Matrix Internet to open new office in Brussels as it plans to continue its European expansion
Make it work
The digital agency provides web design, digital marketing and e-commerce services to public and private agencies and has found that Covid and Brexit have opened up new opportunities for Irish businesses overseas
When Jeff Sheridan founded Matrix Internet in 2000, his main competitors were not from web design or digital marketing agencies, but from the Golden Pages.
“I would walk up to a company and tell them they needed a website, and they would say, ‘Look, Golden Pages works for us, and that’s what we’re going to invest all our money'”, Sheridan told the Business post. “It was a typical scenario at the time.”
Today, in a changing world, Matrix Internet is growing rapidly, having increased its revenue by 25-30% per year over the past four years. The company employs 45 people and plans to hire five more in the coming months. It also plans to open a new office in Brussels by September, as it welcomes several new clients in the Benelux region.
“We’re on the edge of the point where we’re growing so much you’d be a little nervous,” Sheridan said. “It’s almost a breathless race, but we’re not quite over that edge.”
After 20 years in business, Sheridan has had its fair share of ups and downs. In 2008 his Enterprise Ireland-backed company was forced to cut its fabric amid the financial crash, and in recent years it has battled the forces of Brexit and Covid-19.
Luckily for The Matrix, these two major external events actually worked in its favor. The pandemic has forced businesses to accelerate their digital transition, at the same time as remote conference calls have made it easier for Irish businesses to compete for international business.
Meanwhile, Britain’s exit from the EU meant that some potential rivals in the digital sphere no longer represented competition for potential European customers. Matrix spotted the gap and “took a gamble on it,” Sheridan said.
“Between Covid making the international market a bit closer and easier to get to, and then with the UK closing its doors inwards and outwards due to Brexit, that created an opportunity for us. We then started to really look at Europe, which was a game-changer for us.
Matrix offers a range of services including website design, digital marketing and e-commerce development. It counts a number of government departments and agencies among its customers, including the Department of Health and Fáilte Ireland, and also sells to private sector customers such as Europcar, FreeNow and Miele.
In Europe, the company also has contracts with a number of public bodies, including the European Environment Agency and the European Coastguard Agency.
“A few years ago, we were a big fish in a relatively small pond,” Sheridan said. “But the time had come to widen the pond and look further, and then suddenly we realized that doing business internationally was much easier than we thought. worked really well for us.
In the years to come, Matrix aims to have developed a significant reputation globally as a digital agency. “In two years, we want to be considered a leading digital provider,” Sheridan said. “I want us to have opened three field offices.”
This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland