Euan McGrory: Searching for unicorns in Edinburgh

Adrian Durham, chief executive and founder of Edinburgh-headquartered FNZ. Picture: Piranha Photography
Adrian Durham, chief executive and founder of Edinburgh-headquartered FNZ. Picture: Piranha Photography
0
Have your say

Do you know where to find a Scottish unicorn?

I don’t mean a statue or a picture on a heraldic shield - I mean a living breathing one.

Well done anyone who said Edinburgh. Full marks if you mentioned Lauriston or Canonmills.

No, I haven’t taken leave of my senses just yet. Some of you might have guessed that I’m talking about technology companies rather than fantasy creatures.

Unicorn is the name given to tech start-ups that grow so spectacularly that they are valued at a billion dollars or more. There have been three in Scotland so far - all from Edinburgh.

You may well have heard of Skyscanner, the online flight booking website, and some of you may know the name of FanDuel, which runs the US equivalent of fantasy football online games. Both built businesses were built from offices in the Quartermile development on the old ERI site.

I’ll bet very few people know about FNZ in Canonmills - the newly ‘crowned’ unicorn - which provides technical support for big finance institutions from its offices in Canonmills.

These tech firms are one of Edinburgh’s great success stories and an increasingly important source of well-paid jobs.