Tech City UK has revealed the first wave of companies to enroll in its programme aimed at supporting fast-growing companies to grow their business and potentially float in London.
The year-long 'Future Fifty' programme will provide "concierge-style support" offering mentorship and business development support in areas such as accountancy and legal advice, corporate governance and marketing, as well as support for companies approaching a public listing.
To apply for the programme, companies need an annual revenue of at least £10m, increasing by 30 percent year-on-year over the last two years, and to be headquartered or have a significant management function based in the UK.
Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City UK, the organisation set up to promote UK high tech businesses, said the Future Fifty programme will help the most promising companies make the UK their home and "solidify London as the world's digital capital – the most attractive destination for entrepreneurs, startups and their investors".
The government is keen to capitalise on the success of London's burgeoning tech scene with research suggesting these types of businesses generate half of new high-value jobs.
However, it has faced criticism that it's hard for small companies to do business with government, and much harder for fast-growing businesses to access capital in London than in the US — which is why many end up floating on Nasdaq or being acquired by US companies.
The Future Fifty scheme is partly a response to this criticism, as are other recent moves: earlier this year the London Stock Exchange launched a new High Growth Segment aimed at encouraging these sorts of high-growth businesses to list in London by allowing them to offer 10 percent of shares compared to the usual 25 percent.
The full list of the first 25 companies to join the Future Fifty programme is:
- Zoopla Property Group
- Mind Candy
- Just Eat
- Green Man Gaming
- Calastone Limited
- Horizon Discovery
- Mimecast Services
- Secret Escapes