The long-held notion that FinTech players could be leaving London, widely regarded as a breeding ground for tech innovation, may be starting to bear fruit, and as some have speculated, Berlin looms large.
Reuters reported on Monday (July 18) that as many as 10 London-based startups have been reviewing their options, with an eye on moving physical locations to Berlin in the wake of the Brexit vote that caused such turmoil in the European Union and beyond last month. The news of the 10 startups’ interest in shifting locales came courtesy of Berlin Partner, a business development group.
As has been widely reported, there are a slew of other financial centers in Europe that want to grab onto the U.K. FinTech crown, with those startups just mentioned having an average of 10–18 employees. The inquiries seem to be at the initial stages, with questions centering on commercial property prices and labor market climate. A move outside of the U.K. would help ensure that these companies still have access to the large single market that is the hallmark of Europe. To do that, as has been reported by various financial media outlets, passporting rights are crucial.
In an interview with Reuters, Cornelia Yzer, Berlin’s senator for economics, technology and research, said that more than 100 companies have communicated with Berlin in the face of the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit vote. In other actions, Berlin is opening an office in London. Berlin itself attracted about €2 billion in venture capital funding in 2014.