Texthelp Systems Ltd, the Antrim-based educational software business, has secured its first export sales in Brazil from following up contacts made on a recent Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to this emerging global market.
The company has signed a contract with a major educational publisher in Sao Paulo which will result in its unique ‘Read&Write’ and ‘Fluency Tutor’ software being used to teach English in a network of schools throughout the country.
The breakthrough deal in Brazil was announced by Martin McKay, Texthelp’s Chief Technical Officer, and welcomed by Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, who said: “This is an extremely significant development for one of our leading software businesses and will position them for accelerated growth in one of the world’s fastest developing markets.
“Brazil, in fact, represents a very substantial growth opportunity to many companies. With over 200 million inhabitants, a growing economy, and imports growing at an annual rate of 31 per cent, Brazil clearly has a considerable appetite for foreign-produced solutions.
“Private sector demand, especially from a developing and increasingly affluent middle-class, is growing strongly. Government spending is also expanding, particularly on projects to prepare the nation for the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
“Brazil is currently projecting annual GDP growth of 4.2 per cent for 2012-2013 fuelled by massive investment in infrastructure. Brazil’s expertise in aerospace, defence and telecommunications highlights the significance and sophistication of this industrial nation. It is also the world’s third largest marketplace for computers and the fifth biggest mobile phone market.
“Our recently launched Market Visits Programme offers opportunities for local companies to explore the Brazilian marketplace. We also provide tailored in-market research, repeat market visit, legal and translation support to assist companies to develop contacts and business there.”
Mr McKay said: “We’ve invested quite a bit of time in developing our knowledge of the market and in making contacts there, a process assisted by Invest NI trade missions. In fact, we’ve now visited Brazil five times in the past year and have identified companies there to help us penetrate what is a huge marketplace.
“Our in-market research, aided by Invest NI’s adviser in Brazil, has enabled us to pinpoint a substantial business opportunity for our Read&Write and Fluency Tutor software products from a fast developing demand among Brazil’s huge middle-class for English tuition. Our software enables students to learn English at their own pace and when they have time.
“It’s an extremely flexible and proven literacy software solution that helps students with reading, writing, studying and research,” he added.
Established in 1996, Texthelp Systems now employs 106 people in its worldwide operations including 66 at Antrim.
The company has developed a strong base in the US, where it supplies its portfolio of educational software products, including Read&Write, Fluency Tutor and BrowseAloud, to a broad range of customers in both public and private sectors. It now has 40 employees in its premises at Woburn, Massachusetts.
The company has also developed significant business in Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and other international markets. www.texthelp.com