Northern Ireland is currently home to one of the fastest-growing tech sectors in the UK. The sector includes many technology companies that provide services to local and international organisations. The location has become a hotspot for developing tech services in cybersecurity, AI, IT services, govtech and more.
The tech companies in this region have been vital to businesses and organisations, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to account for safety concerns while continuing organisational operations. According to a 2020 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey survey, 86% of businesses transitioned to remote work during the pandemic. To account for technological and security challenges while performing remote work during this time, many enterprises have turned to the services provided by tech companies.
In this fifth and final feature on Northern Ireland, eWeek UK takes a look at seven tech companies to watch. All of them are based in Belfast, except for GCD Technologies.
This firm has been raising funds in recent years. In November 2019, it raised £500,000 in a Seed round from Clarendon Fund Managers, and in January of this year, it received a grant of $66,900 (£57,600).
The company gained positive recognition in April 2020 when it was included in Tech Nation’s Cyber 2.0 initiative, a UK Government-backed growth program focusing on scaling internationally. It has also helped to tackle the cybersecurity risks that have increased through remote work following the onset of the pandemic through a partnership this year with Queen’s University Belfast.
AuditComply is an integrated risk management platform and a cloud-based mobile and web application. It provides a solution to manage and maintain risk & audit programs, and its mobile web application operates on both iOS and Android OS. The company was founded in 2014.
This firm has been gaining some impressive big-name clients within the last year. In September 2020, the national accreditation body UKAS selected it to deliver a platform to automate its assessment process. In May this year, AuditComply was chosen to replace the quality management system by Ireland’s largest broccoli producer Brophy Produce. Additionally, two giant seafood producers Ocean Beauty and Icicle Seafoods, selected AuditComply to refine their audit management.
Budibase is an open-source low-code platform that serves as a web app builder. The platform helps companies and organisations to develop internal tools and applications to improve their workforce processes and productivity.
This company was founded in 2019, and seems to be focusing on raising money to expand its services and outreach. In January 2020, it raised £300,000 from Techstart Ventures in a Seed round.
This month, Budibase introduced Budibase Cloud and theming, a redesigned automation UI, and other features to improve user experience, including desktop, tablet and mobile viewing. So far, things are looking promising for this young company.
Cloudsmith is a cloud-native universal package management solution. The DevOps warehouse manages software delivery and allows users to create, store and share software packages. The company offers support for 24+ formats, 225 PoPs, 24/7 engineer-driven support and a partner ecosystem.
This company was founded in 2016. Last month it raised a $15 million (£11 million) Series A round led by Tiger Global. Cloudsmith plans to use this funding to create jobs to expand its workforce to 60 employees.
GCD Technologies is a software development company founded in 1999 and based in Lurgan, Craigavon. It creates custom bespoke software, mobile applications, web applications and UX design for organisations.
In October of last year, GCD Technologies conducted a study on how banks can minimise loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This month it was announced that it acquired the Northern Ireland house-hunting website Propertynews for an undisclosed amount.
It was also shortlisted for two awards at the BelTel IT Awards 2021. The company’s recent actions seem to be helping it gain more recognition.
Instil Software provides bespoke software solutions and developer training for technology companies globally. The company was founded in 2005 and is made up of cloud, mobile, desktop and systems integration specialists.
Recently, this software and training company has been providing services to the UK and growing its workforce. According to the ratings site Clutch, in February 2018, it was one of the leading IT and business service providers in the UK and Canada. This year it has been expanding, creating internship and graduate opportunities, and advertising hiring opportunities for the company.
Kainos Software is one of Northern Ireland’s largest high-tech companies. It was founded in 1986 and provides digital technology solutions. This software company develops IT solutions, consulting and support services for organisations mainly in the public healthcare and financial services sectors. Its service features include Kainos Smart, an automated testing tool for workforce processes, and Evolve, an electronic medical record product for the NHS.
The company has been seeing increased success in the year. In December last year, it created 137 jobs from a $1.2 million (£1.03 million) investment round.
In June, it was announced that Kainos acquired the Workday operations of Finnish firm Cloudator and doubled its profits during the pandemic. Its growth has continued since then, and last month it was reported that it now has 2,409 employees and acquired the Buenos Aires-based IT consulting firm UNE Consulting. This recent success is likely due in part to the company’s role in providing digital tools during the pandemic, as it worked with Faculty and the Government through COVID-19, both individually and in partnership.
This is the last in a series on companies in the region.