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Datum expansion helped by steel funds
A DIGITAL firm which has developed ground-breaking software used by the oil and gas industry has continued its overseas expansion thanks to a series of investments.
Bosses at Teesside engineering consultancy company Datum 360 were forced to look for alternative funding to pay for its expansion when the bank refused to help – and secured the undisclosed six-figure sum from UK Steel Enterprise.
The money enabled Datum, which counts ConocoPhillips and BP as clients, to develop and attract further investment, securing a £500,000 investment from the Finance for Business North-East Technology Fund.
The oil and gas consultancy company, which has software capability to analyse and manage information for complex engineering capital projects, has expanded into larger premises in Middlesbrough’s Institute of Digital Innovation.
The firm, which employs 20 staff and has offices in Middlesbrough, London and Aberdeen, has also appointed a sales and business development director to spearhead its continuing growth.
Recently acquired contracts include projects with Tullow Oil and GDF Suez.
Steve Wilson, who set up Datum with Dave Mitchell three years ago, told The Northern Echo: “We are already operating globally including the UK, Norway, Malaysia and Australia and there is massive potential for us in the US, Middle East and Brazil.
“The investments we have secured have been vital to our growth.
“UK Steel Enterprise stepped in with a significant financial package when investment was proving very difficult to secure.
They supported us when we needed finance for growth and the bank was not prepared to take that risk.
“We are very grateful that they had that confidence in us and enabled us to reach a stage where we could attract further investment from other sources.
“Our solutions are highly efficient and can save a company millions of pounds on a major billionpound capital project.
“A huge amount of engineering information flows between all the different organisations and contractors involved in these projects – the construction of an oil rig can involve designers, engineers and construction companies from around the world.”
Simon Hamilton, of UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary, said: “We recognised the strength of Datum 360’s expertise and innovation and had every confidence in its future so were happy to provide the investment that they needed at that crucial time.
“UKSE’s bottom line is about helping the economic regeneration of our steel communities and that gives us additional flexibility when it comes to investments.
We are delighted to have played a part in Datum 360’s success.”