12th Mar 2019 in Business

Destination CQ (Cathedral Quarter) Business Improvement District Manager, Gareth Neill, has welcomed news that a Silicon Valley software company is bringing 150 jobs to the heart of the city.

Signifyd is to recruit staff over the next three to five years to be based in River House in High Street, where the San Jose-based already has 12 staff.

Backed by £981,500 from Invest NI the company plans to establish its worldwide research and development centre in the Belfast offices.

Gareth Neill, said the Signifyd announcement was a vote of confidence in the city and the Cathedral Quarter area.

“To have this company invest here is a tremendous boost,” said the Destination CQ boss. “We have already a burgeoning tech scene here in the Cathedral Quarter, and this shows that high value jobs can and will continue to be based here.”

Invest NI believe that the average salary for Signifyd employees will be £33,000, and will represent a £5m in total wages.

Signifyd provides software solutions for the retail sector and others, specialising in preventing fraud, and chose Belfast over many other cities, drawn by the city’s culture and engineering heritage.

Chief executive and co-founder, Raj Ramanand, said: “It’s an amazing culture here. There was a lot of things built here, from linen to ropes to ships to whiskey, and we want to continue that in the software world,”

“We don’t want it to just be a support organisation, we want to build AI (artificial intelligence) in Belfast.

“We looked at a lot of places in Europe, and Belfast does have the most product and engineering-centric culture outside Silicon Valley that we found.”

If the success of the Belfast site continues throughout the next three years Signifyd will look to consolidate yet more development.

Mr Ramanand said the company made the decision last summer to set up shop here and that it had not been deterred by the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Alastair Hamilton, chief executive of Invest NI, said that while Brexit represented challenges for businesses, it, as yet, had not deterred foreign direct investment (FDI).

“In the global FDI space we are not detecting at all any significant impact on our ability to build a pipeline then, secondly, to secure the projects and the jobs,” he said.

“We will announce our results later on in the year, but I expect they will be similar if not better than in the past.

“The reason for that is that the majority of inward investors coming into Northern Ireland are looking access to talent, and we have that.

“The majority of companies are not coming to set up here to access the European marketplace and sell products and servicing. They’re accessing talent to deliver mainly back into the US market.

“I think that gives us a natural hedge to the risks that people might perceive there to be around the Brexit challenges.

Amongst the new jobs Signifyd will be recruiting in the areas of software engineering, data, risk and fraud analytics, along with customer success positions.

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