How Hull tech firm Sauce grew to be a £1m business in just three years

Sauce Group 'Pictures: Neil Holmes Photography
Sauce Group 'Pictures: Neil Holmes Photography
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A HULL tech company, formed three years ago, has grown its turnover to nearly £1m and providing pioneering technology into a range of a major international players.

Sauce has grown tenfold in just three years and includes Siemens RB, Giacom and Ideal Boilers amongst its clients.

Sauce team outside its offices 'Pictures: Neil Holmes Photography

Sauce team outside its offices 'Pictures: Neil Holmes Photography

The Sauce team specialise in deploying Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and developing serverless infrastructure to capture data to power Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other advanced applications.

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It describes its specialism as working with large, traditional businesses as their in-house digital disrupters, enabling corporates to keep ahead of the technology curve.

Its revenue growth for this year is forecast to be 40 per cent and it is taking on new staff members ever single month at its base in the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub, where it has increased its office space five times.

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The picture is a long way from the start-up founded by three friends who named the business as a play on words concerning source coding.

C4DI at night

C4DI at night

Matt Gibson, John Polling and Jim Wardlaw established the company in 2016 and quickly brought in another friend Matt Weldon to become the fourth joint owner and the firm’s chief executive.

Sauce is now home to more than 30 skilled coders and is set to be an anchor tenant within a new block that is to be developed at the @TheDock tech campus in Hull’s regenerated Fruit Market urban village.

Mr Weldon said: “Our business is all about helping clients to do business smarter and better, through technology.

“We see ourselves as a fast-tech business. Unlike traditional software companies, we’re able to be much more agile in how we approach developing solutions for clients because we recognise the world of software changes daily.

“There are always new things coming out and we consider whether we can apply them to an existing or future project.

“We’ve gone from three people to 30 in three years and we’re not stopping there. There are so many opportunities for us because the work that we do is difficult, as it is so specialist, but also so important to the industries we work in. It’s hard to hire the people to do this in a large, traditional company and that’s where we come in.”

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Sauce has recently delivered a major project to establish Ideal Boilers in the smart heating space with a product called Ideal Touch Connect, which enables customers to control their heating systems remotely from anywhere in the world.

It is fully integrated with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant, so householders can operate their heating systems through voice commands and also features geolocation, so heating automatically turns off when the home is empty and switches back on when the first person starts to return.

Mr Polling, Sauce’s chief technology officer, said: “Ideal Boilers is a brilliant example of a traditional business that has really bought into digital. They now have their own in-house IoT team, who are all really switched on and who we work really closely with.”

Meanwhile its work with global wind power leader Siemens Gamesa saw it create an award-winning digital system enabling human resources personnel and shift leaders to update instantly information on workers at the company’s Hull wind turbine blade factory and a mobile app which employees access working hour and annual leave.

The system is now used by hundreds of staff having reduced administrative burdens significantly.