An Irish software company with clients including Disney, Netflix and Spotify is creating 85 new jobs in Belfast as it aims to ensure UK market access post-Brexit.
And Cork-based Teamwork.com has said it could scale up its operation here “significantly”.
For now, it’s hiring 55 developers and 30 technical support staff for a development and support hub, with average salaries of £37,000.
The company chose Belfast out of a potential 30 locations and has received support of £680,000 from economic development agency Invest NI towards the posts.
Belfast will be their biggest office outside Cork. It has a total of 200 staff.
The firm is based in Belfast city centre’s Scottish Provident Building, which houses a number of companies, but chief executive Peter Coppinger told the Belfast Telegraph: “The plan is to scale up to get our own office. We’re growing 40 or 50% year on year and that means we’ll be hiring a lot over the next 10 years so we’re in it for the long haul.”
Asked how big the Belfast workforce could eventually get, he said: “I could see this operation scaling up significantly but I don’t want to be drawn on that (numbers).
“It all depends on access to talent. But what we see right now is that we’ve already found 10 fantastic people.”
The Belfast office will be developing one product to add to its existing three, Mr Coppinger said: “Our grand vision is to have a suite of products. We’re in a billion dollar market here.”
And he summed up its products as “helping businesses all around the world and their teams to be more efficient and organised”.
“We have 22,000 customers, and our products can be used in 40 different languages.
“Our customers range from one-man wedding planners to massive teams of companies and our products streamline entire businesses.
“They mean that on a team, everybody knows that they must be doing and can schedule things, and instead of people having to dig around emails, everything is organised. It can go into any business or any organisation.”
Chief technology officer Daniel Mackey said the available skills base had helped score Belfast at number one of a possible 30 locations. “We looked at available talent, accessibility and the fact that it was English-speaking and the same timezone.
“And we chose Belfast because it’s about future-proofing us against the effects of Brexit. Right now, the UK is our fourth-biggest market, but we hope to expand that with new offerings.”
He said the company paid “above-market rates” for its staff, including bonuses for performance.
There are already eight people in place in Belfast with plans to hire another 20 in the short-term and the reaminder over the next few years. It also has offices in Limerick, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Buenos Aires.
Mr Coppinger added: “For high-growth technology companies such as ours, we have to prepare for the future and possible opportunities, especially with the uncertainty around Brexit.
“Being in Northern Ireland will ensure we can tap into the great talent pool on offer and access the UK market in future.”
Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton said: “The new development centre will be key to helping the company achieve growth.
“As well as software developers, a specific customer support team will be based in Belfast to provide technical and knowledge support to customers on both new and existing products.
“Our software development sector has gone from strength to strength. In the last five years 30 companies have chosen to set up dedicated software development centres here.
“I am pleased that Teamwork.com has chosen to join this growing number of businesses drawn here by the talent of our people.”