A FIRM created to help oil and gas companies manage projects is hoping to double its workforce in the next year after landing a £500,000 investment.
Teesside-based Datum360 has worked with companies such as BP and ConocoPhillips worldwide, and is developing a cloud-based software as a service platform that allows businesses to analyse and deal with issues arising out of large engineering jobs.
Half of the firm’s 12-strong workforce is currently based at the Institute of Digital Innovation in Middlesbrough, with others in popular oil and gas business hubs such as Aberdeen and London.
The firm has received £500,000 from the Finance for Business North East Technology Fund, managed by IP Group. Managing director Steve Wilson said the money would be used to double its workforce, develop its consultancy services and complete the SaaS product, which will be released globally in a few months and is aimed at large multinationals.
“In broad terms it’s about securing the development team here in the North East,” he said. “We will be looking to expand the team with people who are experienced in the field of information management and in the process industry, and we’ll also be taking on two or three developers.
“We want to establish headquarters capability here and have staff travel from the North East.”
Datum360 was founded in 2009 by Steve Wilson and Dave Mitchell, who both have experience on global engineering information projects. Wilson said they chose to base the company on Teesside “because of the strength of industry and the skilled workers that are here”.
He said: “We’ve worked in the industry for the last 10 to 15 years on these sorts of projects. We established it because we saw current software vendors were achieving a lot, but that there was still something that could be added. We effectively put our money where our mouth was.
“It’s aimed at helping the flow of engineering information between all the different contractors and organisations. We view ourselves as a company that understands and aids collaboration between all of these different people.”
IP Group’s North East Technology Fund is a £25m venture capital fund aimed at highly-promising technology businesses.
It is backed by the European Investment Bank, One North East and the European Regional Development Funds, and makes investments ranging from £50,000 to £1.25m. Nick Edgar, investment manager at IP Group plc in Newcastle, said: “Datum360 is a business that has built on the experience of its founders to devise much-needed solutions to challenges in the offshore IT sector. We are pleased to be able to support it at an important stage in its growth.”