The chief executive of Appsense tells UK tech firms to head for Silicon Valley if they want to be where the action is
After his first year in the job Darron Antill, chief executive of tech company AppSense, can be pleased with his progress. "We have experienced 150 per cent revenue growth and we're planning 50 per cent year-on-year growth," he says. Appsense now has 339 employees.
Hired to spearhead the Warrington-based company's expansion in the US, he helped to secure a $70m (£43m) investment from Goldman Sachs earlier this year. Antill's office is in New York and he believes that having a stateside base has been crucial. "We made a big investment in the US because that is very important if you want to raise money with any VC or a global organisation like Goldman," he says.
He believes being in the right places has been vital for US growth. "We spent a lot of time in Seattle, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, and that is where the VCs are," he says. "To get an investment company like Goldman, yes, you have to have a high-growth market and you need to be number one but you also need to be dominant in the US. If you are going to be a global player, you need to have global presence."
His advice to UK tech firms with US aspirations is to head for Silicon Valley. "There is a great vibe. We are based in New York, but we are building our mobile and cloud development centres out there. You need to be where the action is and where the decision-makers are."