The company, which numbers Google, Network Rail, Ladbrokes, KPMG and Telefonica amongst its clients, was set up in 2010 by newspaper veteran Mike Anderson, former managing director of The Sun and the last managing director of the News of the World.
“Scotland as an office at the moment isn’t what it will be later in the year,” said Chelsea Apps Factory partner Josh Hart. “If everything goes to plan, we will expand the office for 50 people. We see really credible, amazing people up there so we’re using local talent to build a local office.
The team in Edinburgh includes business strategists, software developers, project managers, quality assurance professionals and engineers. Mr Hart said Chelsea Apps Factory was talking to economic development agency Scottish Enterprise about grant funding to help with its product development and office expansion.
The company, which has about 80 staff in London and specialises in large corporates, started life as a mobile app consultancy but is now launching a products subsidiary that will allow clients to buy a range of off-the-shelf, rapidly customisable mobile apps for their business. Named Ange and Gerry – after the firm’s first two staff – the new company’s first products include Voices, an employee feedback tool, and Colleagues, a cloud-based corporate phone directory that allows staff to instantly find colleagues’ contact details from their mobile phones. The third initial product is Papers – a corporate content distribution tool that allows documents such as sales packs and quarterly reports to be distributed to staff.
“The objective is to have as much engineering as we can do in Scotland for Ange and Gerry,” Mr Hart said. “The product development will be delivered in Scotland. It means more people coming to Scotland and using Scotland’s technology.”
Mr Hart said this would make the company’s Scottish office the biggest of its kind in terms of providing consultancy and technical delivery. Developing the product business was key to the global growth of Chelsea Apps Factory, he added.
“At the moment we’re a UK business, but we want to be global,” Mr Hart said. “The UK is a great platform with Scotland and London as our headquarters to be making this happen.”
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