Germany’s €6bn mega-float puts London on notice

Oliver Smith
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Europe's biggest online fashion player Zalando, a rival to Britain’s Asos, plans to raise more than €500m (£399m) to fund its expansion by listing a stake on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

The announcement comes as Lon­don’s tech community launches a fight back to maintain its lead over its European rivals.

Yesterday, the Coali­tion for a Digital Economy (Coadec) launched its Startup Manifesto, signed by more than 175 of the country’s biggest startups and venture capital firms.

The group has urged the govern­ment to relax immigration rules and taxes in order to maintain London’s status as the top European tech hub.

Meanwhile, London-based DN Cap­ital’s launch of new $200m (£121.5m) startup investment fund on Monday pushed new tech investment funds launched in the capital over the past six months to a total value of $1.4bn.

Despite the startup boom in London, Zalando’s float plans yesterday will distract from the capital’s success. Its float this year will value the company at over €4.5bn, Europe’s top tech listing since France’s €575m Worldline float in June.

Speaking at the Startup Manifesto’s launch last night, Tech City UK’s chief executive Gerard Grech was not deterred. He said: “We simply believe that the UK is the best place to start and grow a business… but we need to make sure that the companies that are growing really fast have access to the skills, talent and support they need to continue growing.”

Labour MP David Lammy called on the government to do more for startups. Writing in City A.M. today he said: “There is a real lack of ambition in support for the tech sector from government. “The government could be doing more. There is no room for complacency.”

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