By Kristy Dorsey

Data analytics specialist Bellrock Technology has doubled its headcount following a £1 million fundraising to underpin its expansion into new sectors.

The fresh capital injection from its three existing investors coincides with the appointment of tech industry veteran Steve Langmead, who takes over as chairman from David Sigsworth. Mr Langmead – who has held senior positions with the likes of Atos, Capita Scotland and Commsworld – will lead Bellrock as it seeks to expand out of its core energy market into new sectors.

The Glasgow-based company, a spin-out from the University of Strathclyde, is also gearing up to launch the next version of its Lumen software later this year. According to Bellrock chief executive Adam Brown, this will be “quite a step up”, making the product much easier for customers to use – “kind of DIY, if you like”.

Mr Langmead said Lumen could deliver “revolutionary” change across a range of sectors such as healthcare, oil and gas, the public sector, manufacturing and finance.

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“Put simply, with Lumen, a company can deliver high-quality data science in minutes and hours, compared to existing methods that take weeks and months,” he said, “saving companies significant costs whilst improving their speed and effectiveness of decision-making.”

Bellrock was co-founded in 2012 by Mr Brown and its chief technology officer, Professor Stephen McArthur. Its technology is based on work carried out by Mr McArthur for the university’s Institute for Energy and Environment.

Given those origins, the company has to date focused on serving the power sector, with French-owned EDF and Perth-based SSE among its biggest clients.

The Lumen software platform links specialist analytics with operational data generated by an organisation’s existing systems. Traditional methods of doing this are usually time-consuming and costly, particularly when legacy data systems are involved.

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Lumen aims to overcome these barriers by removing the need for bespoke development.

The technology is currently used by SSE to interpret data to determine what impact storms will have on its distribution network. This allows the company to predict where there will be issues, and deploy its resources where needed to bring customers back online as quickly as possible.

Bellrock has increased it headcount to 16 following the cash injection, which was provided by Stirling-based ESM Investments, Scottish Investment Bank and the University of Strathclyde. The trio of investors put an initial £500,000 into the business in 2015.

Steven Morris, the head of ESM Investments, also serves on the board of Bellrock Technology.

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“Data analytics is becoming increasingly important to fast-growing businesses across all sectors,” Mr Morris said.

“Bellrock Technology’s Lumen software product has the potential to have a seismic impact on the pace and value that businesses can derive from their data. ESM Investments has always seen the huge value of the Lumen product, and looks forward to seeing this value come to fruition.”

Bellrock generated revenues of £650,000 in its last financial year. That is expected to grow as it expands into other sectors such as oil and gas, where the market for data analytics has been growing at more than 30% annually.

“I believe Bellrock Technology has the opportunity to become a pivotal player in a huge range of sectors, not just energy but financial services, oil and gas, smart cities and smart manufacturing,” Mr Langmead added.