In a recent interview given to Enterprise Ireland, Profitero’s President and COO Daniel King outlines why the UK is still a compelling market post-Brexit, and why it doesn’t pay to think only in terms of London as a business base.
Profitero committed to the UK early on as a start-up. It was important to open a UK office because the company deals with global consumer packaged goods manufacturers, and the majority of them tend to have a European headquarters in the UK.
We started our office just outside London in Maidenhead which is a technology corridor, about a year ago. That was partly due to the complexity of our solution and also, as our deal size grows, customers wanted to see more of a physical presence in the UK.
One piece of advice I would have, is that people view the UK as quite London-centric. But if you broaden your mind, there are great pockets of growing areas all dotted around the UK with vibrant ecosystems, and financial incentives from local enterprise partners and councils. Sometimes you can find a more cost effective-location outside of London, in Liverpool, Manchester, Brighton, Bath, Bristol, or Birmingham.
Profitero is growing at 70-80 per cent per year, UK included. About 30-35 per cent of our revenue comes from the UK specifically, with 40 per cent from the US and the remainder from other European countries. With 140 staff globally, Profitero currently has eight in its UK office and is looking to double that by year end and then double that again over 2017.
The founders and I are all veterans of the industry and we relied on our personal network for the most part to find the right people. We hired people from the industry who came with good contacts and the transition has been pretty seamless.
Impact of Brexit
The uncoupling is going to take years. The problem at the moment is that there isn’t a clear path that people can buy into. The result was a surprise and markets are a little bit jittery, but I have complete faith that people will continue to do business as they have done.
I think you have to look factually at where things are. The UK is a G8 country and it’s a dominant force in anything to do with online, digital, media and technology and that’s not going to fundamentally change. It’s the number one European eCommerce market, with the highest spend per online shopper in Europe. The UK is still a great market opportunity as a launch pad and it’s still got a great multilingual workforce.