London wants to tap into the deep pockets of Silicon Valley

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is hoping to persuade US technology companies to invest more in London.

Leon Neil | Getty Images

London Mayor Sadiq Khan traveled to California as part of a trade mission to try to persuade Silicon Valley technology leaders to invest more money in the UK capital.

On Tuesday, Khan met with senior tech bosses, including Ruth Porat, Google’s chief financial officer, venture capital investors and entrepreneurs from the Bay Area.

The mayor of London is hoping to finally strengthen the strong ties between London and Silicon Valley.

He specifically wants more US technology companies to open more offices in London. He also wants more U.S. technology investors to support more startups in London with their billions.

U.S. technology giants, including Google, Meta, Amazon, Twitter and Apple already have large offices in the capital, while Silicon Valley venture capital heavyweights, including Sequoia and Lightspeed Ventures, have recently set up outposts in the city to help find start-up investment opportunities. .

Ahead of his meeting, Khan said in a statement that he “planned to play the drums for more investment in London by American technology companies.”

In 2016, there were concerns that Brexit would lead to a mass exodus from U.S. technology, but that did not happen.

Today, US technical giants employ thousands of people across London, many of them in high-skilled and high-paying roles that contribute to the city’s overall economy.

In January, Google announced that it was paying $ 1 billion for the colorful Central St. Giles building in London’s West End, where it has already occupied several floors.

The internet giant is in the process of building a huge new office with enough space for more than 4,000 employees at a site behind King’s Cross train station, where Apple Battery Power Station is set to become one of the main tenants in the redevelopment.

Google’s new London headquarters.

Google

In a statement, Porat said: “Since we first opened our office in London in 2003, Google has been committed to the growth and success of London by investing in our local office, staff and R&D.

“Google shares the mayor’s belief in the power of technology to drive sustainable economic growth, and we look forward to deepening our connection to capital in the years ahead.”

Research published on Wednesday shows that London is the number one destination for US technology companies seeking to expand internationally, ahead of other European capitals such as Paris, Berlin and Stockholm.

While investing in US technology companies can create jobs and boost the local economy, they can also drive up home prices. For example, property prices at Kings Cross and Shoredich have risen over the past decade as companies such as Google and Amazon move forward.

The average house price in June 2010 was £ 561,671, according to the property website Rightmove. By June 2020, the number had risen to £ 939,561, with various factors behind the increase, including stimulus from both the government and the central bank.

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