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Silicon Valley’s Pivotal opens London Innovation Hub to help UK companies struggling with digital

Silicon Valley agile cloud software startup Pivotal has opened an innovation hub in London, which it says demonstrates a significant commitment to the country post-Brexit, as well as representing a huge opportunity for it to help transform UK business.

Pivotal CEO Rob Mee was in London yesterday to show off the space at Old Street roundabout and said of UK PLC: “Companies have to move as rapidly as possible to make software development strategic and core – many of them have a tremendous amount of work to do.” He said the biggest challenge in large corporates when faced with lean and agile disruptors like Google and Uber is a “cultural” one.

On Brexit, Mee admitted there may be a few “bumps”, with access to talent flagged as a key concern, but said he’s convinced London will remain a “very important hub”.

The company already has software engineers in London working to help companies quickly deploy new products using its cloud platform and the team won’t grow past the low hundreds – so not exactly a huge boon for the local area and one that could mean Pivotal pinches the best people from elsewhere.

Pivotal underpins the likes of GE’s Predix, a data analytics platform that the utilities giant hopes will ensure its transition to being a “digital software company”.

Indeed, it is backed by GE, along with Ford, Microsoft, VMWare and EMC and, having raised a $235 million Series C round, says it is valued at $2.8 billion.

This high-level backing shows the company, which specialises in making co-created products built alongside companies using pair-programming teams, means business.

The EMEA region currently represents around 10 per cent of the company’s business, but it’s hoped that’ll reach 20 to 30 per cent in coming years.

At the press event yesterday, Minister for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said attracting investment like this is key to making Brexit a success.