London’s calling for Sophie Cranfield, newly minted UK lead for GetHomeSafe. The Key Accounts and Partnerships Manager for the safety app company is currently based in Dunedin but she’s heading off this month to establish an office in London and grow the client base in the northern hemisphere.
“It’s an exciting prospect and a bit daunting at the same time,” says Sophie. “Obviously it’s a much bigger market so there’s lots of opportunity for growth, but it’s also more competitive. I’ll be doing plenty of spade work.”
It won’t all be greenfields, as GHS already has clients in the UK. But it’s not just the UK that the office will serve, says founder and CEO Boyd Peacock.
“The opportunity in the UK is threefold. First of all, there’s the timezone. Given that we’re a 24/7 business, it will be easier to service our clients based in that same zone.
“Second, we’re expecting a strong post-Covid recovery. We’ve already experienced it in New Zealand and Australia following the easing of the lockdowns. And now we’re getting strong interest from the Middle East, Africa and the USA, especially in the resource sector. So we want to be there to capture the momentum.
“And third, Sophie wants to move back to the UK and we really didn’t want to lose her from the company. She’s got all that IP and experience, so it’s kind of perfect really. She can hit the ground running.’
Sophie has been a star employee for GHS, joining after a stint as a Commercial Manager at Otago University and before that in London with the Applied Intelligence unit of BAE Systems. Since joining GHS Sophie has played a key role in hitting the milestone of 10,000 customers – 80% growth in the last year.
(“Actually it’s 11,000 now but it doesn’t sound as good as 10,000,” says Boyd.)
Originally from Wales, Sophie was lured to New Zealand by her Cantabrian partner who works at another Dunedin tech success, Oritain. Now the pair are heading back to London where he will join the Oritain team and Sophie will open the new digs for GHS.
Given the Covid chaos in the last year her timing of the New Zealand leg seems, well, perfect.
‘Oh look, you’re not the first to point out how jammy I am,” says Sophie with a delightful Welsh lilt. “It will be interesting to see how London feels after living in quiet, safe Dunedin. But we’re up for it.”
Jammy or just smart, the shift back to London looks perfectly timed. We wish you and your partner well, Sophie.
Punakaiki Fund invested in Get Home Safe in January 2021 following a successful retail fundraising round in late 2020. Read about our investment here.