How great minds and tech are powering digital game-changers
Groundbreaking ideas, leading-edge platforms and savvy investors. They all mean very little without harnessing extraordinary people power. From charismatic founders and CEOs to highly skilled software engineers, people are transforming UK tech into a centre of world excellence.
Tech Nation’s 2018 report shows that the UK has cemented its position as a leading hotbed of digital tech. The sector is expanding almost three times faster than the rest of the UK economy. And it’s worth £184 billion a year.
The UK’s tech scene attracts the brightest minds from all around the world, boosting the country’s potential. And also exporting know-how and creating amazing customer outcomes worldwide.
This week the 100 Stories of Growth campaign celebrates three digital tech champions. Their success is a testament to the power of state-of-the-art technology combined with remarkable people.
ThinkAnalytics helps brands tap into consumer needs
Emmy-winner ThinkAnalytics provides personalised content recommendations and viewer insights to 250m subscribers in 40 countries. But the company learned first-hand that inventing something ahead of its time isn’t always a smooth journey.
Founder and CTO Peter Docherty says that attracting initial clients to the company’s cutting-edge platform took some convincing.
It was about doing proof of concepts and demonstrating that our system worked. It was never about our cutting-edge platform and algorithms, it was ‘you’ve got 10m subscribers, your growth is x and you want it to be x times two’.
Right from the start, ThinkAnalytics was backed by Nasdaq-listed Gentia. But when the product was ready to hit the market, the company’s ambitions could have been thwarted by Gentia’s financial problems.
Luckily, the tables turned when chairman Eddie Young decided to help buy out the company. And his support ran far beyond financial backing. Young’s business expertise and deep understanding of customer needs helped ThinkAnalytics sign up big names like Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone.
Today, the company operates across four offices worldwide and has increased its turnover by 25% and profits by 30% year-on-year. [Read the ThinkAnalytics’s story.]
VoxSmart’s pioneering call helps finance firms comply
London-based financial compliance voice-recording company VoxSmart is a global force to be reckoned with. With its top-notch tech, it has recorded over 1.5m calls in 15 countries.
Being a leading player in the emerging industry, VoxSmart never had problems securing contracts. But its growing client base left the company struggling to service their needs.
When Oliver Blower took over the helm as CEO in 2014, he introduced radical changes, setting VoxSmart on the course for success.
The first thing I did was rebuild the technology from the ground up.
After revamping the tech, Blower rebranded the company and boosted VoxSmart’s credibility by hiring grade-A talent with experience in financial services.
Backed by a £5m Enterprise Investment Scheme-qualifying investment from Deepbridge Capital, the headcount grew tenfold and generated a healthy £2m+ turnover.
With another two £5m financial injections from Deepbridge on the horizon, Blower says the company expects to hit the £10m sales mark by 2020. [Read the VoxSmart’s story.]
Re:signal maximises global brands’ content’s potential
Re:signal has a blue-ribbon team and great company values at its heart. Its culture has helped the search engine optimisation (SEO) and content agency generate an impressive 561% four-year revenue growth.
Co-founders Chelsea Blacker and Kevin Gibbons’ secret to attracting top people lies in their innovative recruitment process. After a job interview, they invite a candidate for a trial day to see if they’re a right fit for each other.
Blacker says that hiring the right people is more important for them than winning new contracts:
If you create a strong team and they consistently deliver great work, that’s going to help attract new business naturally.
And it sure has. Re:signal has maximised SEO performance for companies like Expedia, Auto Trader and the Financial Times. In 2017 it scooped a coveted spot on Deloitte’s Fast 50 list.
So far Re:signal has grown entirely without any external funding. And today the company employs 17 people and has generated £1.5m annual revenue.
Though the co-founders don’t rule out dipping their toes into other sectors, SEO will always be their main forte, explains Gibbons:
There are other sectors we want to break into, but we’re going to continue to be search specialists.