The rise and rise of digi comms in London Bridge

In 2010 the total funding raised by tech companies in London was less than £10 million; in 2015 these figures reached record levels of over £5.2 billion.

It’s clear the surge of momentum during this digital era is fuelling the city’s economy, continuing to steer the long upward trend of financial technology (FinTech) services and digital communication investment opportunities. 

Analysis on venture capital investments released earlier this year by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional company, revealed that since 2010 UK technology companies have collectively raised over £7 billion with London-based companies accounting for more than half of the total. During 2015 the investment secured by London-based tech firms accounted for 63% of total VC investment raised by UK tech firms. 

London Bridge is now the second largest financial technology hub in London and the start of the New Year has seen a surge of VC investment within the area, which plays a significant role in elevating the appeal and attraction of the area. 

Earlier this month, augmented reality start-up, and London Bridge based Blippar raised $54m becoming one of the UK’s best funded start-ups. The investment round was led by existing investor Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the strategic investment fund of the Government of Malaysia and one of the latest occupiers of The Shard. Khazanah has also previously invested in technology companies including Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and airline search site Skyscanner.

“Khazanah are a great fit with Blippar because they are investors with a "long-term vision," who will also be able to help the company tap into the Asia market.”
Ambarish Mitra
CEO and Co-founder of Blippar

The AR technology launched in 2011 allows consumers to readily view information on a product or service by simply directing their smartphone camera towards the direction of the item. The key goal over the next 12 months for Blippar says Mitra, is to move the system to be smart enough so it almost has a visual perception of a grown-up person and to create what he calls a ‘visual search engine for the world’. 

The new funds will go into Blippar's artificial intelligence teams which are already hard at work in Silicon Valley and in London. 

The momentous amount raised in funding for Blippar is a substantial and a promising example for FinTech in London as the city continues to establish itself as the FinTech capital of Europe, with investment growing faster here than anywhere else in the world.

Image courtesy of Jon Arnold.