London Startup Guide
everything you wanted to know about the London Startup Scene but were afraid to ask

  • Subscribe to the Open Coffee Meetup. The mailing list is active among the tech community. (see archive)
  • Sign up for Startup Digest. Select London. Receive a weekly email of relevant events and information. (see example)
  • Go to an event at Techhub. (more info here)
  • Follow on Twitter the 500 most influential members of the startup scene. Or just read what they're reading.
  • The Big Guys
    Mega funds dedicated to the venture business.
    Firm About 2011 investments (as reported by Crunchbase)
    Index Granddaddy of European venture capital. Founded in 1996. Euro 350M latest fund, plus other funds in seed and growth capital. Historical investments include MySQL, Skype, FON,, Lovefilm, Netvibes. (Index invests globally) iZettle, Dropbox,, CipherCloud, Centrify, Mashape, GoTryItOn, Groupalia, Acutus Medical, ProFibrix, Reality Jockey, StorSimple, Soluto, SnapGuide, EDITD, Big Switch Networks, Funding Circle, Stylistpick, House Trip, OpenBuildings,, StackExchange, Onefinestay, Privalia, Climate Corporation, Grey Area, Diartis Pharma, Versartis, Ubermedia, Path, Lightbox, Mind-NRG, CatchFree, Assistly, Geckoboard, Soundcloud.
    Accel London office of Accel. $525m latest fund. Historical investments include Rovio and Playfish. Knewton, Peertransfer, Spotify, Supercell, Ostrovok, KupiVIP, StylistPick, Qriously, Getjar
    Balderton Formerly Benchmark Europe. Founded in 2000. £285m latest fund. Exits include Bebo to AOL and MySQL to Sun. Lemon, VestiaireDeCopines, DisplayLink, eWise, Worldstores, Wooga, Kupivip, Livebookings, Tabula, Gemvara, Scvngr and
    Funds by Entrepreneurs
    Great example of the evolution of European venture capital: successful entrepreneurs are now putting money back into the ecosystem. Mostly operating at the super angel level.
    Firm About 2011 investments (as reported by Crunchbase)
    Atomico Founded in 2006 by Skype cofounder Niklas Zennstrom. $165m second fund. Fashiolista, Rdio, Siine, Fon, Climate Corporation, Rovio, Ostrovok, Silk, QUid, MyGengo.
    Profounders Founded in 2009 by Brent Hoberman (Lastminute) and Michael Birch (Bebo). Already successful exit with Tweetdeck to Twitter. Ocuspec, Lanyrd, Lofty, Echoecho, 9flats, Onefinestay, Applifier, Citysocialising, Manga High, Keynoir,
    Notion Founded in 2009 by the White brothers (Messaging Labs- acquired by Symantec for $700m, Star- one of UK's first ISPs) Tradeshift, Brightpearl.
    Passion Founded in 2011 by the team from White Bear Yard, including Stefan Glaenzer (, $60m fund. Readmill, Wirewax, Picklive, EyeEm, Adzuna, Smarkets, Flattr, Mendeley.
    Active Funds
    Funds that have put $ to work in 2011.
    Firm About 2011 investments (as reported by Crunchbase)
    DFJ Espirit Part of the DFJ network since 2007. $560m under mgmt. Acquired 3i's portfolio in 09. DisplayLink, Taptu, Qosmos, Redkite, Neul, CloudApps, Conversocial, RadiumOne
    Eden London and Bath offices. Exits include Apertio, Blinkbox, Cramer Systems, OD2 and Secerno. Lookk, We7, Brightpearl, Basekit, Voss, VisionOSS, Acunu
    Wellington German fund with an office in London. EyeEm, eWise, Cavendish Kinetics, Sapiens, Enecsys, Livebookings, Hailo
    Octopus Founded in 1999. Plan to invest £100m in next 3 years. Applied Superconductor, 10CMS, CertiVox, Vega-Chi
    DN Capital 3 exits this year include Endeca and Datanomic (both to Oracle) and Target 250 (to Green Leads) Apsalar, Shazam,
    Fidelity Growth Founded in 2010. £100m fund dedicated to Europe. Wahanda, Neo Technology, GoodData.
    Pentech London and Edinburgh offices. Fanduel, We7, Metaforic, CertiVox, Acunu.
    M8 Focused on mobile tech. Aylus Networks, Portalarium, SCHAD.
    Delta Founded in 1994. Euro 250m under mgmt. Miracor Medical, SpineGuard, AccuNostics, Digital Mines.
    Other Funds
    Note that not all private venture investments are publicly reported. Listed are 2011 investments (as reported by Crunchbase).
    Amadeus TrialReach Pond Nothing reported in 2011 Advent Vitrue, Worldstores MMC Base79
    Doughty Hanson MegaZebra Scottish Equity ExcoinTouch, Metaforic. NESTA CellNovo
    For a startup scene to thrive, it's really the early stage investment that matters.
    Accelerators (across UK)
    Accelerator About 2011 investments
    Seedcamp Founded by Index's Saul Klein and 3i's Reshma Sohoni in 2007, Seedcamp started the non-US micro-investment model. Shareholders include most major European VCs and events occur in cities globally. Euro 50k for 8-10% of the company. Appextras, Crashpadder, Campalyst, Mopapp, Psykosoft, Compilr, Efficient Cloud, Fractal, Holvi,, Rentlord, Transferwise, Blossom,, Grabcad, Bilbus, Farmeron, Telportd,, Sportlyzer.
    Springboard Cambridge-based 13-week program inspired by Techstars, founded by RedGate Software. £5k per founder for 6% of the company. Adwings, Arachnys, Apiary, HubFlow, Mayday, MiniMonos, Playmob, Publification,, TotalGigs.
    Ignite100 Newcastle-based 13 week program inspired by Techstars. Used to be The Difference Engine. £5k per founder upto £15k. Plus a £100 convertible note on completion of the program. Happening now..
    Oxygen Accelerator Birmingham-based 13 week program inspired by Techstars. £5k per founder plus £5k relocation and 6 mths office space for 6% of the company. Happening now..
    Beta Foundry Limited to Oxford students and alums, started by the guys from OpenSignalMaps. £5k for 5-10% of the company. VintageFilmClub, BeHiring, IvyLeap.
    Other upcoming programs include: Startup Bootcamp (already operating in other European cities), Founder Institute,
    Angels are scattered everywhere.
  • SeedSummit: A collection of European seed investors, by Seedcamp.
  • AngelList: Popular and most comprehensive list and network of active angels globally, by the guys from VentureHacks. Includes European angels as well as US angels interested in London/Europe. Also see top local connectors.
  • London Business Angels: Hold monthly pitch events.
  • What else?
  • Startups

    There are quite a lot! A good source for funded startups are the portfolio pages of the venture capital firms above. Also:
  • A collection of startups that are hiring in 11/11.
  • A curated Twitter-based list of 300+ startups.
  • London internet startups doing more than $10m in annual revenue on Quora.
  • Techcrunch Europas Winners from 2010.
  • A Startup 100 list, organized by category, by The Telegraph.
  • Startups looking for funding on Angellist.
  • And of course there is Crunchbase. Search in London.
  • Work Spaces and Startup Clusters

  • Techhub. In the heart of the Old Street Roundabout, founded by Elizabeth Varley and Techcrunch Editor Mike Butcher.
  • Innovation Warehouse. Work and Collaboration Space near Smithfields Market in Farringdon.
  • Club Workspace. 2 locations in Farringdon and London Bridge. Great deal at 55 pounds/mth.
  • The Cube. Close to Shoreditch station and Spitalfields Market.
  • Hoxton Mix. Close to Old Street Roundabout.
  • The Hub. Global workspaces with a social bent. 3 London locations in Islington, King's Cross and Westminster.
  • The Trampery. North of Old Street Roundabout and Hoxton Square.
  • White Bear Yard. Startup hub in Farringdon with a great roofdeck. HQ of Passion Capital.
  • Other places listed on this Coworking Wiki.
  • Ecosystem

  • Tech City
  • Peer Index list of the top 100 people in european tech based on social media influence.
  • Imperial College London
  • University College London
  • British Library
  • Too many to track! Meetup is a great source. Also:
  • Add News Frog, a public google calendar of tech events (iCal version)
  • Sign up for Startup Digest's' London edition, a weekly email of events.
  • Sign up for Silicon Roundabout's weekly newsletter.
  • Find conferences on Lanyrd.
  • See where others are going on Plancast.

  • Some Popular Events

  • Open Coffee. Every Thursday morning.
  • Minibar. Monthly Fridays.
  • Mashup. Occasional.
  • Silicon Roundabout Meetup Monthly Thursdays.
  • Hackernews Meetup. Monthly Wednesdays. Nerdfest.
  • Silicon Roundabout Social Club. Monthly Thursdays. Membership.
  • Silicon Drinkabout. Every Friday.
  • DrinkTank. Monthly Wednesdays. Membership.
  • Startup Weekend. Occasional.
  • Launch48. Occasional.
  • Open Soho. Monthly.
  • Digital Sizzle. Quarterly.
  • Product Tank. Monthly.
  • Flagons Den. Bimonthly.
  • Will add more here..


  • Nic Brisbourne, DFJ
  • Saul Klein, Index
  • Fred Destin, Atlas
  • Carlos Espinal, Seedcamp
  • TAG
  • Ben Holmes, Index
  • Jos White, Notion
  • Octopus VCs
  • Fidelity VCs
  • Max Niederhofer
  • Mind the Product


  • TechCrunch EU
  • FT Tech Blog
  • Mashable
  • The Next Web
  • Other Reading

    For now, some Quora reading..

    Quora: London Startups
    Quora: Is Europe for Losers?
    Quora: Major European Tech Exits in past 3 years
    Quora: European Micro Seed Funds
    Job Boards
    There are lots of job boards online. Here are a few to get started:
  • MilkRoundabout. Massive Fair. Developers meet Startups. These are the companies that are hiring.
  • Work in Startups. Recent jobs in the UK startup scene.
  • CoderStack. UK focused software developer jobs.
  • Crunchboard. UK version.
  • Stack Overflow. London search.
  • Enternships. Student focus and Internships.
  • Mind the Product. Product Manager opportunities.
  • Recruiters
    More focused on executive level:
  • Forsythe Group
  • Up Group
  • TBD..
  • Version 1 (Sept 2011): Basics.
  • Version 2 (Oct 2011): Details on VCs, startups and workspaces.
  • Version 3 (coming Nov 2011): ...

  • Curated by Azmat. Cofounder of CityMapper. Ex-Seedcamp and Google (in London)  

    After having a few coffees sharing this info with curious minds, decided to write it down.

    Using Bootstrap from Twitter