City Road Communications

Announcing the Launch of Tech City Slickers with Appear Here!


Being based in the figurative heart of Tech City – that is, being located just metres away from the inimitable Silicon (or Old Street) Roundabout – brings with it a number of notable advantages. Firstly, part of the brilliant Brewdog team has just moved into the office space above us at City Road Comms HQ; free beer, kerching! Secondly, we have the pleasure of working a mere stone’s throw away from an Honest Burger. And thirdly, if we stop thinking with our stomachs for just one minute, we’re also incredibly lucky to be surrounded by a veritable smorgasbord of exciting, innovative businesses.

Everywhere we turn we have neighbours doing amazing things; start-ups and scale-ups that are truly disrupting or revolutionising their respective industries. To celebrate the plethora of talented business brains that we share the streets, office blocks and falafel stalls of Tech City with, the team here at City Road Comms has launched its new Tech City Slickers feature.

For anyone who’s familiar with the 1991 hit comedy starring Billy Crystal, this hilarious play on words will not have been lost on you. But to elaborate, each month we’ll profile a business we’ve come across in the Tech City area that is, like an overweight person jumping into a swimming pool, creating some serious waves. Some of these you may have heard of, others probably not; these businesses might not all be hipster bike repair shops or trendy microbreweries like so many of the start-ups that often steal the media spotlight, but they’re all making a name for themselves by finding new ways to improve the lives of businesses and consumers both in the UK and around the world.

So, without further ado, here’s our inaugural Tech City Slicker: Appear Here.

Appear Here was officially launched by a 20-year-old Ross Bailey. The genesis of the start-up has its roots in Ross’ previous venture, Rock and Rule, which sold clothing merchandise to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It was during this first foray into entrepreneurship, when it became apparent that finding pop-up retail space was a tricky task, that the idea for Appear Here was born.

Appear Here is an online marketplace that enables individuals and businesses – from independent artists through to large retailers – to find short-term space. Landlords list free spots they have available for rent, while those requiring a place to engage with customers can shop around for the best location and venue to meet their needs. Simple, yes, but also hugely popular and extremely successful.

To date, more than 30,000 brands have signed up to Appear Here, which now lists over 1,500 spaces across the UK and, as of earlier this year, in Paris. Among the areas available to rent is retail or exhibition space in the Old Street Roundabout, which the City Road Comms team walks past every day.

Needless to say, Appear Here has had some financial help along the way; it closed an initial £1 million funding round at the end of 2013, with a further £5 million raised through Balderton Capital a year later – not too shabby, ay!

Unsurprisingly, Ross Bailey and Appear Here have been raking in the accolades over the past two years. For example, in January 2016 Ross was named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 entrepreneurs, while two months earlier Appear Here was named Start Ups Business of the Year by The awards are well-deserved recognition of the innovative, disruptive and down-right brilliant way Appear Here is transforming the retail and pop-up sectors. Long may it continue!

Q&A with Appear Here CEO Ross Bailey

In a sentence, what makes Appear Here special as a business?

Appear Here helps people with ideas find space to make them happen in. 

What advantages does being based within Tech City offer the Appear Here team?

One of our flagship projects is Old Street station, the gateway to Tech City. We partnered with TfL to list all the retail space in the station for short-term lets and since launching in 2014 it’s been great to see how many companies based in Tech City have embraced these spaces as a way to grow their business. Tech City is an area full of forward thinkers and people who love new ideas, which also makes it a very attractive audience for new brands to get in front of.

What is your proudest achievement with Appear Here to date?

It would have to be walking into the first pop-up that launched through us. It felt amazing knowing we’d made it happen.

What do you hope to have accomplished in five years’ time?

I want Appear Here to have a global network of the best retail spaces – and it will be the defacto site for renting them.