Scotland business

US tech firm praises Scots talent

Andy McMillan and Bruce Hunter Image copyright UserTesting
Image caption Bosses Andy MacMillan and Bruce Hunter are looking to recruit 30 people in Edinburgh

A successful growing US tech firm has opened its first European headquarters in Edinburgh, predicting the city will become a huge industry player.

UserTesting, which counts Facebook, Sony and Spotify among its clients, provides feedback to a companies using a network of real testers.

Company boss Andy MacMillan said Scottish universities were producing "incredible" talent.

Its Edinburgh operation will include sales, marketing and engineering roles.

The San Francisco firm aims to have 30 people in Edinburgh by the end of the year and more than 100 in a few years.

Bruce Hunter has been appointed regional vice-president for Europe.

Mr MacMillan, who became UserTesting's CEO a year ago, said the company was already doing 10% of its business in Europe.

"We chose Edinburgh because we really like the tech scene here," he told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, adding: "There 's a lot of great public-private partnership going on with the university and the city deal.

"We think there's incredible technology and computer science talent coming out of multiple universities in Scotland and we think it's the next big tech hub."

Talking to customers

UserTesting, which has a network of millions of people who test products for their clients, is expanding at a time of debate about how our online data is collected and used.

Mr MacMillan said: "While it's great to have data about your customers, another great idea is maybe to talk to some of them

"Ultimately, people want to have more control over their data. Companies are starting to become aware of the brand damage than can happen if they don't allow people to have control over their data.

"What we do is use all opt-in testers. The people know they're testing and are giving feedback to the company directly."

UserTesting has also chosen to expand in Europe at a time when there has been continued speculation about whether the UK may leave the European Union without a trade deal, which has concerned many UK businesses.

Mr MacMillan said: "Like everyone, we're watching with anticipation of what will happen, but of our European customers, 60% of them are in the UK, so it's the right place for us to be.

"We'll deal with Brexit as it comes."

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