Dundee app developer to create up to 100 jobs after £4.8m boost

Mobile app developer Waracle has unveiled plans to create up to 100 jobs in Scotland on the back of a £4.8 million funding package from BGF.

Waracle chief executive Chris Martin said the investment will be use to boost headcount and drive acquisitions. Picture: Contributed

The Dundee-founded firm, which also has bases in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, is expecting to create between 50 and 100 jobs across its Scottish offices over the next few years following the bumper investment.

Chief executive Chris Martin also told The Scotsman that Waracle is investigating potential acquisitions and is currently “having a number of discussions” with several English companies.

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Martin said: “We’ve got a small office in England just now, of around seven or eight, and we will invest in and grow that. But I think the money and the firepower from this will mean that we will potentially make an acquisition or two south of the Border, so that’s what the cash is for.

“It will accelerate our organic growth and we’ll look at some M&A [mergers and acquisitions].”

Waracle designs, develops and manages mobile apps and other digital products, including in the internet of things, augmented reality and extended reality sectors. It employs around 140 staff across the UK.

Clients include ScottishPower and the NHS, as well as Clydesdale Bank, where Waracle has had a team based on-site with the bank since 2015.

Social purpose

Martin cited a particular focus on three sectors, adding: “We want to do our bit for social purpose so we’re starting to talk about healthcare, welfare and greener, so that’s really focusing on healthcare, finance and energy.

“They’re all highly regulated industries and I think that’s where we are. We don’t really compete for the smaller website ventures, we go after the big ones. And we’ve got the skills to operate there and we’ve got the compliance and security bases covered.”

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The investment comes from BGF, formerly known as the Business Growth Fund, and marks the group’s first investment in Dundee.

As part of the deal Duncan McIntyre, chair of BGF-backed tech consultancy Helecloud, has been appointed non-executive chair of Waracle, following an introduction from BGF’s Talent Network.

Martin added: “BGF’s expertise, coupled with Duncan’s knowledge and experience, will be invaluable as we enter this next stage of our growth.”

The investment was led for BGF by Richard Pugh and David Fraser.

Pugh described Waracle as “a business which has cultivated a fantastic reputation with a rapidly-growing blue-chip client base”.

He said: “We’re proud to make our first investment here in Dundee, an important part of the country for BGF and a hub of innovation and talent across a number of sectors that we’re keen to work with in the future.”

CMS and Henderson Loggie acted as advisers to BGF, while Waracle was supported by DC Consulting, Addleshaw Goddard and RSM.