US tech unicorn to open two UK bases

Posted on June 4, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox

Stephen Line, Harness

Stephen Line

A US tech unicorn is doubling down on European expansion with three new bases in the region. 

Harness, valued at $1.7 billion following its $85 million Series C funding round, has opened engineering hubs in Belfast and Belgrade and will launch a commercial office in London this summer. 

The two engineering bases will employ 30 engineers by the end of the year with Nick Smyth, previously head of engineering at Puppet, joining as VP of engineering to oversee the Belfast office.  

Meanwhile Harness has appointed Stephen Line, a former Cloudera executive, as VP and general manager of EMEA. 

The company’s CI/CD software delivery platform helps developers to manage and streamline projects directly. It is already working with the Home Office and software giants Advanced and Currencycloud. 

“We saw revenue growth expand three-fold in our last financial year,” Line told BusinessCloud. “This growth contributed to our expansion plans in the UK and throughout the larger EMEA region, and we’re anticipating an equally successful financial year in 2021. 

“We have recently opened an office in Belfast which is a key global engineering hub for Harness and our second centre for research and development in Europe, alongside Belgrade.  

“Both cities have invested heavily in computer engineering and we see the potential to attract top talent in both cities and surrounding areas.  

“Our commercial team is also growing and we are actively filling sales roles across EMEA. We will open a London office in the summer that will be based centrally and close to many of our customers who have headquarters in the city.” 

Harness

Line said there are three reasons why the UK is a key market for Harness. 

“Firstly, our technology has already penetrated the market and we have built a strong customer base,” he said.  

“Secondly, we know from our success in the US that our software resonates well with certain industry sectors. While our platform is industry agnostic, we have seen particular success in highly regulated industries where security and governance are critical requirements. This includes financial services, high-tech, eCommerce and central government. These are all industries of economic importance in the UK. 

“Finally, there are a wealth of skills and experiences that we can tap into in the UK. We are actively recruiting the best talent across customer success, sales and engineering. This will play an integral role in supporting and accelerating our growth.” 

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He added: “There is huge potential for growth in the UK. The acceleration in digital transformation means that, to some extent, every company in the world is striving to become a technology company.  

“In the software delivery world, this means that every company wants to build and deploy software in the same way as tech innovators like Facebook, Netflix and Apple. Our CEO, Jyoti Bansal, has a vision for Harness to enable every company to emulate these larger players in the space, delivering software quickly, efficiently and securely to provide seamless customer experiences across their applications.” 

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