News

Forecasting a bright future

A trans-atlantic tech firm, designed to help businesses accurately predict future performance, is forecasting a bright outlook for its platform after moving to a new head office in Sunderland.

ProForecast has developed cloud-based software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help businesses strategically plan for the future, providing in-depth predictions and reports that enable users to make informed decisions about their future growth plans.

Founded two years ago by experienced businessman Steven Katirai, the company, which also has an office in Mexico, relocated to Sunderland Software Centre in September to coincide with the official launch of its product and its recent rebrand.

Accessible from any device, anywhere, the ProForecast platform prides itself on being able to ‘predict with 98% accuracy’ the performance of any business for the next six months and has already been adopted by a number of companies operating in the manufacturing and professional services industries.

Steven Katirai, founder and chairman, said: “ProForecast was founded with the sole aim of using Artificial Intelligence to bring the process of financial forecasting and strategic planning into the 21st century.

“Over the last 40 years, I’ve headed up and managed many companies, from window manufacturers to skincare brands and overseeing stock market flotations, so I’ve experienced first-hand how technology has revolutionised almost every aspect of how we do business.

“Yet financial forecasting, which is one of the most critical of all business processes, has not yet been able to move as fast with the rate of change of other areas of business. I knew there had to be a quicker, more accurate way to forecast, and I set about assembling a team to help make it happen.”

Steven began his mission to improve the process of business forecasting two years ago, establishing a small team of tech experts to help him bring his idea to life.

He recalls: “We’re extremely passionate about what we do and take product development very seriously, so we knew we had to have everything right before we committed to doing any kind of marketing or business development activity.

“From day one, we’ve said we want it to be the best forecasting software out there, which is why it has taken us two years’ worth of research and development to bring ProForecast to market, however it’s definitely been worth the wait.”

The September launch of ProForecast coincided with three major milestones for the company: the relocation to Sunderland Software Centre, the recruiting of industry veteran Mark Harrison as Commercial Director and a brand overhaul.

Steven said: “Mark has worked in senior roles for some of the world’s largest tech firms and over the past 30 years has worked in New York, London, Brussels, Frankfurt, you name it. He has great people skills and has already helped drive the company forward, ensuring we’re targeting the right markets and are achieving all we can.

“The move to Sunderland Software Centre has also played a huge role in launching ProForecast and ensuring we have everything we need to make it a success. We are developing a cloud-based system, so great connectivity is a must and by being based here, we have one of the best connections around.

“Being so central to the city, it also has great transport links and it’s great for meeting clients, everyone loves it when they visit. I think anyone contemplating starting a tech business in the area should look here first. For me, it should be the first place they visit.”

Looking to the future, Steven has ambitious plans for the future. “Over the next few years, we want to turn ProForecast into a multi-national business with offices around the world. We’re focusing on the UK market for now, however we also have plans in place to internationalise the product and are excited to see where the future takes us.”

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, added: “Sunderland Software Centre was established to become a breeding ground for fast-growing digital technology businesses and it’s fantastic to see it becoming just that.

“ProForecast has already created a number of highly-skilled jobs and has positioned itself as a real innovator in its field. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for the company as it continues to go from strength-to-strength.”