Eigen Says Cheerio and Moves HQ to New York

NLP-driven doc analysis company Eigen Technologies is moving its head office from London to the Big Apple.

The move, they said, is in order ‘to ensure maximum focus on the company’s biggest market and support the next phase of global expansion’. At present, North America represents more than 70% of the company’s revenues. Eigen has around 190 staff in total.

The company, which was founded by Lewis Liu in 2015, and is backed by Temasek and Goldman Sachs, added that with ‘New York being the financial centre most open to the adoption of AI technology, provides the best opportunity for Eigen to fulfil its significant further potential’.

Liu will be moving back to the US as part of the shift, and he noted that Brexit had been a contributing factor in his decision.

But going back to the point about the US as a more receptive centre for AI, one could argue that when it comes to the legal sector, it’s the UK’s top law firms that have been early and very keen users of legal AI tech for things like doc analysis. But, if one considers that legal is only one part of Eigen’s client focus, and that it works very closely with the world’s largest banks and other financial institutions, then the move makes sense.

There is also some simple economic reality about it. The US is still the largest economy on the planet – even if China is creeping up steadily. That said, it’s hard to get a really nice cup of tea in New York, and you usually end up with Liptons, which most people this side of the Atlantic will surely agree is not really like PG Tips at all. Although, there is something very special about a traditional New York diner. Hmmm….it’s a hard choice.

One of AL’s favourite Midtown diners in New York, featuring great cheesecake and an OK mug of tea.

In any case, the decision has been made. Not that it will immediately change things too much. The company already has a base in New York, and many key staff in London will stay where they are. That said, over the long-term such a move may inevitably mean more staff in the US.

Eigen said that its future structure across its three offices will be as follows:

  • New York (Global HQ): commercial leadership, lead office for servicing the Americas and the banking, healthcare, real estate and manufacturing sectors
  • London: technical leadership, lead office for servicing EMEA and APAC, and for the insurance sector
  • Lisbon: technical and software engineering

CEO and founder, Liu, explained the move like this: ‘At Eigen we pride ourselves on being both a commercially successful and technically excellent company. All B2B software businesses live and die by their customers and with 70% of our revenue coming from North America, it is clear that our headquarters need to be in our biggest market. This is reinforced by the fact that the United States provides the best environment and support to build the biggest and most successful tech businesses.’

‘Eigen will always be a globally-minded company. That is reflected in our people, our customers and our culture. We reflect the unique international outlook of New York and London, the global cities that Eigen is rooted in. Thirteen years ago, I moved to London to work for McKinsey. Later I founded Eigen and started a family. In that time, we’ve built a great business.

‘But the world has changed since we were founded. Brexit has significantly undermined the benefits of the UK as a home market for us, particularly in weakening the university ecosystem and the loss of a single unifying market with Europe. So, while I am very sad to leave London, it is time for me to return to New York and lead Eigen on to the next stage of its journey in order for it to fulfil its potential.’

Main pic: 5th Avenue, Manhattan, New York. Both pics by RT.

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