Australian tech unicorn plans to double Manchester operation from smart new city base

L to R - John Blake - SafetyCulture COO and CFO, Anna Wenngren - Chief People Officer

Australian tech unicorn SafetyCulture plans to almost double its headcount in central Manchester as it invests from its most recent A$34m capital fundraising which valued the hand held app developer at A$2.7 billion. 

Two of its senior executives were in Manchester last night to cut the ribbon on highly designed new offices in a 9000 sq ft suite at Bond, a refurbished 19th century bank building in Manchester city centre’s Mosley Street, owned by Bruntwood SciTech.

Officially opening the new office, SafetyCulture’s COO and CFO, John Blake, said: “The UK is one of our biggest markets, so it was only a matter of time before we needed a bigger office. Manchester is a key base within the EMEA region, and our immediate plans are to keep investing in our team here so that we can continue to support the diverse needs of our growing customer base.”

Describing itself as a “high-growth SaaS workplace operations platform” SafetyCulture also has offices in Sydney, Manila, Amsterdam and Kansas City, as well as its original home of Townsville in northern Queensland.

“We’re known for putting our customers at the centre of everything we do, and we’ve really tried to do that in this new space. The goal was to create an environment that’s dynamic, inspiring and functional. Based on the team’s reaction so far, I think we’ve achieved that,” said Blake, a former lawyer and Goldman Sachs investment banker who joined the company in 2021. 

Prior to the move the company was based in offices in Lever Street in the Northern Quarter.

Anna Wenngren, chief people officer said: “I know that there are people here that absolutely loved that office, and it’s got great memories. But then you walk in something like this, and you have this experience. And it’s like okay, now we get what a really great SafetyCulture office is.”

Interior design for the offices was provided by AXI, and the fit-out was completed by CubicWorks.

Founded in Australia by charismatic tech entrepreneur Luke Anear, SafetyCulture is now worth £1.38 billion based on valuations at its most recent A$34m fundraising in 2023. 

Anear (far left) at premier of TV show Founder

Something of a celebrity in Australia, Anear was one of four start up founders featured in a television series Founder which was designed to give viewers a glimpse into the lives of successful startup founders, and their families, and the sacrifices they made on the journey to achieving global tech success. 

SafetyCulture’s digital workplace improvement platform is used by more than 70,000 organisations across the world and the move by the Sydney-headquartered business is another sign of the city centre’s growing tech community. The growing UK operation will help support its aim of reaching over 100 million deskless workers globally by 2032.

John Blake of SafetyCulture and Joe Manning of MIDAS

Joe Manning, managing director of inward investment agency MIDAS told staff and guests at the opening party: “You are part of something quite exciting happening in Manchester.” 

He added: “Manchester has become a magnet for global tech businesses and it’s great to see SafetyCulture’s latest investment, a prime example of innovative thinking to this fast-growing sector. We look forward to seeing and supporting SafetyCulture’s continued UK growth from its Manchester base.”

The Grade II* listed Bond building at 38-42 Mosley Street, is a 28,000 sq ft space that has seen its Italian Palazzo style restored, including the double height banking hall which will soon host “a unique restaurant offering”.