Be Informed case study

The Holland-headquartered software company set up in London with help from London & Partners

Client profile

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Be Informed
Holland-headquartered Be Informed set up in London in a bid to become a global number one software company. London & Partners organised a business programme during the 2012 Games — where Be Informed networked with some of the world’s most successful digital brands — and advised on IT recruitment and clusters in London. Be Informed is now on track to turn over €35 million in 2013.

London & Partners' business networks, contacts with recruitment agencies and knowledge of the IT sector proved very useful in confirming our decision to set up here.

Graeme Campbell, Managing Director, UK and Ireland, Be Informed

About Be Informed

Established in the Netherlands in 2006, Be Informed develops business process solutions for public sector and financial services organisations worldwide. The solutions cut costs, improve productivity and reduce ‘time to change’. Be Informed turned over €24 million in 2012 and is on target to turn over €35 million in 2013.


Business aim

In 2012, Be Informed set a target to become a global leader in semantic technology and solutions by 2017. London was an obvious base from which to build a global business, but who could introduce the company to peers, prospects, IT recruitment specialists and London’s tech hotspots?

London & Partners services

  • New business networking: attending a business delegation during London’s Games, meeting C-level executives from global brands; invitations to international networking events
  • Recruitment: introductions to leading IT recruitment specialists
  • Intelligence: insights into London’s growing ICT sector, including guidance on clusters such as east London’s Tech City

Business success in London

Be Informed set up an office on Pall Mall, central London in 2012. By summer 2013 it was on track to clinch a series of multi-million-pound deals with large financial services companies and public sector bodies. Be Informed employs nine people in London, set to grow to 18 by the end of 2013.

In their own words

Did London’s Olympic and Paralympic Games affect your business?
“Our CEO Rik Hoogenberg took part in a three-day delegation organised by London & Partners during the Games. He joined the Mayor of London and senior execs from Omnitech, Facebook and Telefonica, while Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales was a keynote speaker. Overall, Rik made some great contacts. It reinforced his decision to set up in London.”

Our Games-time programme also featured visits to leading digital hubs. What was the result?
“Rik visited the BBC’s new Broadcasting House and Ravensbourne College, an impressive digital media college, before seeing the gymnastics final at the O2. This all underlined that London can create extraordinary, technically advanced spaces. There’s a real willingness here to invest in digital.”

What difference did London & Partners make?
“They confirmed that London was the right location for Be Informed. Their business networks, contacts with recruitment agencies and knowledge of the IT sector proved very useful in confirming our decision to set up here.”

What does Be Informed do?
“We are a software company and a global player in ‘semantic-based modelling’ — essentially where data can be interpreted and used intelligently without consulting external information. Our solutions are used in credit card transactions, banking risk and compliance, claims handling for insurance and tax and benefit systems.”

Why set up in London?
“Three main factors: access to international markets; the fact that London is the world’s leading financial hub and that the city is the centre of government. If you have a government-related business in the Netherlands and want to map it to central government in the UK then it’s got to be London.”

Did you consider other European capitals?
“From a software perspective, London is the most exciting market. It’s much more open and ready for our solutions. Also, the UK government is open to new ideas. Here, organisations are willing to listen to technical people.”

London is Europe’s leading city for qualified staff and speaks more than 230 languages. Was this a factor?
“Yes. We are are looking at hiring all our international staff for our Asia and South American operations out of the UK. It’s a better place to hire people if you want to grow rapidly.”

Why would an organisation buy your services? 
“Because our solutions can generate 30-70% costs savings. And if a company needs to make a change, driven by legislation for example, we can remodel the solution in a fraction of the time. In the past customers used to buy an off-the-shelf product that best fitted their business requirements. The other option was a bespoke solution, which was expensive to maintain. We’re offering a hybrid solution: our software can meet anything between 60-90 per cent of a customer’s requirements and we model the rest.”

London is famous for its culture of collaboration, where experts across sectors work together to solve business problems. Does this interest you?
“Yes. We’re growing a big partner network with larger organisations such as Capgemini and KPMG, right down to small boutique software agencies who are looking to revamp their offering: there are so many based in London, so London is where we will stay. We are also working very closely with the Institute of Directors (IoD) and IT industry think tanks.”

What advice would you give to other companies considering expanding to London?
“Go do it. The UK is open for business. It’s a much more vibrant market than Europe.”

Will you work with London & Partners in the future?
“We hope to work with them again, particularly if they continue to help our business along the road to becoming a world number one.”

Graeme Campbell, Managing Director, UK and Ireland, Be Informed

Published: July 2013