Global groups targeted as Dundee mobile app developer expands

Member News | 17.07.2017

Global groups targeted as Dundee mobile app developer expands

A DUNDEE business specialising in mobile app development is aiming to push revenue past £8 million following the opening of a new office in Glasgow and a major contract with a financial services group in Edinburgh.

Having turned over £4.8m in an 18 month period to December 2016, with pre-tax profits more than doubling to £820,000, Waracle believes its combination of talent and experience can make it the “trusted provider of mobile technology” to global corporations.

Waracle describes itself as a full service app developer and digital consultant, with business development director David Romilly saying the company’s remit is to provide full digital technology and strategy services for global corporations.

As opposed to designing a mobile app for a small business, Waracle takes over a company’s entire digital strategy, controlling app development pipelines, with numerous people working full-time on a single contract.

Its major clients include Clydesdale Bank, Scottish Power and JLL.

And it was the 2015 deal with Clydesdale that changed the company’s strategy: “The majority of contracts we were winning were £100,000 to £150,000,” he said. “But this contract pricked the ears of various people in Scotland who saw mobile was taking off. Big corporates who perhaps don’t have the best fit to attract technical talent are now looking at companies like Waracle to plug the gap.”

Its services include building complex mobile apps that can be accessed concurrently by hundreds of thousands of users, to Internet of Things technology such as voice control, mobile health and smart homes.

To facilitate its growth plans, the company’s Glasgow staff have moved from a shared office on Buchanan Street to The Glasgow Collective, based at the rejuvenated Barras area,. Its Dundee head office relocated to larger premises last year.

Mr Romilly said it was difficult to put a number on the scale of the investment, but said the staff it had attracted required “serious salaries.”

This includes recruiting a number of people from JP Morgan, the global financial services giant, which operates its technology centre in Glasgow, employing some 1,200 staff.

Among them was the group’s vice president – program manager, mobile, Rory Macdonald, who joined Waracle as head of service.

The company was founded in Dundee in 2008 by Mr Romilly’s brother Michael, and Mike Warton. In 2015 the business was acquired by Edinburgh-based IT consultancy Exception, but it has retained its autonomy.

“Exception saw a Waracle in its infancy that looked set to grow,” said Mr Romilly, who added the firms can offer clients complementary services. “They put us in front of their financial service companies and that helps generate business for us and them through having this new service offering,” he said.

Mr Romilly said that in addition to mobile apps, mHealth (mobile health) and IoT technology would open up new revenue streams, and the business had made provisions to invest in these.

“We’re in an interesting place where we’re constrained by supply,” said Mr Romilly. “We can attract the best mobile developers in the country, but there aren’t that many of them.

“We don’t want to over-promise so it’s got to be stable growth which ensures every client is getting absolute best in class services.”

Source: The Herald 

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