Linking Silicon Valley to Brexit
At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much of a link between Silicon Valley and Brexit. The former represents a fast-paced technological hub in California. The latter is all about the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
But a report today in The Guardian suggests that British firms, worried about the impact of Brexit, have been looking across the Atlantic for potential solutions. The story begins with the news that:
“Theresa May’s article 50 letter might have dominated the front pages in Britain but it was met with a shrug in San Francisco, where 30 tech leaders from the north of England recently embarked on a four-day mission to woo, impress and tempt cash from Silicon Valley’s top dealmakers.”
Reading the story in full, the link to Brexit is a little less clear than is suggested by the headline. It appears that a number of individuals involved within the tech industry in northern England formed a delegation, seeking investment. As is discussed, there is a suggestion that investors are more readily available in Silicon Valley, in part because there is a more open attitude towards taking risks. This seems to make sense: it’s easy to see why startups seeking investment might be looking to raise funding in the US, if there are problems raising such funding at home.
But how is this related to Brexit? The article notes that the UK’s decision to leave the EU doesn’t seem to have registered too highly with investors in California. There is a suggestion, however, that some EU member states are attempting to tempt tech employees from the UK, while also indicating that EU states represent a good bet for the future, given access to a wide-ranging skilled workforce. The UK’s position as something of a technology leader within Europe may come under threat, it is suggested.
An interesting insight and one that will doubtless come under more consideration in the coming months and years. But, as we covered yesterday, digital advertising as a proportion of of overall advertising spend is particularly high within the UK. This is a highly developed market and it’s likely that leading technology firms will want to continue to gain that market access. Where there’s money to be made, investors will continue to take an interest.
In separate news, the plight of Toshiba continues to attract considerable attention. The Telegraph notes that:
“Toshiba’s plans to sell its memory chip business to raise much-needed cash hit a snag as joint-venture partner Western Digital said the sale may violate the companies’ contract.”
The cash is “much-needed” because Toshiba is forecast to lose an eye-watering £7 billion. Although many of us may tend to think of Toshiba as being a computing business, the problem here appear to stem from their ventures into the world of nuclear industry.
Finally, it is reported in The Independent that Apple has formed a group of engineers who are developing sensors to assist in the treatment of diabetes. Although Apple apparently refused to comment, there does seem to be something of a trend emerging whereby technology companies, having been successful in one field, are looking at health-based technology. This is summed up rather nicely as:
“The news comes at the time when the line between pharmaceuticals and technology is blurring as companies are joining forces to tackle chronic diseases using high-tech devices that combine biology, software and hardware, thereby jump-starting a novel field of medicine called bioelectronics.”