L-r Deputy council leader Michael Morley, David Blair of Mercia, Mike Rohan of Technically Compatible, Dawn Dunn of The North East Fund and Ian Wilson of Mercia
A business which allows recruiters to test the skills of IT professionals and hire the right people has secured a £500,000 investment from the North East Venture Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia Fund Managers.
The investment, which is the first by the North East Venture Fund in Sunderland, will allow Technically Compatible to more than double in size and create an additional 10 jobs. The company is based in the Sunderland Software Centre and has developed an online assessment platform that allows businesses to check the abilities of developers and IT staff, reduce the risk of costly appointment failures and speed up the recruitment process.
Established in 2014, Technically Compatible now has customers in over 40 countries, including public sector organisations such as NHS Digital and HM Land Registry, blue chip corporates like Sage, KPMG and Next and fast-growing tech firm such as Salary Finance and Softwire.
The company raised £400,000 in 2016 to help it develop the platform. This latest funding round will enable it to build the management team, step up its sales and marketing activity and provide working capital to support its growth.
Mike Rohan, the CEO of Technically Compatible, said: “The investment will help us scale our operation and expand our engineering, customer success and marketing functions to keep up with demand. We aim to grow by 150% over the coming year. We look forward to working with the team at Mercia and the North East Venture Fund to execute our plan and create more high-value tech jobs in our home town of Sunderland."
Ian Wilson, who leads Mercia’s team in the North East, added: “Developers are in high demand but it is notoriously difficult to ensure that candidates have the right skills for the job, so companies often make poor hiring decisions. Technically Compatible not only allows employers to check candidates’ technical abilities but also carry out personality and psychometric testing. The funding will allow it to strengthen its team and move on to the next stage of its development.”
Andrew Mitchell, Chief Executive of The North East Fund, said: “Technically Compatible is the first Sunderland investment for the North East Venture Fund, and we are proud to support the development of this company in order to help it meet the market demand.”
Technically Compatible has been supported by Sunderland City Council’s business investment team throughout its growth.
Councillor Michael Mordey, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said he was delighted to see the company supported with funding that will allow it to realise its potential: “This is an innovative business that has global potential, and this funding will allow the company to accelerate its growth here in Sunderland. Like many other companies based in Sunderland Software Centre, Technically Compatible is one that will quickly scale up, and expand its team. And the support they will receive from colleagues in the Business Investment Team and our friends and Sunderland Software City will ensure that they are well-positioned to realise their vast potential and hopefully create more wealth and jobs in the city.”
The North East Venture Fund can invest up to £1.0million for firms in Northumberland, Durham and Tyne & Wear, particularly those which are engaged in innovation or developing disruptive business models. Funding is available to all companies with high growth potential and also pre-start up enterprises.