A time zone where at 9am in London, it’s 5pm in Singapore and Hong Kong, and 6pm in Tokyo; and at 5pm in London it is midday in New York and 9am in San Francisco, means you can check in with investors in Tokyo over breakfast and investors in the US over afternoon tea.
London is the hub that sits neatly between Asia and America and, despite the noise surrounding Brexit, it retains this advantage with successful trading venue launches like the London Shanghai Stock Connect. Established in June 2019, it enables UK-listed companies to sell shares in China, allowing for money to flow between Britain and Asia and strengthening London’s financial credentials.
“London is a global financial centre like no other,” said the then UK Chancellor, Philip Hammond, responding to the news of the launch. “Stock Connect is a ground-breaking initiative, which will deepen our global connectivity as we look outwards to new opportunities in Asia.”
It’s strong financial and legal foundations that are drawing start-ups to the city, explains Neil Kadagathur, Co-founder of loan facilitator Creditspring. Based at Workspace’s Grand Union Studios, Kadagathur has taken advantage of London-based VC and private equity founders looking to invest. From its first sum of funding in 2017, Creditspring has blossomed. It is now a successful subscription-based service providing two interest-free £250 loans on demand to its customers for £6 a month.
“London works well for what we’re doing. It has a friendly regulator, high population, established legal framework developed over hundreds of years, and lots of investors. It gives us the best advantage to create something out of nothing,” says Kadagathur. “Silicon Valley is very well established for tech business start-ups, but for fintech itself, London has the edge. For financial services it’s London, New York and then Hong Kong,” he says.
Indeed, the city is a good base from which to springboard onto the global market, say entrepreneurs. Like Kadagathur, Michael Qian is building out his company within the capital. He has created the UK’s first large-scale smart bike-sharing initiative, YoBike, out of Workspace’s The Light Bulb in Wandsworth, even though it is yet to launch in London. He says, “London has the infrastructure in place for businesses with a lot of investors, UK government-sponsored grants, incentive schemes, and tax schemes for investors. This strong structure makes it very easy to start a mobility company here.” It seems London is certainly calling.
The Light Bulb and Grand Union Studios are just two of over 60 Workspace properties that are home to some of the capital’s foremost financial businesses and cutting-edge fintech start-ups. Take a look at our full portfolio of office and studio space in London and discover what Workspace can offer your business.