Belfast software SME, Locate a Locum, is investing over £1.3million in Research & Development (R&D) and the creation of 14 new jobs.
Locate a Locum has established itself in the retail pharmacy market across Great Britain with its on-demand booking platform. Having added automated payment functionality, the company is now investing in new product development to diversify its product offering across the healthcare market to include health and social care workers, opticians and dentists.
Jonny Clarke, CEO and founder of Locate a Locum, said: “Innovation is crucial to the growth of our business. This latest investment in automated payment functionality through our end-to-end workforce management platform is our most ambitious product development to date. Payments to locums are still processed manually so there is a gap in the market for a full service. The benefit of this is obvious, especially in the current times.
“Invest Northern Ireland’s support has been invaluable since we started out. Its recent support is helping us to develop our platform so that we can service pharmacy customers more effectively and look beyond it to help other areas of the healthcare sector revolutionise the way they manage their workforce. We are already seeing success in the care home sector, and have secured multiple deals, such as with Inspired2Care in Londonderry.
“The new team members will help us to increase our capabilities so that we can bring the product to life and grow in new exports markets such as Canada, South Africa and Australia.”
Invest NI has worked closely with Locate a Locum since 2017 and has offered business advice, as well as support for job creation, R&D and technical product assistance to develop its Locate a Locum product. The company has also benefitted from leadership training on the Ignite NI Accelerator Programme and investment from Techstart NI, part of Invest NI’s Access to Finance portfolio.
This latest offer provides £233,045 of support towards R&D and the creation of the new jobs.
Dr Vicky Kell, Director of Innovation, Research and Development, Invest NI, said: “When we started working with Locate a Locum it had just two employees. Following our continued support, the company will now grow to a team of over 40 people.
“This latest investment will help it to develop a more comprehensive package for existing clients and drive sales in new markets, and it is already seeing success in Northern Ireland. The new software functionality will help multiple professions across the healthcare sector to work more effectively during the pandemic. The jobs will also help to rebuild our local economy, contributing over £530,000 in additional annual salaries.”
Recruitment is underway, with job opportunities for software engineers, marketing and account managers and sales executives.
Locate a Locum currently services over 8,000 pharmacies, including Boots, Superdrug, Well and Lloyds. The platform has over 12,000 registered locum pharmacists, which represents the largest pool of locum pharmacists in the UK.
Invest NI’s R&D support and Techstart NI are part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014–2020.