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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan is leading a trade mission to Silicon Valley in the US as new research reveals leading US tech companies are setting their sights on

London as the number one destination for international expansion.


Today the Mayor is in the US tech hub of Silicon Valley meeting business leaders and entrepreneurs in order to drive investment and further links between London’s flourishing tech sector and companies in the Bay Area. 


During his visit the Mayor will meet with senior representatives from some of the world’s biggest tech companies including Google and LinkedIn at their headquarters. Sadiq will also visit the Silicon Valley headquarters of Plug and Play, the world’s largest early-stage investor and a global innovation platform, who have announced that they will be setting up their first UK operations in both London and Warwickshire. Plug and Play also aims to make up to 30 investments per year into UK early-stage start-ups.


Additionally, Palo Alto based artificial intelligence software provider and unicorn, SambaNova Systems, has announced its expansion in the UK with the opening of its first London office over the coming months. 



Additionally, Palo Alto based artificial intelligence software provider and unicorn, SambaNova Systems, has announced its expansion in the UK with the opening of its first London office over the coming months. 


The research also highlights that London’s status as a tech hub is going from strength to strength as London and the Bay Area are the top two hubs for fintech, receiving more fintech investment than all other global cities, including the likes of New York and Singapore. 


Last year was a record year for investment into London tech companies, as the UK capital’s tech firms secured $28.1bn in funding – more than double any other European city. The capital also attracted attracting $66.1bn in venture capital between 2017-2021, almost three times the amount of total funding received by other tech hubs such as Paris, Berlin and Tel Aviv.


The report released today highlights that London and the Bay Area are natural partners for collaboration across a number of fast growing tech sectors, as they lead the way for investment and start-up growth in areas such as fintech, health tech and climate tech.


The latest expansion of US tech firms to London follows Google’s recent $1 billion investment in its Central St Giles office which, alongside its growing campus at King’s Cross, will create capacity for 10,000 UK employees. Over the past few years, London has also seen the likes of Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft and LinkedIn all commit to further staff and office space in the UK capital.  


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted to be in Silicon Valley today to bang the drum for even more investment in London by American tech companies.   


“London is already the number one destination for American tech companies to expand, showing we are an unrivalled destination for businesses to invest in. It is great news that even more leading US tech companies have unveiled plans to invest in and create new jobs our capital, and I want to invite businesses from across the sector and beyond to set their sights on London.”


Ruth Porat, SVP and CFO of Google and Alphabet, said: "Google has been committed to the growth and success of London through investments in our local offices, employees and R&D since we first opened our offices in London in 2003. Google shares the Mayor’s belief in the power of technology to drive sustainable economic growth, and we look forward to continuing to deepen our connection to the capital in the years ahead.”


Saeed Amidi, CEO and Founder of Plug and Play, said: “As a global hotspot for innovation and home to a strong network of entrepreneurs, the UK has the potential to be one of Plug and Play’s biggest Innovation Platforms. London is one of Europe’s leading technology hubs – making it a natural place for us to setup our first UK operation. We see lots of similarities between London’s thriving start-up ecosystem and our original home in Silicon Valley and we look forward to exploring investment opportunities into cutting edge companies based in London and the rest of the UK.”


Chris Kenny, General Manager, EMEA at SambaNova said: “With London having firmly established itself as a global AI leader, we are excited to be enhancing our UK presence in the financial capital of the world with our office opening in the coming months. SambaNova is rapidly supporting organisations and businesses in the UK to compete by becoming early AI enabled adopters, helping organisations in financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and the public sector quickly leverage AI for business advantage.”


Throughout his visit to the Bay Area, the Mayor will be calling for collaborations between London and leading US tech hubs such as Silicon Valley. Sadiq has been invited by Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business to take part in a prestigious guest interview series with undergraduate students, where he will discuss how global tech hubs can lead the way in making our cities greener and fairer through developments in technology and innovation.


The Mayor will be joined on his visit to the Bay Area by 11 founders from some of London’s women-led tech companies who are looking to explore investment and expansion opportunities in the US market. The Mayor will open doors for the founders in support of London & Partners’ Beyond HERizons programme, dedicated to helping create more growth opportunities for female founders. 


On the next leg of his trade mission, to Los Angeles, the Mayor will support some of London’s fastest growing creative technology businesses to explore export opportunities, as part of the Mayor’s International Business Progamme. 


Laura Citron, CEO of London & Partners said: “This research offers further proof that London and Silicon Valley are two of the world’s leading hubs for innovation and technology. It also shows that there are lots of opportunities for collaboration between the two ecosystems, especially in areas of mutual strength such as fintech, health tech and climate tech. We’re delighted to see that London is the top city for US tech businesses looking to expand outside of their home market and we look forward to strengthening tech partnerships between London and US tech hubs during this trade mission.”  Photo by Coolcaesar, Wikimedia commons.


Kate Jillings, co-founder ToucanTech, a London company travelling on the female founder trade mission added: "London is on our blood - there are few places in the world that we could have built such a diverse and capable team, with the combination of tenacity, tolerance and tech skills. We're thrilled to be part of this female-founder trade mission to the Bay Area, a location like London where funding, talent and customers convene. We're looking forward to an intense 3 days of filling our brains and phones with new connections and fresh ideas."