Edinburgh software start-up in hiring mode after international business wins

Left to right are Jack Francis, Neil Francis and Paul Reid of Pogo Studio, the software start-up based in Edinburgh. Picture: Stewart Attwood PhotographyLeft to right are Jack Francis, Neil Francis and Paul Reid of Pogo Studio, the software start-up based in Edinburgh. Picture: Stewart Attwood Photography
Left to right are Jack Francis, Neil Francis and Paul Reid of Pogo Studio, the software start-up based in Edinburgh. Picture: Stewart Attwood Photography
An Edinburgh-based software development start-up has pressed the button on further hiring after securing UK and international business wins.

Pogo Studio is planning to grow its headcount following a series of recent key client wins including Signal Mutual, which is one of the largest shipping and port authority insurance groups in the US, NHS Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest, Miller Homes and Scottish social enterprise Hey Girls.

The fledgling firm is also poised to push ahead with its first external investment round during the closing quarter of the year.

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Jack Francis, the firm’s founder and chief executive, said: “We’ve really doubled down during Covid and it’s great to see the client roster growing with activity across the commercial and public sectors, including the growth of business outside the UK. It’s testament to the hard work of our team and we’re excited to move into hire mode and our next phase of growth.”

The company, founded by Francis in 2016, is planning to add at least four people to its headcount of ten over the next few months, with US-based Signal Mutual appointing the firm as its main agency to manage a number of website and digital projects over the next 12 months.

Pogo, which is chaired by Francis’ father Neil, is targeting developer roles and a medical technology non-executive director appointment in its next phase of growth having earlier this year appointed Trickle founder and chief executive Paul Reid to its board.

The business launched a digital healthcare unit this year, with its first product, Tailored Talks, having already generated almost £200,000 in revenue within the NHS.

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Tailored Talks is a digital platform that enables clinicians to get the right information to patients and carers, supporting the hospital-to-home journey and is currently being trialled with NHS Lothian in partnership with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

The firm is also developing a patient management system called Patient Calendar.

Jack Francis added: “We see the greatest growth potential in our digital healthcare unit where we have already developed a product in the form of Tailored Talks that has gained favour with leading academics, clinicians and health boards.

“Overall, we’re on track to increase revenue by around 50 per cent across the business in 2020 and we think the digital health sector is going to ramp that up in the months and years ahead.”

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The firm is to embark on its first external investment round during the fourth quarter of the year, targeting angel syndicates, venture capital firms and social impact funds, and has just appointed Chiene + Tait as its corporate finance adviser.

Chairman Neil Francis said: “We’ve seen some world-class software development companies come out of Scotland in recent years, start-ups like Kotikan and Cultivate, and we want to be one of the next big success stories in the space.

“Finding the right investors to help fuel this ambition is part and parcel of the strategy and we are now beginning to engage with the investment community across the UK along these lines.”

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