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Semafone announces record growth for 2016

Global team delivers 65% revenue increase

  • Semafone’s patented payment method becomes industry standard for data security
  • Rapid North American adoption in the first year of U.S. operation
  • Cloud-based channels increase market for products

Guildford, UK – May 9 2017 – Semafone, the leader in on-premise and cloud-based data security for customer interactions, today reported significant growth for 2016, including a 65% increase in revenue to £8.3 million and the rapid enlargement of its worldwide customer base of blue-chip Fortune 500 & FTSE 100 clients. The company also reported a double breakthrough: it has gained traction in key overseas markets ­ – most notably North America, which now accounts for 49% of revenues – and has achieved success with its fast growing network of cloud-based channel partners, which includes BT and Gamma in the UK.

2016 saw Semafone’s patented payment method recognised as the only fully compliant global standard for accepting payments over the phone, with the company’s solution being adopted under licence by many of its peers in the contact centre PCI DSS compliance market.

Direct business and sales through channel partnerships both contributed to the growth in new customers in 2016, including The British Heart Foundation and in the UK and Harley Davidson and Cox Communications in the U.S. The company saw 27 implementations go live during 2016, bringing the total number of active customers to 63.

Semafone CEO Tim Critchley said, “2016 was a tipping point for Semafone. We are delighted to have made an immediate and material inroad into the U.S. and Canadian markets with key wins in the telco and insurance sectors. Our new cloud-based partnerships have enlarged the market for our products globally, beyond the already impressive list of blue-chip clients we serve. As an innovative business which grew from a start-up based in the UK, we are very proud of our technology and intellectual property which is now recognised, purchased and licensed the world over.”

Chairman David Sear commented, “I, along with key shareholders Octopus Ventures, BGF and the founders of Semafone, offer our profound congratulations to the team and their enterprise customers and partners. Together, they have created unique products and services which ensure ‘privacy by design’ in secure data capture for the 21st century. The challenges of regulation, including data protection, privacy and the protection of brand reputation grow each and every day. Semafone emphatically helps its customers and partners solve these mission-critical challenges.”

2017 off to a strong start

Semafone has already signed three substantial deals in Q1 with customers in the health insurance, travel & leisure, and home & motor insurance sectors. The company is moving to larger UK headquarters to accommodate its growing operations and is planning a new office location overseas to provide follow-the-sun, 24/7 support to its expanding roster of customers worldwide.

Channel partnerships

Semafone’s long-standing and trusted channel relationships with Gamma, BT and Sabio have cemented the company’s position in the UK market. It has recently signed an agreement with SecureCo in Australia and expects to establish further overseas channel partnerships in 2017.

North American expansion

The opening of Semafone’s North American office in Boston in early 2016 helped the company to capitalise on the opportunities within the U.S. payment security sector brought about by the country’s adoption of Chip and Pin payment cards. The phasing out of signature-based card payments has seen criminals shift their attention from point of sale terminals to card-not-present (CNP) channels, including telephone payments, which are less well-protected.

Regulatory pressure

An increasingly complex global regulatory landscape has further contributed to the demand for Semafone’s patented payment method. In addition to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Payment Services Directive (PSD2) have presented a new set of challenges for brands that handle and store consumers’ sensitive data, including payment card numbers and banking details.

About Semafone

Semafone provides software to contact centres so they can take personal data securely over the telephone. Semafone’s patented data capture method collects sensitive information such as payment card or bank details and social security numbers directly from the customer’s telephone keypad for processing. This prevents personal data from entering the contact centre, which protects against the risk of fraud and the associated reputational damage, ensuring compliance with industry regulations such as PCI DSS.

The company was founded in 2009 and now supports customers in 22 countries on five continents. Semafone is vertical agnostic and its extensive customer base includes companies such as AO, AXA, The British Heart Foundation, Rogers Communications, Santander, Sky, TalkTalk and parts of the Virgin Group.

BT offers a hosted version of Semafone’s technology – Cloud Contact PCI. Major investors of Semafone include Octopus Investments and BGF (Business Growth Fund).

Semafone has achieved the four-leading security and payment accreditations: ISO 27001:2013, PA-DSS certification for Cardprotect its payment solution, PCI DSS Level 1 Service Provider and is a registered Visa Level 1 Merchant Agent.

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