Ultimate SaaS Startup Map of London

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is the biggest sector of London’s startup scene. Having helped grow many London SaaS Startups, we’ve learnt where founders have successfully upskilled, found investment and created a hub for their business. So to help you navigate London’s thriving SaaS ecosystem, we’ve created a handy map including our pick of the city’s startups, accelerators, incubators, VC’s, training programmes, coworking spaces and places to meet.

 

Why London?

The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019 places London 3rd in the world for its startup ecosystem, trailing only New York and Silicon Valley. It is also Europe’s most invested in city with €5bn worth of deals across over 650 rounds last year. Despite Brexit uncertainty, London’s startup ecosystem continues to grow with such a dynamic early-stage funding environment. The UK’s new startup visa program and income tax relief for investors further secure London’s position as Europe’s startup focal point.

 

Standing out from the crowd and unlocking the benefits of the city’s technology scene can have a huge impact on a startup’s growth. But without a comprehensive overview of the city’s ecosystem, London SaaS Startups can struggle identify the best opportunities and make valuable connections.

 

The SaaS scene in London is constantly changing, so if you’ve got a top recommendation for our map, please get in touch! Here’s what our Ultimate SaaS Startup Map of London has to offer:

 

 600 growing businesses every SaaS startup founder in London should know about 

  Top Accelerators & Incubators for SaaS startups 

  Top VCs for investment 

  Training opportunities for founders 

  Our 8 favourite coworking spaces 

  Places to meet → 

  Visit GrowthMinds HQ → 

 

600 growing businesses every London SaaS startup founder should know about

 

According to Beauhurst records, there are more than 1,500 dedicated SaaS startups based in London. The City of London has always been the UK’s business epicentre and is still a magnet for SaaS startups of all sizes. However, in recent years, London’s SaaS startup scene has exploded across the city to new, thriving areas.

 

Highest density areas of SaaS startups

  1. City of London
  2. Westminster
  3. Islington
  4. Hackney
  5. Camden

 

The likes of PaymentSense, WorldRemit and Checkout.com are leading the London SaaS scene in terms of investment. But rather than provide a list of London’s most financially backed startups, we have selected 600 growing businesses of varying sizes that we believe have huge potential.

Top Accelerators & Incubators for SaaS startups

 

New SaaS startups can hugely benefit from the support, business mentoring, workshops, office space, IT, and facilities that accelerators and incubators can offer. Although equity and investment models differ between organisations, London has experienced a rapid rise in the number of accelerators and incubators in recent years.

 

With such an established scene, specialist support can be found for startups at each stage of their evolution:

 

Accelerator Academy – Southwark

Programme for ambitious digital entrepreneurs looking to grow their business.

 

MassChallenge UK – City of London

Global non-profit startup accelerator and competition with a focus on high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs.

 

Entrepreneur First – Southwark

Investing in technologists to help them build a deep tech company from scratch.

 

Go To Grow – Technology – Southwark

Part of the Mayor’s International Business Programme. They offer a programme of mentoring, expert advice and real business opportunities for high-growth companies in the life sciences, technology and urban sectors.

 

Founders Factory – Kensington and Chelsea

Partner for startup founders.

 

Techstars Worldwide – Hackney

Network that helps entrepreneurs.

 

Wayra Start-up – Westminster

Investing in mature and technological startups.

 

The Bakery – Hackney

Helping big organisations to be more innovative by working with, and working more like, the amazing global ecosystem of tech entrepreneurs.

 

The Sandpit – Westminster

Applying the Private Equity model to start-up acceleration.

 

Startupbootcamp – City of London

Global network of industry-focused startup accelerators that provides investment and mentorship services.

 

FastForward – Camden

Accelerator exclusively for tech nonprofits.

 

Hatch – Southwark

Offering entrepreneurship support activities across London.

 

The Pi Labs – Westminster

Europe’s first property tech venture capital platform.

 

Bethnal Green Ventures – Tower Hamlets

Early stage investor in tech for good.

 

Innovation Warehouse – City of London

Bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and innovators.

 

Level39 – Tower Hamlets

Connected community for finance, cybersecurity, retail and smart-city technology businesses.

 

Microsoft Scale-Up London – City of London

Offering programmes for scale-stage startups.

 

Digital Greenwich – Greenwich

Free specialist business support programme to digital SMEs who work in the creative, digital or smart city arena.

 

EcoMachines Incubator – Tower Hamlets

Pan-European investor focused on B2B companies in the industrial high-tech.

 

The London City Incubator – Hammersmith & Fulham

Help and support the commercialisation of new ideas and technologies from City University London.

 

Top VCs for investment

As the most invested in startup ecosystem in Europe, London is home to some of the world’s biggest investors in SaaS businesses. London is not only attractive to VCs because of generous tax reliefs, but the city is celebrated internationally for its talent and culture of innovation.

 

Top 3 funders by number of fundraisings

  1. Seedrs
  2. Seedcamp
  3. Notion Capital

 

Top funders by total value of fundraisings

  1. Insight Partners – £458m
  2. Accel – £351m
  3. CVC Capital Partners – £328m

 

With such a diversity of SaaS startups based in the city, there is also a range of VCs offering funding and support to business’ at different stages of evolution:

 

Passion Capital – Camden

Early stage venture capital firm.

 

Seedcamp – Islington

European seed fund that identifies and invests early in world-class founders attacking large global markets.

 

Startup Funding Club SEIS Fund – Camden

Exclusive group formed by business angels to invest in early stage digital startups.

 

DN Capital – Westminster

Early-stage venture capital firm with offices in London and Silicon Valley.

 

Atomico – Westminster

Specialising in seed, startup, Series A, early venture, mid venture, late venture, emerging growth, and growth capital investments.

 

Albion Capital – Islington

Independent investment manager with a long-term record of backing change and growth.

 

Downing Ventures – City of London

Division of Downing LLP, invests venture capital into early and growth stage technology businesses.

 

Jenson SEIS & EIS Fund – Westminster

Supporting UK start-ups with EIS & SEIS funding.

 

Forward Partners‍ – Hackney

VC + operational expertise to supercharge startups.

 

Playfair Capital – Camden

Early-stage fund backing founders building technology that changes the way people live and work.

 

Ascension Ventures – Westminster

Supporting Entrepreneurs from Seed to Series A.

 

Frontline Ventures – Islington

Investing in ambitious seed-stage B2B companies in Europe.

 

Force Over Mass – Kensington and Chelsea

Venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in technology companies.

 

Index Ventures – Westminster

Helping the most ambitious entrepreneurs turn bold ideas into global businesses.

 

Accel – Westminster

Seed fund that focuses on the game ecosystem.

 

Fuel Ventures – Islington

Early and growth-stage venture capital firm that powers a global community of entrepreneurs.

 

Notion Capital – Westminster

Technology fund focusing on marketplaces, platforms and SaaS companies in the UK.

 

Octopus Ventures – City of London

Venture fund focused on the SaaS-based and cloud computing markets.

 

Balderton Capital – Camden

Multi stage European venture capital investor backing talented teams with the potential to build big businesses.

 

Connect Ventures – Hackney

Series A-focused European venture capital firm.

 

Episode1 – Camden

Helping the most ambitious entrepreneurs turn bold ideas into global businesses.

 

Training opportunities for founders

Every SaaS startup is different, but with the right skills, small teams can make a big impact. Typically, the perfect recipe for a SaaS startup is expertise across engineering/technology and product/UX.

 

Constantly expanding technical and product design skills can therefore keep a business ahead of the curve, making it far more attractive to investors. Learning directly from experts in engineering/technology and product/UX often is the fastest way to master skills that can directly impact a startup’s growth.

 

CityLit – Camden

Range of courses in web design & development.

 

School of UX – Southwark

Hands-on UX design courses with career advice run by professional designers.

 

General Assembly – Tower Hamlets

Wide range of subjects from 90-minute classes to full-time courses.

 

Academy Class – Islington

In-person courses for Designers and Developers.

 

Flat Iron School – Islington

In-person courses in coding, data science and UX/UI design.

 

Youandi.london – Dartford

Courses designed for in-demand skillsets across UI and UX.

 

Bunnyfoot – Islington

Usability, UX and UCD Training Courses delivered by this Service Design & UX consultancy.

 

Training Dragon – Camden

Web development training courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced.

 

London Academy of IT – Tower Hamlets

Affordable IT training courses.

 

Our 8 favourite coworking spaces

Flexible and low-cost office spaces can offer a lifeline to SaaS startup teams looking to tap into London’s startup scene. You can find us in a WeWork on the South Bank. Being in a coworking space allows us to be at the heart of the scene and truly understand the growth needs of the startups we work alongside.

 

If you’re looking to sign up to WeWork please use our link, we’d love it if you do!

 

With more than 150 (and growing) coworking spaces to choose from, knowing where you can find the best companies, facilities and coffee can be a real advantage. Here’s our pick of the bunch…

 

Work.Life Camden

Huckletree Shoreditch

Uncommon Highbury & Islington

TOG – Borough

Runway East Soho

TechHub

The Trampery on the Gantry

WeWork New Kings Beam House

 

Places to Meet

We love hopping on the tube and meeting with new startups across London. As a result, we’ve found some great spots across the city to to meet for a coffee (or a beer after 5pm) and chat about growth hacking.

 

Got a recommendation? Get in touch!