The Program

TechStars Blog

29th April 2013

TechStars London finds a permanent home at Warner Yard

Today, TechStars London announced that it has found a permanent home at the newly established Warner Yard.  This will provide all the TechStars London participants at least 6 months office accommodation at the heart of TechCity London – being the initial 3 months of the TechStars programme followed by a further 3 months after the programme.

Alongside the total funding of €85k that each TechStars London company receives, it will ensure the companies maintain momentum following the TechStars London Demo Day.  The permanent location will also allow TechStars London to host events throughout the year for the wider community and provide hotdesking facilities for TechStars alumni from the wider network.

Warner Yard is a new co-workspace devised by Federico Pirzio-Biroli, the founder of Playfair Capital, which has invested in over 20 companies in the last 2 years – making them one of the most active seed investors in Europe today. What is unusual about the co-workspace is that it is targeted at funded companies and also early stage investors, including Angel Investors and Seed Funds based in London and from overseas.

Playfair Capital originally operated from White Bear Yard, the home of Passion Capital based in Farringdon, which was the inspiration of the new space.  Pirzio-Biroli quickly identified that even companies who had received investment benefited from working alongside other teams at a similar stage – their ability to quickly share knowledge and experience helped them to accelerate their momentum.

Equally, in the same fashion, Pirzio-Biroli also noticed that many of the early stage investors in London operated from coffee shops – typically with bad wifi, loud music and no power sockets.  To address this problem, Warner Yard will have a dedicated space for such investors providing them with hot desking and meeting room facilities.

At launch, Warner Yard had signed amongst others signed up EC1 Capital#1Seed, Hotspur Capital Partners, Ballpark VenturesDoug Scott and Richard Fearn amongst. It is hoped that this concentration of investment capital will help to increase the amount of seed capital deployed whilst reducing the time to raise funding through sharing of information and deals.

Warner Yard is based only a few minutes from White Bear Yard, and close to Farringdon station which currently connects directly to London Gatwick and London Luton airports, and will connect via the Crossrail project to London Heathrow airport.  The recently refurbished 18th Century Stables has a total capacity across the four floors of the building of over 150 desks and is expected to house 30 funded companies.

Jon Bradford, Managing Director of TechStars London said, “Finding the right environment for TechStars London has been a priority since our launch.  Warner Yard provides both TechStars London teams a great central location being close to both TechCity and also the West End with an awesome environment alongside other seed funded companies for the duration of the programme and also immediate run out period.”

Federico Pirzio-Biroli, Founder at Playfair Capital said, “White Bear Yard taught me the value of a co-working environment. Warner Yard will bring together a collection of early stage capital with a globally respected accelerator alongside Playfair’s portfolio companies and benefit all parties concerned.  I believe being able to conveniently visit all three at once will be hugely attractive to external entrepreneurs and create a new hub for both local and foreign investors.”

Raj Ramanandi, Partner at #1Seed said, “The news that TechStars was coming to London was always going to shake up the early stage tech landscape. The first physical embodiment of which is the doors opening at Warner Yard. #1seed felt compelled to forge links with both entities; firstly, investing in TechStars London and secondly, making Warner Yard our new base.”