London Brief #17 — Le Pen worse than Brexit, Digital Strategy announced, Uber has to speak English…

Dealflo, a financial automation service, has announced a £10m series B investment led by Holtzbrinck Ventures. Read more in today’s issue.


France’s digital minister Axelle Lemaire visited London to promote the first UK-France Data Summit. She talked about a new startup hub in Paris called Station F, French Tech Visa for entrepreneurs and, last but not least, about Marine Le Pen who may turn it all down.

You could read a lot of bad press about Uber and Travis Kalanick recently. We join the crowd with one more piece about the company, as High Court Judge John Mitting has confirmed TfL’s right to demand proof of English compliance from Uber drivers in London. According to Uber 33,000 of its existing drivers may fail to meet the obligation.

In the news

The Government has announced its Digital Strategy. It comes with a promise of four million free digital skills trainings and five new international co-operation hubs modelled on the UK-Israel Tech Hub.

WeWork boosted by the news of SoftBank’s support is looking for 100 startups to join its London WeWork Labs in April.

Eye Candies

Santiago Calatrava has announced his first design in London. The new landmark building will be set on Greenwich Peninsula next to the O2 Arena. It will host a brand-new Tube and bus station, a theatre, a cinema, and commercial and retail outlets.

London’s Heatherwick Studio in co-operation with Bjarke Ingles Group has created concepts of Google’s new Mountain View office campus. Both companies are now working on Google’s London HQ project.

Business as usual

Number of the day

33,000: the number of existing Uber drivers in London who may not speak English as per TfL’s standards.


London Brief is a weekly selection of essential information about startups, technology and the business scene in London. Got news? Give us a shout at

Piotr Wrzosiński

On behalf of the London Brief Team

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