Europe’s largest independently-owned custom digital learning provider, Sponge, has moved into Dublin’s ‘Silicon Docks’ region, cementing its presence in Ireland and supporting the company’s ongoing overseas growth ambitions. The new office, based at WeWork's Dublin Landings campus, is headed up by Sponge’s recently promoted Client Development Manager, John Meagher.
To support its European growth plans, the company is initially recruiting for two Client Development Associates. Based in the North Quay office, the new hires will be responsible for working with Account Managers to strengthen relationships with existing customers that have a Dublin presence, as well as nurturing Sponge’s clients on the continent.
Working with global brands, Sponge’s European business accounts for around 35 to 40 per cent of turnover, with that percentage increasing year-on-year. Many of Sponge’s UK headquartered customers, for example Tesco and AstraZeneca, have a Dublin base, while others run their European or EMEA operations from the city. The company also partners with clients headquartered in EU countries, for example, Tetra Pak operating out of Sweden.
As Sponge’s Founder and Managing Director, Louise Pasterfield, explains, “International trade plays a major part in our expansion plans; we saw a 30 per cent increase in overseas business between 2017 and 2018 and this number is expected to increase this year.
“We see our Dublin presence as critical to expanding our European footprint. Establishing closer links with our clients based in EU member countries, particularly in the wake of Brexit, makes sound business sense. Added to this, Dublin is often described as ‘the digital hub of Europe’; having been at the forefront of digital learning for the past 15 years, we therefore believe it be the perfect location for us outside of the UK.
“We first set up shop in Ireland in January 2018 in response to client demand for Sponge to have a European base. When we were looking at new locations from which to grow the business, we were struck by the number of tech giants that had migrated to Dublin’s Docklands; hence why the area has come to be known as Ireland’s answer to ‘Silicon Valley’.
“We were really impressed when we visited WeWork’s Dublin Landings campus earlier this year; the location is only a few months old and boasts six floors of beautifully designed lounges, offices and conference rooms, as well as a games room and outdoor space, all set within a vibrant café and retail scene.
We see our new Dublin office as a nurturing ground for growing our European clients but also an incubator for cultivating talented people. We’re lucky to have John on board to lead this team.”
Client Development Manager, John Meagher, said, “Following my promotion earlier in the year, I’m thrilled to be heading up our new Dublin office. I very much look forward to establishing a new team, as well as forging strong partnerships with our clients.
“Our new ‘Silicon Docks’ office is the ideal location – with many large businesses on our doorstep, we anticipate being able to meet on a more regular basis. And, because we’re closer to the airport, travelling to our European customers will be even easier.
Dublin is a thriving city and I’m optimistic about Sponge’s future in the capital of digital.”
Founded in 2004, Sponge is the largest independently-owned custom digital learning provider in Europe. At the beginning of the year, the company opened an office in Sheffield – it’s first office in the north of England, as well as expanding headcount at its Plymouth, Bristol and London offices. Sponge is planning further expansion in the UK and Europe in the coming years.