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Google, Oracle, VMWare sniff out leading start-ups at London event

Digital Tech Summit invites start-ups to pitch to investors and corporates

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Venture capital firms and large corporates gathered at a start-up event in London today in a bid to identify the most promising new companies developing technologies in the areas of fintech, web, mobile and security.

The Digital Tech Summit event, held at a stock exchange in London’s Square Mile, specifically aims to showcase the best investment opportunities within Europe’s digital industry to 150 global venture capitalists, angel investors and private equity firms, as well as large corporate firms like Google, Oracle, Samsung, Qualcomm and VMWare.

Nearly 200 start-ups applied to showcase their products but just 20 were given the opportunity to make a 10-minute pitch to audiences containing individuals and companies with deep pockets.

Baruk Pilo, president of the summit, told Techworld that the event attracts venture capitalists from all over the world as it’s an opportunity for them to meet several leading start-ups in one place, instead of going to London one day, Berlin the next and Amsterdam the day after.

One of the most popular pitching sessions of the day was the fintech category, which has been hailed as a booming vertical lately.

GoCardless, CrowdCube and The Currency Cloud were among the final five companies in the fintech category and each was given the chance to pitch their business to a room full of potential investors.

Nicolas Rose, a French-based tech investor for XAnge private equity group who sat in on the pitches, told Techworld that his firm, which invests up to €5 million at a time, is particularly interested in fintech start-ups, adding that XAnge is already an investor in The Currency Cloud.

While the Digital Tech Summit showcased fintech companies from across Europe, Rose said that London is leading the way in the field.

“London has all the right ingredients for fintech,” he said. “The people, the talent, the capital, the City, the international connections.”

He added: “London has always been in the top two or three worldwide capitals of finance. Fintech is an obvious continuation of that.”

Pilo claims that many of the start-ups go on to receive funding off the back of the conversations they have with investors and corporates at the event.  

On corporates, he said: “Those big companies can be a partner for the start-ups and sometimes they can be an investor.”

However, following a panel discussion on start-ups, Google, VMWare and Oracle all refused to be drawn on whether they planned to invest in or acquire any of the companies in attendance.


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