Croydon rising as tech capital of London

Earlier this month, newly released figures confirmed London stands head of shoulders above its rivals as Europe’s leading city for tech innovation and investment.

Venture capital funding into tech firms based in the capital jumped to £2.45 billion last year, four times as much as our nearest European rivals Paris.

For the last few years, Old Street’s famed Silicon Roundabout has been seen as the centrepiece for London’s growing start-up scene after 15,620 new companies were set up in the area during 2013-14.

In the south side of the city however, an unlikely competitor is emerging, as a growing number of companies are priced out of trendy Shoreditch, and leading the new way is Croydon and the aply-named TMRW and companies like Scrummy Club.

Ben David set up Scrummy Club, a mobile loyalty app, in 2014.

He started Scrummy Club to replace loyalty stamp cards which he felt were outdated and ineffective.

“Starting your own business in any sector is really challenging.

“Pick your team very carefully and try and have a bit of fun with the people you’re working with whenever you can,” he said.


Scrummy Club is just one of many businesses occupying TMRW.

Part of the Croydon Tech City collective, TMRW, founded in 2016 by French entrepreneur Francois Mazoudier, is south London’s biggest tech coworking space.

Based on Croydon High Street, they offer a capacity of around 350 seats in total, catering for a range of fast-growing start-ups.

The TMRW work-space is complete with a range of quirks: table tennis, an old-school Nintendo 64 and a cool-down zone complete with a hammock for productivity boosting snoozes.

TMRW is also home to Byte Café, which was voted Croydon’s Best Indie Café of the Year in 2016, as well as a large downstairs event space.

Beloudest is a game design and development company founded in 2012.

Their founder and creative director Stuart Spencer originally created the company to publish games he was working on for iPhone and Android.

Beloudest (pronounced “be loudest”) has since focused on producing virtual reality content for recognised VR hardware manufacturers HTC and Oculus.

They are currently working on a pair of games:‘Bad Day To Fly’ a flight combat shooter and ‘Exo Exit’ a first-person sci-fi simulation game.

Spencer said: “We’re just reaching a point in our story where I think things will become quite interesting for us.”

“I think a lot of success is based on meeting people at the right place or right time, if you stay at home in your bedroom with this idea, it’s not going to go anywhere.”

Far from the fun and games of Beloudest, ThriveMap, co-founded by Chris Platts and Mark Hla in 2016, is a software tool that predicts how a prospective employee would fit into a new team.

They recently landed £130,000 worth of investment and count US audio giant Dolby among their clients.

ThriveMap uses a cultural fit assessment survey consisting of 25 questions to objectively analyse the environment people work best in.

Platts said: “The main reason I think start-ups fail is because there’s not a big enough market for the product and the problem being solved.

“Starting out, just solve the immediate problem, world domination, that will come later, just do what’s in front of you first.”


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