A web business is proving it has growth in the net, after a strong start to trading.
Sunderland based 4thAspect, a software company specialising in search engine optimisation technology, is gearing up for expansion after enjoying early success since taking its product to market earlier this month.
The fledgling company which is based at e.volve, one of Sunderland’s most prestigious software hubs, was set up by husband and wife team Dave and Claire Glynn after the duo spotted a gap in the market for a programme capable of producing detailed diagnostics of a website with the aim of getting the site as highly ranked in the search engines as possible. The company received over £200,000 of funding to prove its concept and invest in the infrastructure and team needed to get the business off the ground.
As well as comprehensive reporting, 4thAspect’s technology allows users to input their data and preferred search terms just once; this is then used to semi-automate the process of building high-quality links on national and international referral websites, something that saves time and can quickly improve a site’s search ranking.
Claire Glynn, joint founder and director of 4thAspect, which was set up in March 2010, said: “Dave and I worked together on a separate web development venture for more than eight years before setting up 4thAspect together. We both felt that there was nothing available on the market to provide a streamlined service that would offer a practical way of improving SEO quickly and easily and that was specifically aimed at digital agencies and professional ‘client side’ marketing or web teams.
“The response we have had since taking our product to market only a few weeks ago has been very encouraging. We have plans to further grow the business, and being based at a centre that really is at the heart of Sunderland’s software and IT community, teamed with support we have had from the city council, business support service Sunderland Software City, and other businesses and entrepreneurs based in the city, is something that we believe will be a big help in allowing us to achieve our ambitions.”
4thAspect’s product is designed for businesses operating in the marketing and creative industries and can be white-labelled, allowing companies to offer detailed SEO reporting and practical support to improve the search ranking of their clients’ websites without having to introduce a third party provider.
4thAspect already has customers across the UK, including London, Manchester and York-based marketing agencies and has added to this with its first international client, a large web based furniture retail company based in Spain – a company that found 4thAspect directly via a Google search. This has allowed the business to increase its headcount to seven, and the company is already laying out plans to further add to its number, and tap into the US market over the course of the next 12 months.
Dave Glynn said: “The business is one that we see as being a fast-growth enterprise, and the hours of work that were put into developing the software are quickly coming to fruition with a great early response to our launch.
“We’ve had fantastic support from a number of successful entrepreneurs who have managed to establish their businesses on a national and international stage from their Sunderland base, and that’s been invaluable and really does demonstrate what is possible with the right approach.”
The company was provided with support from Sunderland City Council’s business investment team. The council assisted with business planning and advice, as well as helping with finance for the hardware and marketing materials needed to expand the business.
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “4thAspect is a great example of a fast-growth business that is really helping to establish Sunderland on a national – and no doubt, very soon, an international – stage.”
“Sunderland is at the heart of a region that boasts the largest cluster of software and technology businesses outside London, and this is testament to the excellent connectivity, support and availability of highly skilled professionals that we have to offer in this part of the country. This unique blend of assets will, I am sure, be something that helps 4thAspect to realise its potential, in the same way that it has helped dozens of other software businesses to prosper and grow.”