Nottingham firm at the Heart of Deloitte Technology Fast 50

A Nottingham-based internet company has been named as one of the fastest growing technology firms in the UK.

Heart Internet Ltd, of 2 Castle Quay, Castle Boulevard, was ranked second in the 2009 Deloitte Technology Fast 50, after achieving an impressive 8,548 per cent growth in revenue over the last five years.

The company, which provides hosting and domain name registration to individuals, SMEs and resellers, was beaten to the top spot by Reading-based financial software supplier Distribution Technology, which achieved 18,225 per cent growth.

The average growth in turnover of a Deloitte Fast 50 company is 2,585 per cent – an increase from 2008 when the average growth was 2,177 per cent.

Heart Internet Ltd was launched in 2004 by Jonathan Brealey and Tim Beresford. The pair have been significant players in the UK’s web hosting and domain name registration market for more than ten years, after starting their first internet business, WebFusion, in 1997.

After leaving the company in 2003, Jonathan and Tim set up Heart Internet, which today employs 40 people and is responsible for more than 400,000 domain names.

Jonathan said: “After leaving WebFusion, we felt that there was an opportunity for a more automated approach to hosting. When we started out in 1997 a lot of processes were manual, and these soak up a lot of time and resources. We realised that we could design these out by founding a new hosting entity, and Heart was born.”

According to Jonathan, customer service holds the key to company’s success, rather than pure technology.

“The reality is that customer service is expensive, and it’s easy for businesses to think that there are savings to be made there. However, that just drives customers away,” he said.

“We have a great retention and are seeing a continuous influx of customers transferring from our competitors. Keeping us ‘sticky’ is critical to our success.”

Digital service companies are thriving as the internet continues its advance into every aspect of modern life. They have overtaken software companies, which last year dominated the ranking. In this year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 50, internet companies take 21 of the top 50 slots.

Mark Doleman, office senior partner at Deloitte in Nottingham, said: “The 2009 Fast 50 provides a fascinating view of the evolving structure of the UK’s technology sector. The large number of internet and digital marketing companies in the list reflects the growing maturity of online enterprises.

“The importance of the web is clear and these companies have seen some impressive growth.”

Jonathan Brealey said there was still considerable growth to be had in the UK in spite of challenging market conditions.

“There’s a lot more of the market to convert yet, so we can continue to concentrate on our core business and grow organically,” he said.

“I’ve been down the acquisition route before and it can dilute and distract, rather than strengthen. We’ve also seen more new SME registrations during the recession than before, so I think this is only the beginning of the trend.”

In a further demonstration of the strength of the digital sector in the East Midlands, Newark-based telecoms company Timico, which provides internet, fixed phone line, VoIP (Voice over IP) and mobile services, was ranked seventh overall in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50. Over the last five years the company achieved a 5,055 per cent average growth rate.

Mark Doleman said: “To have two Nottingham-based companies in the top ten of the Fast 50 is fantastic and demonstrates the high calibre of companies we have in the region. Both Heart Internet and Timico deserve a lot of credit for their remarkable growth, particularly in these challenging times. “

 –ENDS–

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

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