Norfolk Business Awards 2018

Technology company ‘still has a future in Norwich’ despite cuts

PUBLISHED: 11:11 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:39 15 February 2018

Dan Francis, chief strategy officer of Proxama. Picture: Proxama/Location Sciences

Dan Francis, chief strategy officer of Proxama. Picture: Proxama/Location Sciences

Proxama/Location Sciences

A data science company still has a future in Norwich despite slashing its workforce, its head of strategy has said.

A data science company still has a future in Norwich despite slashing its workforce, one of its senior managers has said.

Proxama, which is now trading as Location Sciences, reduced its staffing by nearly two-thirds in 2017, as it offloaded its payments division and looked to cut costs in Norwich and London.

But chief strategy officer Dan Francis said the firm would continue its streamlined operations in both cities, having recently moved from Surrey Street to Pottergate in Norwich.

Mr Francis said: “We still maintain the [Norwich] office and will continue to maintain the office.

“We have reduced our headcount, with the majority of that due to the sale of the payments division. We thought focusing on Location Sciences was the right thing.”

He said the company had reset its priorities, adding: “In terms of scaling up proximity marketing, [location data] was the area with the biggest growth and which would offer the biggest return to shareholders, hence the decision to put 100% of the focus on that.”

Mr Francis said the company had location data for seven million people with 14 billion data points which would enable it to update services and create new products.

Location Sciences’ aim is to provide insights to advertisers, both physical and digital, about people’s movements using smartphones.

He said: “In simple terms, we can tell businesses where their customers go and verify they are in the right place with their mobile marketing campaigns.”

The company posted its full-year results for a transitional year to December 31 2017 with revenue up 75% to £471,993.

Staff numbers dropped from 60 people to 23, a move which the company believes will help reduce its cost base by at least 50% in 2018, with administrative costs coming in at £4.9m in 2017.

The year also saw Proxama complete a £3.1m share placing and the initial £1m sale of its payments arm which helped it to become debt-free, a move Mr Francis said placed the business in good stead going forward.

“We don’t have any debt and that gives us a strong balance sheet to move forward with new products and services,” he said.

Proxama has seen its market capitalisation fall to £3.23m with shares dropping from a peak of 0.46 pence in April to 0.0235 pence in February 2018.

For the new direction a new board has been put together with chief executive John Kennedy leaving in October and being replaced by Mark Slade.

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