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ABP and Pontaq open first-ever dedicated UK India tech hub at Royal Albert Dock London
A newly delivered building at Royal Albert Dock (RAD) has launched as the UK India Tech Hub – a designated space for technology firms from India and the UK. It is believed to be the first venture capital fund that has partnered with a business district to create a tech hub across the world.
Under the partnership agreement, ABP London and Pontaq are providing technology firms with workspace while Pontaq’s multi-million-pound tech fund will be invested in tech start-ups to assist them to develop and expand.
India’s High Commissioner, Ruchi Ghanashyam, and Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade, Graham Stuart MP, along with Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz, witnessed the signing of an agreement between Royal Albert Dock developer ABP London and the venture capital firm Pontaq last week.
Interest from the UK India tech community to locate in the £1.7bn, 4.7m sq ft RAD development is high, with Pontaq taking 200 desks initially and aiming to host 50 companies in the next two years.
Tech companies are increasingly attracted to the RAD location because of the strong transport links and low occupation costs, far less than competing schemes in City Fringe which have in the past gathered London tech firms, but where costs have increased significantly.
Pontaq and its business partners will be able to operate from the new tech hub in a recently completed Grade A office building leased on highly flexible terms, with Pontaq using the location as a platform for tech companies from the UK and India looking to set up in London and for UK companies seeking a location to globalise their business.
ABP London and Pontaq will also work together to foster cross border technology collaboration and to jointly promote the new UK India Tech Hub.
India’s High Commissioner, Ruchi Ghanashyam said: “The UK India Tech Hub provides a gateway for cross pollinating technology and innovation in early stage businesses between the two countries. This provides a great platform to create globally scalable companies, more jobs and a positive economic impact in this corridor.”
Graham Stuart, Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade said: “The UK has a consistent track record of producing successful tech companies and has more venture capital investment in tech than anywhere else in Europe. The launch of the UK - India Tech Hub at Royal Albert Dock marks a notable milestone in further promoting technology partnership and investment with India. The Department for International Trade is committed to supporting our leading tech firms break into new markets and showcase British tech on the global stage."
The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “Newham Royal Docks is London’s gateway to the world, so I’m really thrilled to be welcoming Pontaq and the UK India Innovation Fund to the borough as it confirms our international appeal. It’s a sign of the exciting opportunities available for investors in the capital’s only Enterprise Zone, which makes Newham a dynamic destination hub for innovation, for start-ups and companies from the UK and around the globe.
“I’m especially delighted that Pontaq’s new base at the Royal Albert Dock development by ABP will mean more Indian-UK collaboration and technology transfer between the two countries. It links with my agenda of transforming Newham to become the prime location for the Capital’s Fintech, smart cities and emerging technologies companies. I’m looking forward to welcoming technology start-ups from India to Newham, working with them to create jobs and training opportunities for local residents and young people.”
ABP London’s Chief Operating Officer John Miu said: “India is a powerhouse for tech talents and we are delighted to welcome some of those tech talents Pontaq will be bringing to RAD. ABP created RAD as London’s new international business district especially created for companies from Asia looking to reach new markets and for international businesses looking to expand through connecting with them. We believe RAD is the perfect launch pad for tech firms with its advantages in location, cost and the business networks we are establishing.”
Pontaq Chairman Mohan Kaul said: “British businesses, and those investing in the UK from abroad, have spent the last three years under a cloud of uncertainty surrounding Brexit. But despite the six-month delay, business just has to get on with things”.
He added: “With the launch of the UK India Tech Hub, we are determined to show that Britain remains open for Indian business whatever the outcome of the UK’s negotiations with the EU.”
Prem Barthasarathy, Managing Partner at Pontaq said: “This is the first time a VC firm is joining hands with a business district in order to provide access to funding, workspace at preferential rates and opportunities for internationalisation for its portfolio companies, all under one roof. We aim to leverage our existing relationships across both UK and India to accelerate their growth and create globally renowned companies.”
RAD is London’s new international business district at Royal Albert Dock with a specific focus on tech – from start-ups to major players – and has been created for companies from Asia looking to reach new markets and for UK businesses looking to go global through connecting with them.
A programme of innovation-focused tech events is being curated for the new RAD tech community to develop ideas and products and to connect with industry experts and to access resources and funding. Further details will be announced shortly.
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