German engineering giant Siemens signals UK tech startup interest despite Brexit as deputy mayor makes trade visit to Berlin
The German engineering giant behind the new Thameslink trains and the technology which can identify when vehicles enter London's congestion zone has signalled its potential interest in investing in UK startups.
Siemens, which employs more than 15,000 workers across the country, said it would be "exciting" to see what happens when its €1bn venture capital arm Next47 "meets the entrepreneurship characteristic for London".
And chief executive Juergen Maier said that despite uncertainty the firm will continue to do business in the UK, which remains a leading hub for technology.
“London and the UK remains an important market for Siemens and is a good place to do business. While the exact terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union are unclear, we are committed to London in the long-term," said Maier, speaking at an event in Berlin promoting collaboration between the two capital cities.
"We will continue to apply our expertise in technology and engineering to the challenges that face cities, particularly urban transit and air quality. London remains a leading centre for innovation and technology and we see many opportunities for collaboration on talent, digitalisation and investment in the years ahead.”
He added: "While London remains open for business, I am pleased to say that Siemens and, I am sure all of us in German business, will remain open to London."
It came as new figures released by City Hall reveal London has attracted more than £1bn in venture capital investment since the vote to leave the European Union in June last year, with a total of more than £1.5m across the country.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “London is the world’s greatest commercial centre but retaining our place at the top is always tough. This commitment by Siemens helps send the message loud and clear that London remains open to talent, investment and ideas. Our connections on the continent have never been more important and, regardless of Brexit, we will continue to work closely together to our mutual benefit.”
Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple and IBM have also stated they remain committed to the UK, while Deutsche Bank gave the City a boost last week with plans for a new headquarters in the Square Mile.
Several startups were in Berlin with the deputy mayor for business Rajesh Agrawal to promote trade and tech collaboration between the two cities.