A SOFTWARE design company is doubling its production and staff over the next six months as it looks to expand its portfolio in the wake of new technologies.
Newcastle-based Smashing Ideas UK works on eight to 12 projects per year and expects to double this in the next 12 months.
Anticipating this growth, the firm is moving into newly renovated offices that expands over three times their current space and is looking to up its workforce from five to 12 in the next six months, with plans to hire another 25%.
The company produces mobile applications, e-books, websites and games and continues to push the boundaries in iOS and Android platforms.
General manager Spencer Britton says business coming in from the US is forcing the company to expand.
“The mobile device division has grown year on year,” he said. “We’re launching a recruitment drive to bring in specialists in their field and develop our market in Europe.
“More than 50% of our business comes from one of the largest e-book publishers in the UK, Random House, and through them we’ve done work in America for major players like Jim Henson, The Discovery Channel and Sesame Street.
“We pride ourselves in not only producing the software but also providing technical support after the application has gone live.
“Clients appreciate us more because we’re proactive in seeing how things are going once the application is released. We’re looking to hire developers, designers and producers but we’re aware that because we do a lot of business overseas, we don’t have a big presence in the region.
“We want people to know who we are and that we want to encourage talent in the North East.”
The firm’s headquarters in Newcastle were known as BlueskyNorth, a leader in content for mobile devices, founded in 2004 by Paul Lamonby, Graham Blake and Chris Petty.
In 2005 Britton joined the company and the year after American-based Smashing Ideas Inc became a majority shareholder and acquired BlueskyNorth in 2010 changing them into what they are known as today.
This evolution has aided the company’s 58% annual growth rate over the past 10 years.
With its US headquarters in Seattle, Smashing Ideas, focuses on interactive branded content across all screens and platforms, including websites, mobile apps, games and tablets with titles including Ultimate Sharks, Robot Unicorn Attack and Elmo’s Big Birthday Bash.
In business for over 16 years and with offices around the world, the company continues to grow with emphasis on it’s UK branch in Newcastle.
Britton said: “Financially we’ve exceeded our targets for the year pro-rata and with the growth we’re seeing in the industry at the moment there will not be too much of an outlay to carry out our expansion plans over the next six months.
“It’s about making sure financial targets are met while we are experiencing a period of aggressive growth. We want to provide our staff with a fun and safe environment to work in and being able to refurbish our office space we can include things like a games room and a think tank.”