Amazon opens Loft in London to target British start-ups

By Nicole Miskelly | 20 August 2015

Amazon is opening a data support centre in London in a bid to gain the custom of British start-ups and support businesses using its cloud computing services, the FT reports.

According to the FT, the move by the cloud computing giant comes during a time when competition is heating up between pay-as-you-go infrastructure providers, including Google, Microsoft and other data centre companies, who are offering cheap and secure ways of storing their company data in the cloud.

Amazon will be opening a loft in the capital in September for Amazon Web Services (AWS), which enables companies to acquire data storage and computing power as and when they need it, and will be providing individuals and businesses in person, training and technical support. Similar lofts have already been launched in San Francisco and New York.

The Seattle-based company said that London was an “obvious choice” to open a loft outside of the US due to the high number of customers it has with operations in the UK. Well-known start-up customers in the UK include JustEat, Spotify, Zoopla, Shazam, Halo and Swiftkey, alongside some of the world’s largest companies, such as National Rail Enquires and Shell.

According to Forbes, European cloud banking received a boost last summer when De Nederlandsche Bank cleared AWS for a range of banking services and currently within the financial services sector NASDAQ OMX uses AWS for their FinQloud offering and Bankinter, the sixth largest bank in Spain, uses AWS to run credit risk simulations.

Since Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon, started AWS twelve years ago with a team of 57 people, it has since grown tremendously in value. The FT reports that according to company filling, AWS generated $5.16bn in revenue in the year ending March 31.

Ariel Kelman, vice-president of marketing at AWS told the FT: “We are considering opening other Lofts in new cities around the world. Every top city you would expect, where there is a high concentration of start-ups is on our list.”

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