Today Facebook opened it’s first non-US engineering centre in London. That’s great news for the startup ecosystem here because it will make it easier for the world’s largest social network to build partnerships and make acquisitions in the UK, and because over time it will increase the flow of ex-Facebook engineers into UK startups. Facebook have had a presence in London for some time now, and Christian Hernandez has done a great job of building connections with the startup and investment community, and I imagine that the same partnership processes will remain in place, but unofficial connections via developers are a great compliment to official channels.
I was also pleased to read their list of reasons for choosing London:
- London’s strengths in mobile, particularly Android
- London has the world’s second largest concentration of Facebook-registered third party developers
- High density of PhD level machine learning experts
- London is a desirable place to live and work, so people will relocate
As we work towards building a large and thriving ecosystem in London it’s helpful to know why others find our city attractive and the technology areas in which we have advantages. We compete with some much larger startup hubs and it’s important we play to our strengths.