London’s startup scene, while smaller than Silicon Valley, is growing fast. And many of the CEOs, cofounders and VCs who work within the London startup scene are part of tech “power couples,” marriages and relationships between influential entrepreneurs.
We ranked London’s tech couples according to how influential they are, how big their companies are, and what impact they have made in the London tech scene.
Adam Baker is the COO of n0tice, a platform that lets publishers share user-generated content. It's owned by the Guardian Media Group (which also owns The Guardian newspaper). Baker oversaw the company's move from being part of The Guardian to being spun out into its own entity, and the technology is now used by the UK Parliament, CNN and The Boston Globe.
Baker's partner is Meera Innes, the cofounder of video messaging app Reel. It's aimed at the Indian market, and lets users send 20-second videos to their friends and family. Innes cofounded the app with Baker, and now spends her time between London and Bangalore managing the company's staff.
Sugru is a type of self-setting rubber that was invented in 2003. Stick it onto something, then wait overnight, and you have a ready-made fix that can repair holes, change grips, and work as a kind of superglue. Unlike other products, Sugru can be shaped by hand and sets within minutes.
Dhulchaointigh, from Ireland, used government grants to develop the material. In 2012 the company had over $US2 million in annual sales. She started the company with her partner James Carrigan, who also went on to launch Fixperts, an online knowledge-sharing platform.
Alexandra Chong is the CEO of Lulu, the app which lets women rate men and discuss relationships. Chong originally founded the company in London, but moved Luluvise (as it used to be called) to New York. Once in the US, the app took off, and Lulu says that it's on the smartphones of one in four female university undergraduates in the US. The app launched in the UK earlier this year, and Chong will now spend much more time in the country.
Chong married her partner Jack Brockway in June. It was a lavish wedding that took place in Jamaica, and guests included Google cofounder Sergey Brin, Kate Winslett, and Brockway's uncle, entrepreneur Richard Branson. Brockway is a professional photographer who has photographed musicians, sports stars, and his entrepreneur uncle.
Roland Lamb is the CEO of musical technology company ROLI. He invented the Seaboard, a high-tech version of the keyboard that turns normal piano keys into a soft, continuous surface. Lamb moved to Japan after leaving high school to study Zen Buddhism, and went on to study Classical Chinese and Sanskrit Philosophy at Harvard University. Lamb studied for an MA in design products at the Royal College of Art, where he came up with the idea for the Seaboard.
Lamb met his wife, novelist Tahmima Anam, while they were both studying at Harvard. They now live together in Hackney. Anam is the resident novelist in London tech office Second Home, and is currently working on her third novel, which is due out in 2016. Her first book, 'A Golden Age,' won the Best First Book prize at the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and its sequel, 'The Good Muslim,' was nominated for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize longlist. Anam also writes for The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New Statesman.
Skimlinks started life as a consumer shopping website in Australia in 2006. Founder Alicia Navarro realised after backpacking around Europe that her technology that turned normal web links into affiliate links was the future of the business. Since then, Skimlinks has grown to generate 300 million clicks a month. In October 2013 it was announced that Skimlinks had been selected as part of a government support scheme that guides companies toward a stock exchange flotation. Skimlinks also raised $US16 million in February.
Navarro's partner, Aaron Ross, is also a startup founder. He is the CEO of Cake, a payments app that lets customers pay bar and restaurant bills through their smartphone. Ross is also the CEO of restaurant discovery app CityHawk.
Rastegar Zegna cofounded VC fund Spring Partners with Llustre founder Tracey Doree. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, as well as a BS in Mathematics and Philosophy from Yale University. Rastegar Zegna was also part of the founding team of GenapSys, a DNA sequencing company that raised over $US50 million.
Rastegar Zegna's husband, Edoardo Zegna, was formerly the head of product at Everlane, and now works as the head of E-business at the Ermenegildo Zegna group. Ermenegildo Zegna is a prestigious Italian fashion label started in 1910, and it's known for stylish suits and dresses.
Martha Lane Fox is a British entrepreneur who cofounded Lastminute.com with Brent Hoberman in 1998. The online travel business floated on the London Stock Exchange, and became one of the city's best-known startups. It was eventually sold in 2005 for £577 million, and Lane Fox was estimated to be worth around £13 million at the time. Since then, she has been a non-executive director of Marks & Spencer, and joined the board of Channel 4. Lane Fox has been involved with the government since 2009, helping with technology projects. She was appointed a CBE in 2013, and is officially known as Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, of Soho in the City of Westminster.
Lane Fox's longterm partner is Chris Gorell Barnes, the founder of digital agency Adjust Your Set. The company runs a native advertising platform called Pollonize. Gorell Barnes is also an angel investor.
Takeuchi is the CEO of London fintech company GoCardless, which lets businesses set up direct debit payments with customers online. The company went through Silicon Valley's Y Combinator startup accelerator program, but later moved back to London to be closer to its fintech expertise. It has raised over $US11 million (£7 million) in funding from investors including Balderton Capital, Accel Partners and Passion Capital.
Swidenbank is a cofounder of Fresh Flavours, an online food takeaway service which delivers healthy food cooked by chefs in London to customers around the city. She also worked as the head of international at Codeacademy, an organisation that helps to teach people how to code.
Wendy Tan White and Joe White are two of the cofounders of Moonfruit, a website and online shop builder formed in 1999. Over 4 million websites have been created using the service. Tan White took a break from Moonfruit in 2004 in order to have children with her husband, Joe White. Moonfruit was sold to Yell in 2012 for $US29 million (£18.6 million). Tan White remains the CEO of Moonfruit, and is also a board member of Tech City UK, a mentor at 500 Startups and helped launch Zopa.com and Egg.com.
Tan White's husband Joe White is the COO and CFO of Moonfruit, and is the vice president of digital for Hibu, which is the new name for the Yell group.
Reshma Sohoni is one of the cofounders of Seedcamp, a London-based investment fund and mentorship program for tech startups. She started the company in 2007 with Saul Klein, and the fund has gone on to invest in over 30 companies, including Frontback, Socialbro, TransferWise, Brainient and EDITD. Before starting Seedcamp, Sohoni worked in M&A in the US and India during the dotcom boom, as well as holding management positions at Vodafone.
Sohoni's husband is Philipp Stoeckl, who is the managing director of the Future Fifty program. It's a scheme that works to assist businesses in the UK, and works closely with Tech City UK. Stoeckl is also the cofounder of Runway East, the East London coworking and events space, and previously worked at ARM and DaimlerChrysler.
Michael Acton Smith is the founder of Mind Candy, the London video game startup founded in 2004 that created hit video game Moshi Monsters. He stepped down as CEO in 2014, and now works in a more creative role, overseeing work on the company's new games, including 'World of Warriors.'
Acton Smith's longterm partner is Kathryn Parsons, the founder of Decoded. Her company helps teach people to code by running a series of one-day intensive courses that run people through the basics of programming.
Fowler and Watts are the cofounders of London fashion startup EDITD, which is bringing big data to the fashion industry, helping clothing designers understand exactly what it is that customers want. It works with brands such as Gap, ASOS and Target to help them understand the data of fashion using real-time analytics.
José and Daniela Neves are both founders of fashion technology startups in London. José Neves is the CEO of Farfetch, an online fashion retailer that takes products from independent shops and makes them available online. The site has raised $US194 million in funding from investors such as Yuri Milner, and Condé Nast International. Its valuation topped $US1 billion in March after its latest round of funding.
Neves' wife, Daniela, is the CEO of ASAP54, a site that uses image-recognition technology to help people discover fashion online. Shoppers can use the site's app to scan clothes they're interested in, and it automatically finds it online, or suggests similar items. But it's not all algorithms: The site also employs personal stylists, and includes a social network about fashion. ASAP54 announced in 2014 that it had raised $US3 million (£1.9 million) in funding.
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