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MBA Entrepreneurs: Record Investment Makes London Europe's Answer To Silicon Valley

A record amount of VC funding for tech start-ups in London has pushed it ahead of the pack in Europe, as MBA students recognize the UK capital's potential.

Mon Oct 6 2014

BusinessBecause
London truly is becoming Europe’s answer to Silicon Valley.

London’s technology start-ups have received a record $1 billion in funding in the past year, while MBA students have also recognised the capital’s potential and flocked to set-up camp in the UK.

New research by London & Partners which is based on data from CB Insights, a research firm, show that early-stage tech firms in London have raised $1.021 billion from venture capital firms in the first three quarters of 2014 – already surpassing the previous record of $719m raised in 2013 with a quarter still left to go. The data show a 10-fold increase on the amount raised by tech start-ups four years ago in 2010.

The figures will buoy Tech City, the cluster of tech firms in East London hoping to rival the dominance of the Bay Area which has attracted MBA graduates and established links with London’s business schools, and also demonstrate the attractiveness of London to venture capital investors.

A cadre of these entrepreneurs are using British business schools to launch their ventures. At Cranfield School of Management, based near London, 17% of 2013’s MBA cohort started their own businesses.

Other schools such as Cass Business School in London have close ties with Tech City, setting up an incubator called The Hangout for students to grow their fledgling tech businesses.

According to the Startup Genome project website, London is home to more start-ups than anywhere else in Europe, with about 3,000 tech companies established there.

Eileen Burbidge, a partner at Passion Capital, which invests in technology start-ups, said: “In just four short years the amount of venture capital funding going into London’s technology firms has increased more than ten-fold. That’s an astonishing rate of growth, which is testament to the exciting innovation that’s happening in London.”

Busuu, the language learning tech group co-founded by an MBA graduate of IE Business School, Bernhard Niesner, has raised £3.8 million in funding since its launch.

“We moved the company last year from Madrid to London, and to find top talent it’s much easier being in London,” said Bernhard, CEO.

“It’s the best ecosystem at least in Europe and maybe the world for a start-up like ours,” he added. “There is a big talent pool, and a lot of people with similar experience in what we are trying to do.”

As the market grows, companies find it easier to access larger amounts of capital. So far this year three companies – takeaway.com, farfetch.com and Funding Circle – have all successfully completed funding rounds in excess of $50 million in London.

The largest deal completed during the third quarter however was a $65 million funding round by Funding Circle, the peer-to-peer lender, which was backed by Index Ventures, among other VC firms.

While such investment growth is promising, it still lags behind Silicon Valley, which many entrepreneurs believe is the undisputed king of the tech world.

Samir Desai, CEO of Funding Circle, said that since launching in 2010 Funding Circle has secured $123 million in VC investment. But he added that the company expanded into the US to help fill the “small business funding gap which also exists there”.

Overall however, new funds worth $1.5 billion have set up in the UK capital during 2014, with firms including Index Ventures, Google, Santander and Balderton Capital creating new London-based investment vehicles. 

Student Reviews

Bayes Business School

Student

Verified

31/10/2023

On Campus

Best Journalism school in Europe

When I first stepped onto the campus of City, University of London, I knew I was in for a ride - and not just on the Tube! With its vibrant energy and an impressive repertoire of programs, City U became my home away from home. The Journalism program was kind of a big deal. Rumour was that we were the best in Europe! The lecturers were not just experts in their field; they’re practically journalistic royalty. They were invested, passionate, and had a knack for turning the most flat press release into a riveting news story. With their guidance, I’ve learned to navigate the chaotic world of media like a pro. The campus was a melting pot of every culture, being that we had such a diverse international crowd. Being in the heart of London, I had the world at my fingertips - there was always a new corner to explore, a hidden gem of a cafe to discover, or a street performer! City, University of London wasn't just a university; it was a chapter in my life story that I’ll never forget.

Lydia

Verified

23/02/2023

On Campus

Learning environment

The teacher-learner ration is manageable, giving each learner a chance to gain personal attention. It is also easier following up on the progress of a student, as the numbers per class is not large. the conducive environment for learning includes clean classes, standard desks, world class instructional facilities and the opportunity to engage lecturers even after their sessions. The team spirit at City is above board, with learners getting chance to learn both from instructors and colleagues. This is the university of choice; the place to be.

Nathaniel

Verified

24/01/2023

On Campus

Classes

I liked that each class had a manageable number of learners, making the professor-learner ratio favor knowledge acquisition. I also liked that study schedules were manageable, and not overwhelming. The focus on talents and gifts even within the learning environment makes it possible for learners to achieve the best of their potential, and this has worked to the advantage of those that have schooled at City, University of London

Muhammad

Verified

24/01/2023

On Campus

Classes

The diversity at City University facilitates interactions and is a direction toward the unity of the world. The classes are well built to match the number and needs of all students regardless of the elements of diversity that set people apart. The use of technology in delivery makes learning even more interesting and achievable. At City University there is no distinction pegged on the issues that make people unique.

Dorah

Verified

23/01/2023

On Campus

professors

The team of lecturers at the Uiversity are well experienced. Their level of insight and the methodologies of delivery works for the interes of the leaeners. My learning experience was largely boosted by the level of knowledge of the professors at the institution, and their passion to transfer the same to learners. I appreciate every class I attended because of the level of insight I was able to gather

Nora

Verified

17/12/2022

On Campus

The best university I’ve been to

The campus and the people I've met have made it a wonderful experience. I was reared in a small town with a graduating class of only 88 individuals, so moving to City University was a huge adjustment for me. My dorm has more residents than my whole high school combined! I enjoy the atmosphere here, and everyone is so friendly. Outstanding academic options and a stunning campus. Really great from beginning to end. The educators genuinely love what they do, and the students are ready to learn. On or around college, there is always something to do with friends, and the social scene is particularly warm.

Antonia

Verified

21/11/2022

On Campus

Bayes Business School

As a student at City university attending Bayes Business School I would totally recommend choosing this university as the experience is exceptional with great social networking opportunities . Professors are significantly helpful, delivering with excellence and professionalism. Everyone is happy to help and make you feel welcomed in such an esteem university as City, offering exceptional development and guidance through out the course.

Muhammad

Verified

15/11/2022

On Campus

Economics and Politics

Incredibly amazing university, the way they polish students and help them boost their morale and think intellectually is worthwhile. Many universities have international partnerships to allow exchanges between their students. The most obvious subjects for these opportunities would be those that involve languages, and the study of people and places.

Navya

Verified

11/11/2022

On Campus

Clinical biology

I really like it it’s perfect for me with not too many people and not too few either. All the modules are amazing. I love the toy bar. I love all the societies that I’ma part of. Especially the colour Bollywood society

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