has the British public fallen out of love with the high street? Can tech save it?

It’s no secret that the British High Street isn’t what it used to be; in the past decade Woolworths, Jane Norman, Threshers, Peacocks and Clinton cards have all fallen into administration and been consigned to the dustbin of history.

HMV, Jessops and Comet have also met with the same fate and now BHS, once a national institution, has joined them, placing 11,000 jobs across 164 stores at risk.

So are Britons abandoning the High Street in their droves, or did some or all of these stores all fail to move with the times? In an age where millennial consumers don’t just expect, but demand digitally enhanced, omnichannel shopping experiences, wherever they happen to be doing their shopping, any high street store will pay a high price for choosing not to provide such services.

2 Days’ Left To Pick Up Extra-Discounted Tickets For Open Mobile Summit In June – Save £200!

Business People Meeting Corporate Digital Device Connection Concept

you’ve heard that mobile is the future – so how do your products compare with the rest of the market and how can you find out? Maybe at the Open Mobile Summit…

Calling all mobile product developers! On June 27th-28th The Open Mobile Summit Europe returns to London, at the Crowne Plaza in the City of London

Why should you care?

Open Mobile Summit is Europe’s only mobile conference event focused exclusively on product; representatives from JustEat, Delivery Hero, Shazam, Coca-Cola, The Guardian, Spotify and Zoopla; in short Europe’s finest startup product and product marketing gurus; will all be in attendance.

Ignyte Series Continues With SparkUp Product Development Discussion In Soho Feat. Apple, Google, Reedsy

Ignyte soho

The Collective Soho was the venue for a heated debate about product development

The more intimate the venue – the better the knowledge sharing – so says Hristo Boyadzhiev, MD of Despark, an International Digital Specialist helping tech startups and global businesses to develop their brands and products.

Despark with offices in London and Sofia, are tapping into the local knowledge well, which any Londoner will tell you runs pretty deep, thanks to the capital’s international, multi-cultural flavour, melting pot of ideas, founders, entrepreneurs and investors, generous tax breaks and R&D subsidies, and the ease with which a company can be set up.

But London and Europe are still searching for the big one – the Facebook, Airbnb, or Uber – a bona fide game changer. Last night in Soho, Despark’s marketing Manager Lauren Goodenough hosted another instalment of the Ignyte Event series she has co-founded on behalf of Despark; this time the theme was:

Force Over Mass Hosts “Ask Me Anything” At Huckletree HQ With The “Grumpy Entrepreneur” & Director, Wired Consulting


Huckletree’s co-working space in the Alphabeta building, Finsbury Square – the perfect place to talk futuristic tech

On stage at Huckletree HQ The lights shone bright on a panel who’s combined brainpower represents as good a reason as any as to why we do not yet need to fear a dystopian future where we are all enslaved by super-intelligent robots who out-think us at every turn – not if this lot have anything to do with it.

If you don’t know Huckletree are the latest co-working space to throw open their doors to entrepreneurs, startups, and digital nomads of all kinds, offering desk space at a reasonable price of £35 per day in the rarefied atmosphere of Finsbury Square (they also have an office in Clerkenwell), opposite the Bloomberg building. They are also a Force Over Mass portfolio company.

DKLM Hosts Inaugural Law Tech Hub, Asks How Law Intersects With Burgeoning Tech Startup Scene

Legal Advice Bricks Wall Hands Hold Concept

Is your startup drowning in legalese – get some colour at TechLawHub, the last Tuesday of the month

DKLM are a Law Firm started in 2004 in Shoreditch by 4 partners with a diverse range of interests and a strong presence in India, China and Africa. “Our differences are our strengths”, they say and so it should come as no surprise that 2 of the firm’s team, Jessica Jia Shin Leau and Kushal Morzeria decided to found #TechLawHub, a free to attend series of monthly meet-ups exploring how law firms and professionals across all industries can build closer ties with their entrepreneurial Tech City startup neighbours.

Managing Partner Alan Dixon contributed the opening remarks to what was an entertaining, useful evening; DKLM bought their offices just off Old Street’s “Silicon Roundabout” over a decade ago, survived the global financial crisis of 2008, acquired 2 more floors shortly afterwards and branched out into China in 2012 via a strategic partnership with a Chinese law firm.

In short, Dixon and the other three partners have been there, done that, but still retain a healthy entrepreneurial streak; remember, Dixon told the 50 or so attendees, these 4 things about being a startup; cashflow is king; don’t be afraid to take risks; be open to new opportunities and try to maintain a diverse collection of staff. Wise words.

The Google Bashing Continues In Earnest In Europe – But Will EU Regulators Take Action?

MOUNTAIN VIEW CA/USA - AUG 14 2014: Exterior view of Google office. Google is a multinational company specializing in Internet related services and products and it's the best place to work in 2014.

Which way to the Lobby? Try the European Commission

Troubles always come in 3’s. After its new parent company, Alphabet briefly became the most valuable listed company in the world at the beginning of February, the problems for Google, in Europe at least, have mounted.

The company is now looking at 3 charge sheets from the European Commission.

The EC believes that Google is in breach of EU anti-trust rules, and is abusing its dominant market position to the detriment of Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators.

Firstly, Google has implemented a strategy that forces manufacturers to pre-install its Google Search function and Google Chrome browser, and set Google search as the default search service on every device they build; if they do not do so, Google refuses them access to certain proprietary apps such as the Google Play store. “This is not good”, says the EC, bluntly.

Is It Time For Ad Blocking Services To Get Real, Or Advertisers?


Advertisers, publishers and readers form a complex love triangle – they can’t live with each other, or without. Or can they?

Something has to give. If I keep visiting my favourite sites with my ad blocker software turned up full blast one day my favourite site won’t be there anymore because it will have gone bust.

That is the obvious downside of ad blocking technology. But that said, there is a balance that needs to be struck. Is it fair that in order to watch a 90 second video clip on YouTube, we must first watch a 30 second ad, most likely one we have watched many times before? Aren’t YouTube rich enough already?

And who are the real victims of the “adblockalypse”? In a nutshell, any advertiser funded online publication, but particularly those who publish longer form content, although ironically, they are not the root cause of the problem.

The Staggering Figures behind The Rise Of Uber – The (second) Greatest Start-up Phenomenon Of All Time?

Uber raising

Uber’s business broken down by the guys at mister BEEP; to see the whole infographic click here

Uber; the name says it all. It’s the biggest, the most controversial and the most heavily backed startup to have come out of Silicon Valley since Facebook. It’s the biggest bet on a disruptive tech platform ever and the cultural implications of its success or otherwise will reverberate through the decades.

Stories From The City; Stories From The Seed – Welcome To F*ck-up Nights!

fuck up nights

Welcome to Fuck Up Night at Impact Hub Kings Cross – Failures welcome – so long as you keep trying!

“We believe a better world is created through the combined accomplishments of compassionate, creative, and committed individuals focused on a common purpose.”

So says the introductory blurb on the website for the Kings Cross branch of Impact Hub, a “community of social businesses addressing challenges both locally and globally.” Impact Hub has workspaces all over the world, and over 11,000 global members, collaborating, mentoring one another and exchanging ideas. An inspiring network of entrepreneurial creativity.

Luckily however, for the modern founder, Impact Hub isn’t just tolerant of failure, it actively encourages people to discuss their disastrous business cock-ups in front of hundreds of others.

A Record Breaking Quarter For US Venture Capital Fundraising In Q1 Is Good News For Entrepreneurs Everywhere


US VC firms raised $12.6bn in Q1 2016 – the most for a decade

They’re studying your metrics; they’re holding a red pen and occasionally making notes. You’re sweating. They’re asking how long will it be until you start to deliver real, tangible returns?

It may be of some considerable comfort to startup founders everywhere they they are not the only ones who have to endure a quarterly grilling from the money men. Venture Capitalists have to do it too. Remember, unlike Angels, who invest their own personal wealth, VCs spend as much time trying to secure funds as startups.

Say Hailo To The Money Cloud’s New Non-Exec Director


Last week the Money 20-20 Conference took place in Copenhagen, and for the first time, some of the world’s largest banks shared the stage with a variety of disruptive Fintech founders.

Throughout 2015, London’s Fintech revolution gathered pace with companies like Transferwise and World Remit achieving the fabled “Unicorn” status as their valuations, backed by significant Venture Capital funding, soared past the $1 billion mark.

London or Berlin – Which is Best For Startups?


Is Berlin about to take London’s crown as Europe’s number 1 startup hub?

They are two of the most thriving startup scenes in Europe; international, cosmopolitan and playing by hipster rules.

That means parties, super-strong coffee, beards and craft beers; maybe even a Daschund or two. But don’t be fooled, it also means determined, ambitious founders with vision, rockstar developers, extreme growth hacking, and supercharged growth fuelled by Venture Capital firms, and plenty of them.

But which was chosen as the best city to launch a startup in 2015? Which is the most gender equal hub in Europe? Which is supported by a community of which more than half are foreigners? And where’s cheapest for lunch?

Silicon Roundup; In A Week That May Have Kickstarted The Fundraising Season, We Ask, Are London’s Entrepreneurs building for the 1%?


London is the most expensive city to live in in the world – are entrepreneurs increasingly catering to the rich and powerful?

Is this the week that London’s tech startup scene finally burst into life in 2016?

After the highs of 2015, when Venture Capital grew 70% year on year to £3.6bn, $2.8bn of which was raised here in London, came the murmurings of discontent. Was it a bubble – could valuations be sustained – can we really trust disruptive tech?

Want To Work For A Startup? Join Global {M} For Tips, Tricks & 1-1 CV Surgeries @ Google Campus 29th April


When it comes to finding the perfect job, don’t play the waiting game, get pro-active!

If startup founders are the new rock stars, Global {M} are its New Romantics.

Co-founders Nick Waller and Alex Hemsley have brought a new approach to recruitment to the Tech City table. They have created dream-teams of developers and coders from scratch and trained them up before deploying them into large corporates and multinationals by leveraging their network of international contacts, from Dubai to Durban.

They have championed the cause of the “intrapreneur”, the people who bring the startup spirit to organisations, supported local and international charities, and, of course, helped local startups grow by helping them make the right recruitment choices.

“Stay Humble” Says Heavyweight Joshua As He Rolls Into “Home of British Boxing” Bethnal Green’s York Hall Ahead Of Title Fight; He Would Have Made A Great Hipster


Anthony Joshua demonstrates the grace under pressure and publicity skills that most Hipster founders would die for at his media meet and greet before his world title shot on Saturday

As East London’s Hipsters headed home on Monday after a hard day’s hacking and hustling, the Hummers came rolling into Bethnal Green; it’s unclear what kind of relationship Hackney’s startup community has with the bruising world of boxing, but what is indisputable is that York Hall, just opposite Bethnal Green tube station has been the spiritual home of British boxing since it first opened, with a capacity of 1,200, back in 1929.

With $14m Series B Fundraising Planday Are Leading Wonderful Copenhagen’s Startup Charge


All eyes on Copenhagen; the city’s startup scene is one of the most talked about in Europe

London isn’t the only European capital with a thriving startup scene; Copenhagen’s entrepreneurs are every bit as resourceful as their British counterparts, although until recently raising large funding rounds in the Danish capital might have been considered a bridge, or maybe a pivot too far.