London is home to great looking royals, four UNESCO world heritage sites, countless museums and galleries, and of course, James Bond. But aside from being a bustling center of arts and culture, this European city is also a major hub of business and innovation. This year, London ranked seventh on Inc.'s list of the 10 fastest-growing cities in Europe.
With 74 London-based companies making this year's Inc. 5000 Europe, a listing of companies with the fastest-growing revenues from 2010 to 2013, it's no surprise London contributes 20 percent to the overall UK economy. So move over Silicon Valley. London's weather may be subpar but business is anything but.
Known by some as the "Silicon Roundabout," London has been making waves for its tech credentials of late, yet many of London's other industries from high finance to high fashion are equally high flying. Here is a list of London's 2015 fastest-growing, private companies:
10. High Q
In 2001, Ajay Patel and Veenay Shah founded High Q--a software company that develops and distributes its products to some of the world’s largest law firms, investment banks and corporations. Their products and services include secure file sharing software, virtual data rooms, enterprise social networks, and secure client extranets. The company also offers a content marketing and digital publishing platform called HighQ Publisher which aims at simplifying how businesses connect with their clients. In 2013, High Q brought home €6.3 million ($7 million) in revenues giving them a 815 percent three-year growth rate.
9. Krestel Partners
Founded in 2009 by Max Royde, John Ricciardi and Oliver Scott, Krestel is an investment management company that ranked as the 573rd fastest-growing, private company in Europe, with €4.3 million ($4.8 million) in sales in 2013. That's up 820 percent from 2010. The group runs three funds and services: the Krestel Global Portofolio, Krestel Opportunities, and Krestel Inheritance Tax Solutions. Among other things, the Global Portfolio invests in assets such as listed equities, debt securities, money market instruments, real estate, commodities, cash and financial derivative instruments.
8. The Office Group
The Office Group (formerly, Esselco LLP) focuses on creating spaces for people to work and meet. The company has offices and meeting rooms for people and companies to rent out, and "ClubRooms" for their members. The ClubRooms are spaces that range from long-term, open workspaces to lounge-style rooms where you can drop in to do some quick work. The company, which had revenue of €4.9 million ($5.6 million) in 2013 and a three-year growth rate of 864 percent, currently has 16 locations throughout central London, as well as spots in Bristol and Leeds.
7. Darwin Property Investments
Coming in at 377th on our overall Inc. 5000 Europe list, Darwin is an investment management firm, catering to institutional and private investors. One of its investment solutions is the Darwin Leisure Property Fund, which invests in, acquires, develops and manages a diversified portfolio of UK Holiday Parks. The company reeled in (€11.1 million) $12.5 million in revenue in 2013, giving it a 999 percent three-year growth rate.
6. Omnifone Limited
Founded in 2003, the cloud-based music service Omnifone logged more than €55.6 million ($62 million) in revenue in 2013, giving it a three-year growth rate of 1,024 percent. In 2013, Omnifone was was selected for the UK Government's Future Fifty program--an initiative aimed at accelerating the growth of a selected group of digital companies. The company--which serves electronics vendors, mobile carriers, Internet services and consumers--develops, licenses and manages the distribution of digital music services to companies like Sony and SiriuXM.
5. Maxprofit Trade Limited
Taking up the sixth spot on our list is Maxprofit Trade Limited, a sea and coastal freight transport company. Founded in 2007, Maxprofit Trade brought in €15.3 million ($16.4 million) in revenue in 2013, giving it a 1,038 percent three-year growth rate.
4. Curzon Capital
As a small corporate finance and alternative investment adviser, Curzon specializes in various industries, from renewable forestry to oil and gas to traded metals. Founded in 1999 by Christopher Derricott and William Graham, the firm advises and raises financing for a variety concerns. It also structures and promotes alternative investments from fine wine to residential properties in Eastern Europe. In 2013, the company reeled in €3.8 million ($4.2 million) in revenue, up 1,212 percent from 2010.
3. Alpha Sights
According to its website, Alpha Sights works at "helping today's leaders succeed." The information services firm, launched in 2008, is the 216th fastest growing, private company in Europe with revenue of €18.8 million ($21 million) in 2013. The team of over 250 global employees works with consultancies, private equity firms and investment banks across the globe to help its clients--typically business professionals and leaders--scale.
2. Markham Rae LLP
Coming in at third place, and number 202 overall, is the independent hedge fund Markham Rae. With a core investment team, averaging 20 years in the investment industry, the private company grossed more than €11.2 million ($12.6 million) in revenue in 2013, up 1,301 percent since 2010. The firm has two funds: discretionary and trade finance fund. The former invests in highly liquid developed fixed income markets, while the latter aims to make trade finance an investable asset class for non bank-investors.
1. Avaloq UK Limited
Founded in 1985 by the Swiss entrepreneur Ronald Strässler--now the company's COO--Avaloq is a technology-driven financial services provider that serves more than 140 financial institutions across the globe. As the second fastest growing private company in London, Avaloq ranked 187 in our overall Inc. 5000 Europe list. While its main development headquarters are in Zurich, the London branch had €5 million ($5.7 million) in revenues in 2013 putting its three-year growth rate at 1,344 percent. The company's aim is to "simplify banking" by helping financial institutions obtain operational excellence by providing them with fully integrated "front-to-back-office" software.