WANDisco insists investment will lead to profitability

David Richards of Wandisco
David Richards of Wandisco
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SOFTWARE firm WANdisco almost doubled its losses last year but insists its programme of heavy investment will see it drive into profitability in the future.

The Sheffield-based company says it has seen a huge acceleration in the Big Data market, and its strong performance in the fourth quarter shows it is on track for success.

The technology company posted a pre-tax loss of £26.6m for the calendar year in 2014, following losses of £13.5m the year before.

This was followed by a call in January to raise £16.5m from shareholders, to invest in product development and expand its global sales operations.

The company says the losses were in line with market expectation, and its investment strategy means it is well placed to see “significant growth” in the future.

Chief executive David Richards said: “The results come on the back of a tremendous fourth quarter for us where we saw significant momentum. The losses were lower in the second half of the year, than the first.

“The Big Data marketplace has the potential to become a multi-million dollar market.

“We are building a big business with anticipated losses in the short term. We are keeping a tight grip on things and driving it to profitability.”

Among last year’s successes was a sizeable contract with British Gas, which has scaled up the use of the tech firm’s services following a successful trial run

And earlier this year one of the world’s top ten banks signed up to use WANdisco technology.

As part of its investment plan, the company has increased its staff by more than a quarter, to 180, and they are being equipped with unique skills.

Mr Richards said: “The people in Sheffield have been absolutely tremendous.

“The skills they have are unique, and are highly sought after throughout the world.

“These skills don’t just develop overnight. They don’t just drop out of a tree. The skills these people have are highly valued.”

The term Big Data refers to data that is so large and complex it cannot be processed using traditional desktop computers.

It is used by internet giants such as Yahoo, Netflix, Amazon and eBay to keep their operations going.

Mr Richards said the company’s technology has “quickly become part of the standard Big Data architecture.

“We are seeing customers increasingly seeking a connected set of vendors to co-ordinate their Big Data infrastructure.

“We believe that many of our new Big Data customers will go on to expand significantly their WANdisco solutions as they take more and more data into their mission critical applications.”

Analysts say the latest results are in line with market expectations, and say there are many positives, particularly with regard to the fourth quarter performance.

The results show revenue rising 40 percent to £11.2m, and the company’s chief financial officer Paul Harrison said there are exciting times ahead.

He said the call to raise the £16.5m in January was answered in just three days.

“We raised the money in three days and it was very successful. Raising the cash was on the back of big contract wins and the shareholders could see that.

“We are investing in people. You don’t build a very successful global software business unless you put the right things in place.”