The Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) was established in 1995 by the LSE to provide small and medium-sized, growth-oriented companies with early access to the capital markets and feed the Main Market. While this is still somewhat true, since the middle part of the last decade, London's AIM has forged its own identity and is now complementary to the Main Market. AIM is currently home to 1,000 companies; 650 (65%) of which are British and 350 (35%) of which are foreign.
AIM has no credible public-market competition for the companies it addresses. Companies listed on NASDAQ tend to be 22 times larger. Since inception in 1995, £100 billion has been raised on London's AIM; £42 billion in AIM IPOs and £58 billion in AIM Secondary Offerings.