London Brief #26: Virgin or The Pope? A dying unicorn and business as usual

Barclays Rise is open for business, so if you are into FinTech, head up to Shoreditch. Read more in this issue.


The Pope. We never mentioned the Pope here, but consider it fixed now. If you are bored of London, The Pope has just made Stephen Forte (Fresco Capital) launch an accelerator at the Vatican. Apply here.

If you would rather stay in the UK, though, Sir Richard Branson launched Voom Pitch, a nationwide pitch contest with regional awards of £5,000 and a grand finale prize £1m, which you can get after a successful pitch to the boss of Virgin.

Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck just got a really nice story on Entrepreneur First and why it is so great in Wired.

In the news

Ve Interactive, formerly believed to be a unicorn, has been saved from bankruptcy by its management. The value of the buyout was just £2m, but the company reportedly owes £1.3m in taxes.

11 startups presented themselves at Startupbootcamp InsurTech Demo Day

Eye Candies

Have you noticed the colour-coded buses yet? If you are stuck in traffic in one of those, take a minute to read an interview with Francois Mazoudier, the founder of TMRW.

Business as usual

Number of the day

£2m — This is what is left from the £1.5 billion valuation of Ve Interactive.


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 Wrzosinski

On behalf of the London Brief Team

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