Fastest growth for AI software group

Celebrating rapid growth are, l-r Claire Davis of Grant Thornton, Mark Engelhardt and John Philips of SEAMS and Chris Bagnall of Grant Thornton
Celebrating rapid growth are, l-r Claire Davis of Grant Thornton, Mark Engelhardt and John Philips of SEAMS and Chris Bagnall of Grant Thornton
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The turnover of a hi-tech company that was spun-out of Sheffield University 11 years ago has grown faster than ever before.

Ecclesall Road-based SEAMS uses artificial intelligence techniques to help utility and infrastructure companies maintain and modernise their infrastructure.

The business started out in 2002, developing software so that water companies could select the most effective and efficient options for repairing and developing their networks. Turnover grew by 50 per cent last year to £3.2 million.

The company employs 38 staff at its Napier Street headquarters and is fast becoming one of the leading global vendors in the complex field of predictive analytics.

Clients are drawn from the energy and water utilities sectors as well as transportation, oil and gas.

Chairman John Philips said: “We are fortunate that significant expansion is forecast in the marketplace for predictive analytics and SEAMS is in an excellent position to take full advantage of this.

“This is an extremely complex field and we have developed software which offers huge benefits to clients in terms of improved accuracy compared with traditional spread sheet deterioration models.”

Mr Philips praised advisers Grant Thornton for their part in SEAMS’ growth.

“Grant Thornton has played a vital role in supporting our rapid growth and has provided a range of advice over the years, covering key issues such as research and development, share options, grants, employment taxes, corporate advisory services and, of course, accountancy and audit compliance,” said Mr Philips.

“The firm has helped us to develop what was a research project in to a commercially successfully industry tool and will continue to assist us as we pursue our goal of growing to a £20 million turnover within the next five years.”

Chris Bagnall, business services manager at Grant Thornton in Sheffield, said: “This is an excellent example of what Yorkshire businesses do well – spotting a market opportunity and developing a unique range of products and services.”