Covid-19: London's tech companies simply targeting survival

More than half of London's technology companies will prioritise ‘survival’ in next three months, according to new research which hints at difficulties for long-term sector growth as a result of the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis.

The survey by Tech London Advocates (TLA), a network of more than 9,000 tech leaders, entrepreneurs and experts in London, across the UK and in over 50 countries worldwide, found that 53% are putting ‘survival’ at the top of their business plans.

Some 32% of respondents said they expect ‘stagnation’ over the next quarter, while 49% of tech professionals in the capital anticipate that the escalating Covid-19 health emergency will threaten the very viability of their business or employer.

Almost two-thirds (63%) cited cash flow and fall in demand as their organisation’s greatest challenge, while investors delaying or pausing funds (16%) and operational/staffing issues (11%) were also cited as key obstacles at this time.

Russ Shaw, founder of TLA, noted: “The London tech community has weathered a great deal of uncertainty throughout Brexit negotiations and elections, but unfortunately this looks set to stay.

“Tech businesses in the capital, and in particular early stage start-ups, are fearing for the worst, so it’s crucial that the industry collaborates and shares resources to sustain its global status in the long term.”

In response, TLA, which is independent and private sector-led, and not backed by government, has launched the TLA Resource Hub. The online portal will consist of weekly TLA ‘clinics’ for its network – held over digital communication platform, Zoom – as well as a regular podcast offering expertise to tech companies.

A selection of articles and information from across the TLA community will be shared, as well as practical advice on how to navigate these challenging times.

“The chancellor has already announced landmark legislation, but it’s important that support reaches tech firms quickly to sustain the fastest growing sector of the UK economy,” Shaw added.

“However, the crisis also provides an opportunity for our innovative tech companies to step up and work with government, public services and society at large, to mitigate the impact of the virus.”

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