Facebook Chooses London For HQ Of New WhatsApp Payment Service

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Facebook has picked London as its headquarters for its new WhatsApp payment service, with dozens of new positions set to be created in the capital.

The said move is considered as a significant win for the fintech scene of the United Kingdom which is hoping to monetise the 1.5 billion users of WhatsApp around the globe.

The chief operating officer of WhatsApp, Matt Idema, stated: “We’re eager to work with some of the best technical and operational experts in both London and Dublin to take WhatsApp into its second decade.”

He added: “WhatsApp is a truly global service and these teams will help us provide WhatsApp payments and other great features for our users everywhere.”

According to the Financial Times, a new team of approximately 100 software engineers in London and Dublin will see the staff of WhatsApp increase by a quarter. At present, it is believed to only have approximately 400 staff overall despite its size.

Facebook is said to have chosen the multicultural capital of the United Kingdom since it attracts many professionals from nations around the world where WhatsApp has some of its largest customer base, such as India.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of the company, has said that the move of WhatsApp into facilitating payments via the app will be rolled out in several countries later this year.

Recruitment has already started, with senior engineers who were among the founders of WhatsApp reportedly sent to London last year to launch the search for talent.

It comes as new data reveals that the investment in the tech scene of the United Kingdom is holding up, despite a year of huge uncertainty over the impact of Brexit on the economy of Britain.

European investment in tech companies in the United Kingdom even hit a record high in 2018, with funds based in the European Union piling £1.89 billion into the tech sector of Britain last year.

A research that was conducted by Penningtons Manches, a law firm, revealed that 70 percent of the investment was in companies that were based in the so-called ‘Golden Triangle’ of Oxford, Cambridge, and London.