Early-stage startups in London already have a number of choices when it comes to co-working with their peers and another one has now emerged. Warner Yard (website not yet live at the time of writing) is particularly notable because it will be attracting investors as well as startups to work from the space, and the TechStars London accelerator has chosen it as its home.
Warner Yard is the brainchild of Federico Pirzio-Biroli, the founder of Playfair Capital. Playfair is an early-stage investment firm that has put money into names you’ll have seen on TNW in the past, including Blottr, Duedil, Festicket, Flattr, Mixlr and Rummble Labs. The space, located close to Farringdon in east London, will have 140 desks. Forty of these occupied by TechStars, with the remaining 100 being offered to startups both in and outside of Playfair’s portfolio.
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TechStars London, announced back in February when the UK’s Springboard became part of the popular US-based accelerator brand, will use the space both for its programs and for events throughout the year. Participants in the accelerator will also be able to base themselves at Warner Yard for three months after the program has finished.
Beyond startups, Playfair will be welcoming in early stage investors to hotdesk and use meeting rooms at the space. This is an unusual arrangement, but EC1 Capital, #1Seed, Hotspur Capital Partners and Ballpark Ventures are among those who have signed up already. The plan is to make it much easier for early-stage startups to access funding quickly by having a number of funds based in close proximity.
It all sounds more than a little reminiscent of White Bear Yard, the co-working space in the Clerkenwell area of London operated by another early-stage investor, Passion Capital. However, Playfair isn’t competing with White Bear Yard, rather to complement it. Indeed, Pirzio-Biroli says that Warner Yard will host some of Passion’s portfolio companies. “Passion and Playfair have a close relationship,” he says. “We both launched almost at the same time and have grown together side by side since.”
Warner Yard opens on 29 May. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in applying for TechStars London, the deadline is this coming Sunday, 5 May.
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