Eight Tech Companies in Liverpool to Watch

CNC Robotics, Margin Guardian, Mashbo, Nova, PIN IoT, Ruler Analytics, SysGroup and vTime all come together in our latest feature on UK tech firms.

As with many of the UK’s cities, Liverpool has a thriving tech scene with a number of interesting startups and established firms to explore.

The tech sector in the city (and in the surrounding region) is as vibrant as the famous names and clubs in music and sports.

For example, in November 2021, the Science and Technologies Facilities Council announced growth plans that could add 1,000 new jobs to North West England’s tech scene over the next decade.

On top of that, the city’s LCR Ventures firm sprang to life in December 2021 with a mission to provide incubator services and funding for startups in Liverpool’s health and life sciences sector.

As always, the following eight are just a small sampling of a larger, more diverse business ecosystem involved in a myriad of industries. Think of this as ‘a day in the life’ of Liverpool.

CNC Robotics

Founded in 2010, CNC Robotics is a robot integrator specialising in advanced machining applications.

Since its foundation, the tech firm has expanded into a variety of industries, including construction, architecture, energy and wood processing. Its customers include Burberry, Royal College of Art, Foster + Partners and the University of Liverpool.

In recent news, CNC Robotics picked up a deal to supply a robotic arm for Blackpool illuminations. The tech company also plans to launch its latest analytical software, CNCR-Live, to help analyse the ongoing performance of systems remotely.

Margin Guardian

Margin Guardian is dedicated to providing retail and pricing analysis for the fashion industry so retailers don’t find themselves coming apart at the seams.

The startup powered up in 2017 and has tailored a number of prêt-à-porter services for potential clients, including competitor price comparison and customer behaviour analysis.

It also operates the Squished Shopping App, a fashion browsing app only available on iOS at the moment. In November 2021, Margin Guardian received a “six-figure funding package” from Maven Equity Finance to sew up an Android version of the app, as well as expand its marketing capabilities.

Mashbo

A self-described “software development consultancy”, Mashbo sees itself as “many things to many people”.

However, in more concrete terms, the small company develops software and apps. It has provided software development services for organisations like mental health charity Chasing the Stigma, workforce appraisal firm WorkPAL, employment training charity Career Connect, Danone, Liverpool FC, Everton FC, NBCUniversal and the NHS.

In the past year, Mashbo celebrated its tenth anniversary; and Hub of Hope, a mental health support app developed for and alongside Chasing the Stigma, won the 2021 Digital Impact Awards.

Nova

This venture builder got its start in 2015 and has been focused on providing mentorship and investment for budding startups.

Nova currently has 45 startups in its portfolio in fields ranging from fintech to digital health to an inventory management and spellbook app for the Dungeons & Dragons game. Based on its LinkedIn page, Nova says 48.85% of its startups are succeeding. It seems wisdom and intelligence can pay off if firms are game for action.

In November 2021, it partnered with inheritance tax planner Stellar Asset Management to launch the Stellar Nova EIS Fund which provides Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) options and tax breaks to potential investors. There can be an element of risk with EIS funds, so it remains to be seen if Stellar Nova will light up the solar system or turn into a financial black hole.

PIN IoT

Moving from venture capital to the waste management industry, PIN IoT got its start in 2018 by offering solutions to what it views as a key problem in waste management: the tracking and inventory management of waste containers.

The tech startup uses cellular network technology, and its platform allows clients to actively manage and keep an eye on the containers in their operating area.

PIN IoT says its solution provides a real time, digital view of operations. No time or energy is wasted as vehicles and container movement is digitally captured, while services delivered at customer sites are automatically registered. For example, a map-based interface provides the waste operator with the visibility and insight to make decisions.

Ruler Analytics

Founded in 2015, Ruler Analytics specialises in web analytics and caller tracking solutions, with the goal of optimising lead generation and marketing opportunities for firms which rely on those campaigns to drive sales. The firm says it has 76 companies as partner agencies.

Its SaaS platform can be used in a number of different fields, including e-commerce, financial services, legal and travel. The company explains that its marketing attribution software allows users to connect the data from leads to their CRM and analytics tools.

This month, Ruler Analytics was nominated for the 2022 City of Liverpool Business Awards in the Business Service Provider category.

SysGroup

With a wide suite of IT services and 16 years in business, SysGroup is a tested veteran of the Liverpool tech scene and provides managed IT services, cybersecurity and cloud hosting.

Applications of its solutions can be found in sectors like education, government, healthcare and finance, among others. According to SysGroup’s website, clients include payments firm Adelante, Admiral, AXA, Confused.com, Holiday Inn, PwC and Sega.

Earlier this month, SysGroup acquired Scottish cybersecurity firm Truststream in a deal worth up to £8.5 million. The acquisition gave it a boost in terms of threat analysis, detection and incident response.

vTime

VTime has been plying its trade in the virtual reality (VR) market since 2015. The tech company is home to vTime XR – a cross-reality extended reality (XR) social network, and vTag – a cross-world 3D avatar messaging app.

The software development firm has its sights set on the VR and augmented reality space, right down to holiday-themed events & clothing and in-app cinemas.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, vTime created a private version of its app designed to help vulnerable children and families continue receiving social care without risking COVID exposure. It licensed this private version of the app to London-based, technology-focused social care group The Cornerstone Partnership.

Have a look at the previous features on tech firms in North West England, Yorkshire, Leeds, North East England and Newcastle.

Zephin Livingston
Zephin Livingston
Zephin Livingston is a content writer for eWeek, eWeek UK, IT Business Edge, and SoftwarePundit with years of experience in multiple fields including cybersecurity, tech, cultural criticism, and media literacy. They're currently based out of Seattle.

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