RBS backs San Francisco incubator’s first international site

Royal Bank of Scotland is backing the establishment of technology incubator RocketSpace’s first international campus in London.

San Francisco-based RocketSpace, founded by Scot Duncan Logan, has supported 750 startups and 16 ‘unicorns’, including Uber, Blippar, SuperCell and Spotify, since its launch in 2011. The new campus will initially hold up to 1,500 members at its opening early next year.

“London’s tech community continues to rapidly expand and drive innovation,” said Logan. “Creating a physical presence here is critical to our expansion strategy and mission to build an ecosystem for innovation to thrive, across a global network of campuses. We are very excited about working with London’s tech entrepreneurs, who are creating some of the most disruptive technologies of the future.”

Ambarish Mitra, CEO and co-founder of London-based Blippar, added: “RocketSpace gave us access to resources we needed when we opened our first San Francisco office and it was a great launchpad for our growth in the region. Being a member gets you much more than a great office.”

The campus will be located at Regents House, currently occupied by The Royal Bank of Scotland, which is the development partner. The initiative has also been supported by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the UK capital’s promotional company London & Partners.

“It’s a real testament to the UK’s thriving tech community that a pioneering company like RocketSpace has chosen the UK as their first office outside of the US,” said Simon McNamara, chief administrative officer for RBS.

“We recognise that the technology industry will be a key growth area for the UK in the coming years so we are delighted to play a part in helping RocketSpace locate here, as we aim to build stronger links with innovative startups.”

The London location will also provide members with access to leading global corporations, including RocketSpace’s corporate innovation services clients such as Tata Communications, Axel-Springer, Lufthansa Cargo and Schneider Electric. RocketSpace has helped more than 100 corporations engage with the startup ecosystem and drive disruption in their industry.