Investors target fast-growing software firm

The WANdisco team

The WANdisco team

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Fast-growing software company WANdisco is seeing strong demand from investors for its stock market debut next April.

The Sheffield-based firm intends to raise up to £10m from its initial public offering and will use the cash to employ more software designers and sales people as well as funding small acquisitions and providing working capital.

It is currently looking at a number of acquisitions in Germany.

The firm, which has its European headquarters in Sheffield, is based in Silicon Valley in California.

Its chief executive, Sheffield-born David Richards, said the group is keen to float the company on the AIM market in April following “very strong” feedback from investors.

“They like the fact we’re fast growth and that 90 per cent of the business is US sales,” he said. “We’ve got a number of blue chip clients such as Intel, GE, Motorola and Wal-Mart/Asda.”

At the moment WANdisco is entirely employee-owned, including over 35 shareholders in the group’s Sheffield office.

The group will today launch what it believes to be the first open source, free to download software package to be designed in Yorkshire.

The new package, called Bloodhound, was created in Sheffield.

“This is the only open source project to be started in Yorkshire,” said Mr Richards.

WANdisco is best known for its Subversion system, which is aimed at organisations that develop commercial software or administrative packages.

Last month the company appointed Nick Parker, the former chief executive of Sheffield Wednesday, as its new chief financial officer.

Mr Richards said: “Nick is used to working with high growth companies.

“He did a great job sorting out the finances at Sheffield Wednesday.”

WANdisco moved its European centre from London to Sheffield three years ago. The company’s name is an abbreviation of Wide Area Network Distributed Computing.

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