Croydon – London’s Fastest Growing Tech HubTweet
London’s fastest growing tech cluster, the London Borough of Croydon is now home to more than 1000 tech and media companies with less than 250 tech businesses active in its town centre alone.
The growth of Croydon’s tech start-up cluster has been remarkable. According to the Office for National Statistics, it grew by more than a third (38%) between 2011 and 2013, and faster in comparison with East London (17.1%) and the UK as a whole (11.3%).
The reasons for this growth are varied. Croydon is up to 78% cheaper in terms of business premises than parts of central London so, combined with discount rates for the first year of occupancy, the Borough is becoming a popular option from a financial point of view. And with Central London only a 15-minute train journey away, people are asking themselves, is it worth it to pay significantly more for the same services? Gatwick airport is also a short distance away by train, offering flights to Europe’s other start-up centres in Berlin, Amsterdam and Helsinki.
Founded by local Jonny Rose, networking group Croydon Tech City offers regular events for companies thinking of making the move south of the river, as well as start-up support and advice on how to maximise their business potential. Croydon is also one of six London boroughs that offers a subsidy to help new and smaller companies upgrade their broadband.
One Croydon success story is DotMailer. Launched in Croydon in 1999, it is now the largest email marketing company in the UK, has a sister office in New York and a net worth of £5.8 million. Dotmailer also runs a coding programme in local primary schools in partnership with the charity ‘Lives not knives’. Europe’s largest independent video gaming website Videogamer also moved from Brighton to Croydon three years ago.
Smarta is a new peer to peer support platform for business owners and entrepreneurs to collaborate and develop new projects with business leaders in their field.
“Croydon’s a town undergoing rapid change and primed for growth. Its transport links – not just to London but the south and motorway network – are excellent; it boasts a huge catchment area and, importantly, is affordable.”
“Smarta’s qualification for Croydon’s 100% Business Rate Relief Scheme, funded by the London Mayor’s Regeneration Fund, is what caught the attention of those board members who were more sceptical of a switch from our previous location in SE1. The abundance of affordable office space with similarly tempting rent-free periods secured the deal.”
“Add in the 1,000-strong (and growing) tech cluster centred around the excellent Matthew’s Yard co-working space and thriving events scene driven by the Croydon Tech City crew and Croydon is a very practical and exciting base for Smarta and other ambitious fast-growing companies.”
Matt Thomas, COO, Smarta