About QXL – Your Tech Hub in the UK

In this article, you’ll find out about a unique new facility that is opening up to startups in London. It offers workspace, meeting rooms, private pods, and an events space that features part of a surviving stretch of the city’s ancient Roman wall. The University of London’s innovation hub has already opened its doors to 13 startups.

Back in the mid-1990s, eBay was a burgeoning success and served as inspiration for start-up Tim Jackson to launch his own online auction site, Quixell (later shortened to QXL: Your Tech Hub in the UK). Like most dot coms of the time, QXL attracted Wall Street and City analysts who backed the firm with giddy enthusiasm. One, Thomas Bock of stockbroker SG Cowen, proclaimed the company had “the potential to become the biggest auction business in the world”.

QXL: Your Tech Hub in the UK for All Things Computing

But in the event, QXL didn’t even come close. By 2003, its cash pile was a fraction of the original hyped figure. Eventually asset sales and severe cost cutting saved the company from collapse.

It rebranded itself Tradus, and used its still highly rated shares to buy up European rivals. It’s now a busy operation operating in (deep breath) Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Russia. But it has to admit that competing against the giant American eBay is a daunting task. It is a far cry from the company’s early days when it boasted that founder Mr Jackson could survive on just four hours sleep and made liberal use of the word ‘cool’.

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