LAUNCHPAD: Can Tech City's Future Fifty ramp up London's tech floats?

Tech City has announced the first 25 companies on its Future Fifty scheme designed to encourage tech companies to float in London.

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 11 Dec 2014

The UK’s IPO market has been heating up for a while – it’s pretty exciting to watch. There was the recent scuffle over Royal Mail shares; Foxtons hit the ground running last month; and Crest Nicholson made a successful debut back in February (and there are a smorgasbord more in the pipeline).

But there’s still something missing from London’s stock exchanges. A big-ticket tech IPO.

The UK’s technology sector is booming, there are rumors of flotation plans surrounding many of our technology stars (most notably Mind Candy and Zoopla) but there’s a fear these firms will shun London and head to New York. That’s exactly what games maker King has done. The London-based creator of the insanely popular Candy Crush Saga has filed for an IPO in the US. Sniff, sniff.

When MT spoke to tech veteran Dan Wagner, he made it pretty clear he didn’t think he’d be listing his company Powa in London.

But fear not. Tech City is here to save the day and encourage our tech wunderkinds to list here. Well, they’ve created something called the Future Fifty in a bid to do so anyway…

Joanna Shields, chief executive of Tech City and chancellor George Osborne launched the initiative last April. Future Fifty is a year-long scheme which will offer ‘concierge-style’ support to the companies on the list to help them launch IPOs (in the UK, natch). Today, it has announced the first 25 companies on its list.

With the London Stock Exchange adding its High Growth segment – aimed at providing young, fast growing companies with an easier route to market – hopefully we’ll manage to anchor our tech successes to the capital.

Here’s the list of companies in Tech City’s sights so far:

Zoopla Property Group – online property service
Skyscanner – travel search company
Onefinestay – home stay service
Omnifone – cloud-based digital music services
Neomobile – mobile payment and advertising services
Mind Candy – entertainment business – online designer furniture retailer
Lyst – personalised fashion marketplace
Just Eat – on-line ordering service for the restaurant industry
HouseTrip – holiday rental website
Green Man Gaming – social commerce platform
Farfetch – online fashion brand and shopping site
Box – cloud-based data provider
Acturis – cloud-based SaaS platform for commercial insurance
Calastone Limited – cross-border transaction network for global funds
Hailo – free smartphone app for taxi booking
Horizon Discovery – biotechnology company
Huddle – cloud content collaboration service
Lumimobile – engagement through mobile devices
Mimecast Services – cloud-based email management
Repknight – open source intelligence (OSINT) platform
Zopa – peer-to-peer lender
Secret Escapes – flash sales site for luxury travel
Skimlinks – monetisation solutions for publishers
Synthesio – social media monitoring

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