Posted on February 6, 2019 by staff

San Francisco ousted as leading tech city


New York has beaten out San Francisco to be crowned the best city for business, according to a recent Savills Tech City list.

London took the third spot, with the real estate services provider praising the capital’s public transport system, which offers smart ticketing .

This makes London the dominant tech hub of Europe, with three times more venture capital investment than Paris in 2018.

The test measures what makes a successful tech city against 100 individual metrics, ranging from the number of days needed to start a business through to the cost of a flat white coffee.

“Savills 30 Tech Cities are among the fastest growing in the world: measured by metro area, together they’re forecast to add another 18 million inhabitants in the next decade,” said Nicky Wightman, director of global occupier trends at Savills.

“This will put ever greater pressure on existing infrastructure, posing a risk to city competitiveness, hence why mobility is now an important component in our index, with many of our Tech Cities at the forefront of addressing the issue.

“While London is the best mobility all-rounder, it’s lower than it should be on shared methods of transport, and could take lessons on how to do this better from the Asian cities.

“Vice versa, Asian and US Tech Cities can learn lessons from London and other European tech hubs on how to improve the quality of urban infrastructure and making their transport networks more sustainable.”

Savills measures 30 cities, and commented that ‘New York is the world’s foremost centre for tech, providing the business environment, talent pool, lifestyle and transport links to make it the premier base for companies’.

The company also said although companies can have good talent, transport is key to prospects for tech occupiers and the overall success of the city.

“While it’s interesting to see New York take the top spot this year, edging out San Francisco which is suffering from higher co-working costs, one of the most interesting trends we’ve noted in the last two years is the rise of China’s Tech Cities,” said Paul Tostevin, associate director in Savills World Research team, and lead researcher on Tech Cities.

“While largely mid-table overall, these cities now account for more VC investment than their US counterparts: the US-city share of the VC investment into our 30 Tech Cities has dropped from a 40 per cent share to 28 per cent since 2012, while Chinese cities have seen their share rise from 11 per cent to 36 per cent over the same period.

“Beijing has by far the greatest VC investment, but our ranking puts Shanghai ahead as a more ‘global’ tech city, however, thanks to an international business environment and better of quality of life for residents.”