Cambridge technology firms named among top 50 in UK

Cambridge remains a hotspot for technology growth, according to a list of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies, compiled by business advisory firm Deloitte.

According to the Deloitte Technology Fast 50, five of the top 50 firms in the list are based in the area. The highest overall ranked business was Ubisense, which was placed 16th.

The Cambridge-based business, which came second in last year’s Fast 50, achieved a revenue growth of 2,513 per cent over the last five years to earn its place in this year’s list.

Fellow Cambridge companies BlueGnome, Jagex Ltd, Intamac and Widget UK Ltd, were ranked 20, 21, 27 and 38 respectively.

Ubisense, which develops ‘ultra wideband’ radio location technologies, has had a successful year, partnering with blue chip names such as IBM, Accenture, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

Richard Green, Ubisense chief executive, said: “It’s been challenging but we have had a good year. Our technology cuts manufacturing costs by increasing visibility, so in fact we’ve seen a rise in interest. Some sectors have been slower to make decisions, but not to our detriment.”

Ubisense has also been actively seeking new markets, including the public transport sector where it has won a number of contracts with regional bus companies to help them precisely track buses when they are parked in garages.

Mr Green said: ‘Previously the bus dispatch team had people walking the floors, noting which lane each bus was in on a big map, so they could be dispatched in order.  We’ve automated this, which has saved many man-hours.”

Other markets include a cow-tracking project with researchers in Denmark to help track herds of cows. By overlaying milk yield data and distance travelled, the farmer can tell if animals are unwell. 

Ubisense’s active RFID technology is also doing well, with demand for the technology increasing. It now has more than 430 customers, including BMW, Caterpillar, DHL and the US Army.

Beta-testing is underway on a product version to be embedded into production machinery as part of a development agreement with a global tool vendor.

“We’re very pleased with progress overall and this field-testing could be a very exciting new avenue,” said Mr Green.

“The company in question has 25 offices in China alone, and more than 800 field sales agents. If we’re embedded there’s a fantastic challenge ahead.”

David Halstead, Deloitte technology, media and telecommunications partner in Cambridge and chairman of the Technology Fast 50, said: “In spite of the challenging financial market conditions, this year’s list shows that excellent growth rates are still possible.

“Making the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 is testament to Ubisense’s commitment to technology, as it is with all of the companies in the list. Achieving sustained revenue growth over five years is a tremendous accomplishment and deserves a lot of credit.”

–ENDS–

Commentary, analysis and case studies are available at www.Fast50.co.uk

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