A TECHNOLOGY business set up just five years ago by a former Ordnance Survey boss has been named the fifth fastest-growing company in Europe.

Software engineering company Spyrosoft was co-founded by Andrew Radcliffe, former head of development at the Southampton-based mapping agency.

He says the pandemic will accelerate the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Mr Radcliffe co-founded Spyrosoft in Wroclaw, Poland, in 2016, starting it with 15 people and two projects.

Five years later, it employs more than 600 people in five countries, with a UK base in Ferndown, Dorset. It was successfully floated on the Polish NewConnect Stock Exchange a year ago.

The company has been listed fifth in the Financial Times 1,000 list of European companies achieving the highest annual growth rate in revenue over four consecutive years.

Despite the pandemic and lockdowns across Europe in 2020 the Spyrosoft group’s net revenue grew by 58 per cent to 113m Polish zloty (PLN), or £21.6m, from 71.5m PLN (£13.7m) in 2019. Gross profits increased by 95 per cent in 2020 to 43m PLN (£8.2m).

Mr Radcliffe said: “The Covid pandemic has seen an even more rapid acceleration towards automation, machine learning and the use of artificial intelligence in all sectors. Businesses have realised they need to be more pandemic-proof and they are looking for technology partners to help them achieve that.

“Whether an increasing switch to e-commerce, robotics or simply having technology solutions perform a wider range of business tasks, companies are looking to us to develop software that ensures they can maintain operations in the midst of a pandemic.

“There’s a difficult balance for companies to strike in looking after their workforce, relying more and more on technology and managing the threat from cyber criminals that follows that growing reliance. We are working with some of the biggest names across Europe developing new technology that can help them perform routine tasks or adapt to a post-Covid customer base with its new priorities and habits and do so protected from cyber criminals.”

Spyrosoft has worked with 150 clients across the world since 2016 and the number is increasing, especially in the UK.

Mr Radcliffe added: “We spotted a growing gap in the market between technology providers and business and decided that we could fill it by providing strong technological competence allied with many years of business experience.”