US tech firm to create 70 'high-value' jobs in Edinburgh growth plan

A San Francisco-headquartered tech firm is to create up to 70 jobs in Edinburgh after embarking on a multi-million-pound research project.

Fergus Kennedy, vice president of engineering, far left, with some of the UserTesting team in Edinburgh. Picture: Ernesta Norvaisaite
Fergus Kennedy, vice president of engineering, far left, with some of the UserTesting team in Edinburgh. Picture: Ernesta Norvaisaite

UserTesting, which provides “on-demand human insights” to many of the world’s top brands, has been awarded a grant of £3.2 million from Scottish Enterprise.

The funding is part of a £10m research and development (R&D) project that will help create the new “high-value” technical roles in the Scottish capital.

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The firm launched its European headquarters in the city in July 2019, choosing Edinburgh as the best location to invest in its product, design, and engineering capabilities.

The latest funding will help strengthen its research and development department, enhancing the platform’s capabilities and supporting international growth as the business expands into additional European markets.

Chief executive Andy MacMillan said: “We continue to be extremely impressed with the quality of technical talent in Scotland, and with the help of the grant from Scottish Enterprise we look forward to growing our European presence.”

Fergus Kennedy, vice-president of engineering at UserTesting, said: “It’s an exciting time as we receive this new grant from Scottish Enterprise and partner with the organisation to support growth in the tech community in Scotland.

“This grant will help us expand our product portfolio through R&D investments, growing our product and engineering function with as many as 70 high-value technical roles at our European HQ in Edinburgh.

“Our inclusive and diverse recruitment process has already enjoyed great success finding local talent in our first year. We will now be taking that to the next level as we further our European ambitions.”

The firm now has 106 people across Europe, 69 of them working out of the Edinburgh operation.

Scottish Enterprise interim chief executive Linda Hanna said: “This is an important investment by an international company at a crucial time for Scotland’s economy.

“The tech sector is a major employer in Scotland, particularly in our cities, and we’re confident it will play a vital role in aiding the country’s economic recovery.

“Having provided UserTesting with advisory services as it established its European headquarters in Edinburgh last year, supporting it financially underlines our commitment to helping the company grow its Scottish operations, firmly cementing its position as a vital R&D centre and creator of high-value, quality jobs.”

She added: “Scotland has proved to be a gateway to greater European sales for the company already and we believe this project will spur UserTesting on to further success.”

Scottish minister for trade and innovation Ivan McKee added: “In our recently published inward investment plan we set out a more focused approach to attracting inward investors. The plan highlights our emphasis on digital and this UserTesting grant will help to support our ambition of creating high-value jobs and contribute to the wider growth of the technology sector.

“Scotland faces significant challenges as a result of the coronavirus crisis, and tech companies, with their focus on innovation and growth potential, have a critical role to play in our economic recovery.”

UserTesting works with brands such as Asos, Deliveroo and Skyscanner.

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