An East Kilbride health and safety software firm is aiming to more than double turnover within the next two years, nearly triple headcount and significantly scale up its US presence after launching in the country in May.
SHE Software, which has been revived by its chief executive, is also considering further fundraising in 2019, having secured a seven-figure sum at the start of 2018 to help back its global growth.
Chief executive Matthew Elson told Scotland on Sunday that from next month he will be “substantially” based in the US city, where the firm’s team now numbers seven, with more hires planned for the rest of this year.
The firm, whose Assure software helps businesses achieve and demonstrate health and safety compliance and has 500,000 users worldwide, opened in downtown Chicago after securing a £3 million growth capital investment from NVM Private Equity and feeling it was the “right time” to target America. Elson said its initial focus there is the manufacturing sector, adding: “We’re very excited about the prospects that we’ve got in the States.”
The plan is to at first prove its capability in the country “and then as soon as we’ve demonstrated that we’ve got the right kind of business model and approach, then I think we’ll be looking to scale quickly”.
He added: “I wouldn’t be surprised if the US workforce grows to 50 or 60 within two to three years. I would expect that within that timeframe we’ll be looking for our US new business sales to rival those in the UK.”
And if the software firm wants to “press the accelerator button” on its Stateside growth, it will consider further funding next year. This comes after it established a presence in Australia and New Zealand, where it has been “getting some good early traction”.
SHE Software was established in 1995, but was taken over by Elson in 2011 when it was “small and troubled”, with nine staff and turnover of just over £500,000. He set out to commercialise its offering, and later took on the chief executive role “when I saw how much potential we had in the business”.
The firm has now moved from start-up to scale-up stage, and staff numbers total 75 globally, including about 40 in Scotland, while turnover for its latest financial year is set to be about £4m.
Within two years Elson is looking to grow that figure to £10m, increase staff to 200, derive a third of its business from the US, and maintain the 60 per cent annual compound growth it has seen over the past three years.
SHE Software is about to move to new headquarters in East Kilbride that can accommodate up to 90 staff. The firm has just taken part in the ASSP Safety 2018 event in Texas, where it recreated Glasgow pub The Pot Still.