London tech firms shuffle downtown sites

Tech companies are fast becoming the anchors of downtown London as the shuffle for office space continues.

London-based telecom started the ball rolling by moving out of its building at 148 York St. to build a new headquarters a few blocks east.

Digital Echidna, a web design and development company, moved into building after outgrowing its space in the nearby Burridge Block at King and Talbot Streets.

Soon after, Race Roster moved into the old Digital Echidna space. The company has grown to about 62 staff who were crammed into its old headquarters at 740 Richmond St,

The firm was founded in 2012 by a group of high school friends and started out handling online registration for road races and charity walks across the continent. It has since moved into other areas, such as fundraising and marketing.0818 tech0818 tech

Dennis Mazajlo, the firm’s manager of strategic partnerships, said the company is continuing to expand its U.S. market base and now handles about 3,500 events annually.

“There’s still a ton of business there. Each state is its own economy and to fully penetrate it takes face time and relationship-building.”

Race Roster has partnered with the trade group Running USA to present a six-city tour of half-day conferences focused on race directors.

Mazajlo said the former Digital Echidna space had already been renovated and was good fit.

“It was 90 per cent move-in ready.”

Mazajlo said the historic Burridge Block is popular with the young staff, with easy access to restaurants and coffee shops.

Race Roster’s former office has been snapped up by Demand Metric. Co-founder Matt Hunter said the company is “growing like a weed” and had outgrown its old office at 562 Wellington St., once occupied by HR Downloads.

Demand Metric is in the process of adding five more staff for a total of 23.

The company has a growing base of corporate clients who pay an annual membership fee to use the company’s database, analysts and marketing tools.

“We do research on what the best marketing departments in the world do and try to build that into playbooks and tool kits.”

The company has developed an agile marketing platform popular with its customer base. The product covers overall market strategy, including online platforms, public relations and product management.

Hunter said if the company’s growth rate continues it may have to move again in another year or two.

The other major tech move into downtown London involves Info-Tech. The company is in the process of moving from Queen Street into a series of heritage buildings on Ridout Street.
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