MXSweep eyes UK partnerships

Growing a business may be tough but to do so by expanding overseas creates a fresh set of problems. Not that any of this deters Danny Jenkins, chief technical officer of Ireland-based MXSweep.

Set up in Dublin in 2005, the company specialises in providing email protection from spam, viruses and true cyberspace nasties like phishing.

It has grown from two to 15 staff. Jenkins estimates that turnover for year-end 2007 will be around the £2 million mark.

Jenkins is pleased with the progress made so far, but the aim is to establish a greater presence across the Irish sea. ‘We intend to grow in the UK by forging channels with partners and by promoting web marketing, such as concentrating on search engine optimisation,’ he says.

In Ireland, the company has received funding from a number of quarters and Jenkins notes Enterprise Ireland has been especially helpful.

‘They were excellent, finding partners for us, organising meetings and assisting with advertising. They have a massive range of people on the ground,’ he says.

Presently, the company has formed partnerships with six technology companies and two resellers. The success of its UK venture will depend on whether it can recreate similar relationships.

Jenkins predicts that over the next 12–18 months the company can attract 350,000 UK users of its software; this will be in addition to the 250,000 users the company already has in Ireland.

‘It will be a challenge,’ he acknowledges. ‘We’re not on the ground in the UK. The difference is we now need to make partnerships across the sea as opposed to down the road, so that does make it more tricky.’

Jenkins remains upbeat and this confidence stems, in part, from the increasing demand for security and protection from spam and viruses. According to research by MXSweep, the amount of spam received by companies doubled during the last quarter of 2006 to around 100,000.

On the back of this demand, Jenkins anticipates revenue to rise to around £7 million over the next few years. ‘We have already exceeded all of the targets we set for ourselves,’ he says.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.