Fast 50: Nine NI firms named among the island's fastest growing tech businesses

Pictured at The Ewart in Belfast are Syndeo co-founders Oliver Lennon (left) and Catherine Ewings (right) with Deloitte partner Aisléan Nicholson.
Pictured at The Ewart in Belfast are Syndeo co-founders Oliver Lennon (left) and Catherine Ewings (right) with Deloitte partner Aisléan Nicholson.

NINE companies from the north have been named among the fastest growing tech firms on the island of Ireland.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 list ranks the fastest growing Irish companies, based on revenue growth over a four-year period.

Global business finance and savings platform Swoop was presented with the number one spot at the awards in Dublin on Thursday night.

But northern firms had their best year since 2020, with Belfast-based conversational AI solutions provider Syndeo coming in at number three on the list.

Belfast-based scientific software company SciLeads also made it into the top ten for 2023, with fibre broadband specialist Fibrus named at 13.

Other Northern Ireland-based entrants in the Fast 50 list included Locate a Locum (21), Lightyear (24), PlotBox (27), Catagen (35), MetaCompliance (41) and Totalmobile (47).

SciLeads’ co-founder Laura Haldane also took home the Advocate for Women in Technology award.

Cumulatively, the 2023 Fast 50 winners generated more than €3 billion in total annual revenues, employed more than 8,800 people and had an average growth rate of more than 700%.

Fifteen of the 50 ranked companies were first time winners.

Founded in 2018 by Oliver Lennon, Alan Beck and Catherine Ewings, Syndeo’s platform makes it easy for businesses to engage with consumers through AI powered messaging and advanced chat technology.

Its customers include some of the world’s most iconic brands in retail, financial services, and technology and their platform manages interactions in over 50 countries, supporting more than 30 languages.

“The rapid scale up and expansion of Syndeo is a testament to the incredible talent, brilliance and hard work of our team,” said Catherine Ewings.

“To be recognised by Deloitte for our innovation and growth is a huge source pride which has boosted employee morale and instilled a great sense of accomplishment. It is an honour to be in such an elite group of companies within the Irish technology sector.”

Deloitte Fast 50 lead partner in Belfast, Aisléan Nicholson said: “While it has been a challenging year for many tech businesses, Northern Ireland’s reputation as a hub for creative, homegrown technology companies continues to grow and the success of those who have made the Fast 50 demonstrates the high levels talent, ambition and ability to compete at a global level.

“The majority of the Fast 50 companies have grown their workforce and we continue to see strong growth from businesses offering services that help meet the needs of modern life, for example in AI, cleantech, sustainability, cybersecurity and health tech.

“Deloitte’s Fast 50 recognises this success and also the future growth ambitions of the companies.”

2023 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 winners

Growing New Technology Award in association with Google

Winner: Brightflag

Impact Award in association with Meta

Winner: Xocean

Scale up award in association with Scale Ireland

Winner: Siren

Advocate for Women in Technology

Winner: Laura Haldane, Co-Founder and VP of Sales and Marketing, Scileads

Rising Star Award in association with Enterprise Ireland

Winner: Green Rebel

Financial Services Innovation Award in association with Financial Services Ireland

Winner: ID-Pal

Alumni Award

Winner: Fenero