A GLOBAL software company, which counts Siemens, Apple and Samsung among its clients, is set to double turnover and expand its offering, as it makes bold steps into new markets.
Sheffield-based Lightworks Design was launched 25 years ago and provides software that takes a 3D computer model and produces photo-realistic images as part of the product design process. End users include car designers, architects and kitchen designers.
Lightworks, backed by Mobeus Equity Partners, has a turnover of £2.5m, but in the next three years, chief executive officer David Forrester says that doubling this figure is completely “doable” as well as employing another ten to 12 staff.
“We are looking for that growth plan now,” he said.
“Once the market see’s what’s possible, there are lots of opportunities. We already see these. The manufacturing processes have changed so much – you can have something manufactured the way you want it and our software sits perfectly with these advances.”
Forrester said organic growth is the way to go for the company at the moment.
“A lot of our growth is about getting the big organisations to buy into the vision and for us to be able to do things first. We are well located to be able to take advantage,” he said.
The company is currently working on plans to work with more businesses, such as jewellers, to use its software to produce photo-realistic images of the products, interactive content and images which can be navigated from every angle. This software would give customers the chance to choose the shape, style and colour of a ring using a computer screen in front of them. Lightworks is currently working with its first jewellery customer.
“From a retail perspective, this is captivating the audience there and then,” Forrester said.
“Kitchens, cars, watches, phones and jewellery are all big for us. This is where we see the growth of the business coming from.”
Lightworks has a team of 30 in Sheffield and one person based in North America.
Exports account for 90% of its business, with North America the firm’s biggest market, followed by Japan, Europe and then the UK. Forrester said he sees more opportunity in South Korea going forward.