Despite some slew of issues over hacking security, problems with the Federal Trade Commission, accidents in use of certain features, and the prevalence of explicit content on its service, the Snapchat app continues to enjoy a loyal user base, and its parent company Snap Inc. has grown and prospered enough that they’re now able to expand operations outside the United States. To this end, they’ve decided it was high time to set up an international headquarters in Europe. But here’s where they decided to do something different from the rest of the tech firm crowds by establishing themselves in London.

Going against the grain

It’s plain to see from where Snap Inc.’s stateside corporate HQ is located – the beach neighborhood of Venice in Los Angeles rather than up north in the San Francisco Bay Area’s Silicon Valley – that the company behind Snapchat isn’t one to go with the flow that is the rest of the tech crowd. Most other US-based firms in their line, when setting up a European overseas HQ, would gravitate to the “mainstream” tech havens of Ireland and Luxembourg. Snap Inc.’s general manager Claire Valoti provides a reasonable explanation for their London base: "The U.K. is where our advertising clients are, where more than 10 million daily Snapchatters are, and where we've already begun to hire talent." Already the startup in the UK has established an international presence in Toronto, Sydney, Paris and Odessa in the Ukraine, and the London hub will manage revenue from sales in Britain and those four sub-offices, to reach countries where Snap Inc.

has no sales entity.

Why operate from Brexit UK

Now anybody who’s up to date with news from 2016 knows that the United Kingdom is in something of a pseudo-limbo state after voting to depart from the European Union. Despite this it has attracted businesses with its quite low (in Europe) corporate tax rate of 20%, with the national government in London hinting that the rate can still go even lower even with the uncertainty of BREXIT finally setting the UK on its own.

This is likely to combat the 12.5% corporate tax in Ireland, where American companies like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and even Apple have established their international HQs. But with the EU looking to examine the tax deals there and in Luxembourg, the UK’s 20% rate and lower is easy for Snap Inc.

At the latest count, Snapchat lists 150 million global users, 50 million of those being in Europe, with the lion’s share of that being concentrated in the UK. Snap Inc. has also increased its London HQ workforce to more than 75, with offices in Soho. This growth can be attributed to a rise in international investors for the startup.