10 Nov 2020

B2B Tech Tuesday: the government’s new taskforce making London attractive to tech start-ups

B2B Tech Tuesday is our weekly check-in here at Spreckley, where we share all the most interesting and useful B2B and enterprise technology news, innovations and trends.

This week, the government sets up a new taskforce to look at ways of making London more attractive to tech start-ups, UK-based virtual events business Hopin is lauded as one of the fastest-growing tech startups ever and Covid-19 is largely agreed to be behind the rapid acceleration of investment into enterprise and business cloud migration tech.


New government taskforce to attract more start-ups to London

What can the UK government be doing to attract more start-ups to the London market? That’s the question posed by the Telegraph’s Hannah Boland this week, as UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak plans a review into the listings market and, specifically, how this impacts upon London’s tech start-up scene.

With the initial pessimism back in the spring over the listings market for tech start-ups now firmly in the rear-view mirror, Boland notes that “the listings market has roared back into life” and that, in the US,  “bankers are now the busiest they have been since the peak of the dotcom boom in 2000.”

“In Britain, a similar shift to the public markets is happening among tech names. In recent weeks, cybersecurity firm Darktrace and takeaway app Deliveroo have both been gearing up for blockbusters floats.

Covid-19 has been a “key accelerator of business trends,” according to Adam Kostyál, Nasdaq’s head of listings EMEA. “We’ve seen a stronger market than we have for many years.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new review of the UK listings regime has the stated aim of convincing more tech firms to float in London. Sunak’s new taskforce hopes to “attract the most innovative and successful firms and help companies access the finance they need to grow”, according to the Treasury.


 Virtual events biz Hopin is one of fastest growing start-ups ever

One of the UK’s fastest growing tech startups in 2020 is the virtual events business Hopin, which has gone from 4 employees to a $2bn valuation in the space of under a year, reports The Financial Times this week.

The FT notes that Hopin has rapidly become one of the fastest-growing start-ups ever, with the company “originally founded in London by Johnny Boufarhat after an illness prompted him to seek alternatives to physical events online.

“After its expansion plans were dramatically accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, it now has more than 200 employees in 38 countries, with hundreds of thousands of people attending its online events every week.

“While Zoom’s video chats aim to recreate team meetings, Hopin looks to recreate online every facet of a physical event, including keynote presentations, exhibitor booths, breakout sessions, one-to-one networking and ticketed entry. Zoom also took more than five years to reach a $1bn valuation. Hopin’s growth figures have created a frenzy among venture capitalists of the kind rarely seen outside Silicon Valley, creating intense competition that helped drive up its valuation.

“In total, more than 3.5m people have attended events put on by 50,000 organisations in the past eight months. Surging demand has given investors confidence that Hopin is creating a new market for online events, which will eventually form a “hybrid” or companion to real-world conferences, even after Covid-19 lockdowns are lifted.”


Covid-19 accelerates enterprise cloud migration

More generally, it is becoming clearer that the pandemic has accelerated technology investment plans that aid cloud migration for businesses and enterprise.

As Caroline Donnelly reports in the latest edition of the global Computer Weekly/TechTarget IT Priorities Survey, more than 120 UK IT leaders shared details of how the pandemic has caused them to change and accelerate the course of their technology investment plans.

“From the UK sample of the data, 33% of respondents said their immediate spending priority is to invest in technologies to aid the migration of their enterprise workloads to the cloud in the interests of achieving business agility gains.

“This was the second-most common immediate investment priority stated by respondents, with investing in technologies to enable remote working coming out top with 53% of the vote.

“These findings echo anecdotal accounts shared by CIOs and senior IT leaders about how the pandemic has served to accelerate their cloud-led digital transformation plans so their businesses are better positioned and prepared for the changes in consumer behaviour and working patterns Covid-19 has caused.”