British Invasion: Finsphere Expands to U.K., With A Little Help From Its Friends
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16 years ago and says it has helped some 1,500 companies from 40-odd countries set up shop in the U.K., among them giants like Google (for its mobile and wireless business) and Microsoft (for its search technology center), as well as pre-revenue startups.
In Finsphere’s case, Think London provided crucial guidance on things like finding the right location for its office and facilities, market intelligence, investment decisions, public relations, legal issues, banking and insurance, telecommunications, and IT.
And the decisions seem to be paying off. Although Finsphere wouldn’t provide any details about its revenues, it says its customers now include some of the biggest financial institutions in the U.K. And its software that works against fraud and identity theft seems to have resonated with U.K. banks—perhaps more so than with U.S. institutions.
Finsphere, which was founded in 2007, is led by CEO and co-founder Mike Buhrmann. The company is backed by some well-known VCs—Bezos Expeditions, Frazier Technology Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Shasta Ventures. It has 25 employees in Seattle and about five in other parts of the U.S., to go along with three employees in London—and it has plans to double or triple its U.K. workforce. “The talent is phenomenal,” Murchison says.
Michael Charlton, the chief executive of Think London, says he wants to persuade other U.S. tech startups and high-growth companies that “London is the location of choice.” Charlton is just back from a road show in Vancouver, BC, where he was highlighting commercial opportunities for companies around the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Of course, Charlton is looking beyond just the Pacific Northwest for his next clients. But, he says, Seattle has “a lot of dynamism in tech [companies] across the spectrum. It’s always a good market for us.”