Another huge win for post-Brexit UK: Snapchat sets up international HQ

Lynsey Barber
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Snapchat's first headquarters outside the US will be based in the UK (Source: Snapchat)

Snap, the newly formed parent company of huge hit messaging app Snapchat, has chosen to set up its international headquarters in the UK in another boost for a post-Brexit UK.

The multi-billion-dollar valued firm which is expected to go public this year will book its UK sales here, and those from countries where it has no legal entity, eschewing the jurisdictions often favoured by US tech companies such as Ireland, Luxembourg and Netherlands.

"We believe in the UK creative industries. The UK is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10 million daily Snapchatters are, and where we've already begun to hire talent," said Claire Valoti, general manager of Snap Group in the UK.

"There’s momentum in the British tech sector" - digital minister Matt Hancock.

The number of Snap staff in the UK, where 10m of its 150m global users use the app each day, has already grown to 75 from nine this time last year. It's currently advertising for 15 positions across disciplines.

The decision was welcomed by digital minister Matt Hancock.

"It's a vote of confidence our economy and in British creativity. I met Snap last week in Los Angeles and I'm delighted they made the decision today," he told City A.M..

Asked if he expected more companies to follow Snap's lead, he said: "I certainly hope so. We’ve seen good progress in the last few months with Apple, Google Facebook, Amazon and IBM all set to expand here. There’s momentum in the British tech sector."

Snap is the latest US tech company to commit to the UK after the vote to leave the European Union last June.

Google boss Sundar Pichai has said the tech giant remains committed to investment in the country with plans for a new £1bn HQ set to go ahead, doubling its headcount, while Facebook plans to create 500 jobs in the UK and Apple will move to huge new offices at Battersea Power Station.

Snapchat's decision to base itself legally in the UK, named Snap Group Limited on Companies House, will avoid the fierce criticism experienced by Google, Facebook and others over where it pays taxes and how large its bill is.

Experts last year indicated that the UK could become increasingly attractive to firms after the EU's growing scrutiny of so-called sweetheart tax deals and a crackdown against Apple's deal with Ireland.

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