US workforce management company, Workrise, is to set up a new software engineering centre in Belfast in a move that will lead to the creation of more than 150 highly skilled jobs.
Founded in Austin, Texas, Workrise has raised $452 million (€384 million) in funding from backers that include Andreesen Horowitz (a16z), Baillie Gifford, Brookfield, the Founders Fund and Bedrock Capital. A $300 million funding round in late 2019 valued to the company at $2.9 billion.
Founded as RigUp by Xuan Yong and Mike Witte in 2014 as a marketplace for skilled labour for the oil and gas sectors, the company has expanded in recent years to providing services for multiple industries, including construction, defence, and wind and solar energy.
The company experienced considerable difficulties during the Covid crisis but rebounded late last year, reporting $900 million in gross revenue.
Invest Northern Ireland is providing close to £1 million (€1.18 million) in support to Workrise for the creation of the technology jobs.
Economy minister Gordon Lyons said the investment would be worth about £6.8 million in wages for people in the region.
“With a hybrid-working approach in place, people from all over Northern Ireland will be able to apply, and there are exciting opportunities on offer for graduates,” he said.
Workrise plans to create 153 jobs in total over the next four years, with an initial focus on establishing an engineering team. It is currently recruiting for roles including back-end, front-end and DevOps professionals, with 30 staff in place so far, working remotely across the north.
Mr Yong said Northern Ireland has been selected as the location for the new centre based on the high-quality software engineers with industry skills locally, along with a strong pipeline of graduates from excellent universities.
“This, along with the practical and financial support from Invest NI, made Northern Ireland a very attractive location,” he said.
“We started out in 2014 as a platform to match skilled labourers with companies in the oil and gas industry. Over the last couple of years, we’ve broadened our reach to companies and trade workers in the solar, wind, commercial construction and defence industries. We now plan to continue our expansion into new markets over the coming year,” said Mr Yong.