London may not be the most modern or futuristic city on earth, but amidst the gritty, centuries-old buildings, a technological evolution has been (not-so-quietly) taking place.
Set in the heart of East London, Tech City – informally known as Silicon Roundabout – has become a breeding ground for UK innovation and entrepreneurship. Here, a host of exciting tech-driven startups have established base, and are looking to modernise the way we think about and do business.
Tech City is home to many companies offering a variety of unique products and services, but in this article we’ll look at just a few of this hub’s most prosperous graduates and residents.
If you don’t already know, read our article on What is the East London Tech City.
Fintech is on the up and up, and Monzo was one of the first of its kind in the digital banking sector. Arguably East London Tech City’s most successful startup (but open for debate, over coffee), the company was founded in 2015, and has since gathered a customer base of more than 5 million people. Much like your traditional brick and mortar banks, Monzo offers customers services like current accounts, savings accounts, and personal loans, just without the increasingly redundant brick and mortar.
With efficiency and convenience at the forefront of its business strategy, Monzo is entirely app-based. And in the absence of physical locations, the company has made its name providing excellent remote customer service. The combination of a user-friendly and intuitive mobile app and a highly responsive support team – along with some aggressively colourful branding – has made Monzo a popular and accessible banking option for anyone with a phone.
(Which is pretty much everyone.)
Generating over £1 billion in orders during its ten year existence, Deliveroo has become a name familiar to hungry people across the nation. Initially created in East London to serve the city, the food delivery service has since expanded globally, and now operates in more than 200 cities worldwide.
Deliveroo simplifies the process of ordering food through its phone app, which enables customers to easily browse and order from the menus of numerous different restaurants and takeaways. What’s more, the app allows its users to track deliveries in real-time and pre-order hours or days in advance.
The business model is based on providing customers with plenty of convenience and optionality, but is also concerned with typical sticking points of food delivery services, namely delivery time, and food quality. Deliveroo aims to get your order to you before hunger turns into hanger, but what really separates it from its competitors is the company’s willingness to work with restaurants, to ensure that the food they’re delivering is of the highest standard.
App based startup Citymapper provides its users with live public transport information from cities around the globe. Which doesn’t sound like the most novel idea in the world, although Citymapper’s rise to becoming one of the UK’s most popular travel apps since its introduction in 2011, underlines that this isn’t any run-of-the-mill information service.
Along with giving users detailed, real-time updates on buses, trains, and subway routes (including all the many delightful things that go wrong on said systems), Citymapper has an array of features that make it easy to plan trips and work your way around foreign cities. User experience is also an integral part of Citymapper’s appeal, and that is recognised in the form of a loyal customer base that uses the app on a daily basis.
Known as Transferwise prior to its name downsizing (or “rebrand”, as is the preferred term) in 2021, Wise is a popular money services platform. The website and app enable customers to perform tasks like currency exchange and money transfers, minus all the headaches that are common when doing them by more traditional means. With Wise, users get the real exchange rate, minimal and transparent fees, ease of use, and a no-nonsense, fast service. The company does not identify as a bank – for better or worse there are no overdraft or loan options available here – but they do offer a multi-currency account complete with its own debit card.
Celebrating over a decade of success in the Fintech space, the Tech City startup has become the choice of 16 million people worldwide. Wise has built its customer base by offering fair, affordable money services that cross borders. To underline its status as an internationally-oriented business, Wise supports over 50 different currencies which can be transferred to more than 80 countries.
The Future of Business in London
Finding innovative business in London isn’t a hard task; there are thriving entrepreneurship stories in every postcode. But when it comes to the capital’s most technocentric operations, East London Tech City remains the goto place.
Silicon Roundabout’s incubator-like environment is inspiring startups to push boundaries and disrupt a variety of stagnating industries. Money and finance, travel, and food delivery are just a few of the sectors receiving a modern facelift, as some of tech’s most exciting minds look to change how we think about products and services.
Utilising the everyday technology at our disposal (especially smartphones and mobile internet) these startups have placed their focus on turning typically arduous tasks into a stress-free experience. Their success is built on creating services that offer convenience and efficiency, which in turn has driven growth and attracted loyal customers.
No matter whether you’re a successful East London Tech City based business, or a startup with aspirations, you’ll know the value of fit and healthy IT systems. They aren’t just important in keeping your operations alive; they’re critical for future growth and expansion.
You’ll also know that maintaining your company’s IT is a nuisance, draining time, money, and resources.
So why not let us help you out?
Sphere IT strive to deliver comprehensive IT support services in London, possessing decades of experience assisting every sized business, from small startups to corporations. We know this city like the back of our hand, and have supported companies from East London Tech City, to every corner of the capital.
To learn more about how we can help keep your business on the right path, get in touch and speak with one of our IT experts.