Business

PlotBox secures more than 10 contracts in States

PlotBox founders Sean and Leona McAllister pictured at Titanic Belfast after winning the INVENT 2014 trophy. Julie-Ann O'Hare of the awards sponsors, Bank of Ireland is also pictured

PORTGLENONE software firm PlotBox has won more than 10 contracts in the United States, it has been revealed.

The company provides a cloud-based system which has been dubbed 'Google Maps for cemeteries'.

The firm's co-founder Leona McAllister said its system "brings cemeteries into the 21st century".

Among the latest contracts are with the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

"Through doing research and participating on an Invest NI trade mission to the US last year, we identified a gap in the US market for our services," said Ms McAllister.

“Traditionally cemeteries use paper, old software systems and spreadsheets to manage their land. Information is deeply fragmented and difficult to manage. Our software, developed through an Invest NI grant for R&D, takes the information and pulls it into one cloud based solution, to help improve efficiencies by 50-70 per cent."

She said the company plans to a launch a new genealogy website later this year.

"Our expansion internationally has been made possible through the continued support we have received from Invest NI which has allowed us to fast forward our move into the US market place and played a vital role in helping us to secure these deals.”

News of Plotbox's success was announced as 14 companies from the north embarked on the latest Tech Mission to the US.

They will spend several days in the San Franciso Bay area before travelling onto New York.

Enterprise minister Jonathan Bell said PlotBox was "a great example of an innovative company that has grown rapidly in the last few years through hardwork and dedication".

"As a former participant of a previous Invest NI Tech Mission to the US, this announcement of its new contracts will give much encouragement to this year’s participants.

“The largest contract, recently made with the Archdiocese of San Francisco, is to provide an online cemetery management system to record future burials and is potentially worth almost half a million dollars in future business.

“Having recently established an office in the US, I am impressed with the strides PlotBox is making. This deal will allow the company to further strengthen its position within this sector in the US market."

Mr Bell said he will also uses the trip the United States to meet potential and existing investors with a view to bringing more jobs to Northern Ireland.

"A reduced corporation tax rate of 12.5 per cent from April 2018 makes us the most attractive location in western Europe for new FDI, based on a combination of tax, talent and value," he said.

Companies taking part in the mission include Glistrr, ServiceClarity, Laser Spoke, i3 Digital, Skunkworks Surfboard Co, See.Sense, AppAttic, Sirona, Digishare 360, TakeTen, Cognition Video, ReVana, BrainWaveBank and Brewbot.

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