After outgrowing three previous premises in St Julian's, Portomaso and Msida, Malta-based software utilities provider Uniblue has settled into Orange Point, its recently completed custom-designed headquarters on Dun Karm Street, Birkirkara - with plenty of space for future expansion.
Established in late 2003, Uniblue boasts an impressive growth chart: It saw a 300 per cent increase in sales between 2005 and 2006 alone, and went from a staff complement of 20 to 70 in the three years since 2006.
Its online presence is equally impressive: Alexa, the web information company, has recently ranked liutilities.com - Uniblue's main website - the 1,509th most popular site in the world, ahead of Toyota.com, hsbc.com and VH1.com. Last month alone, the site witnessed over 11 million hits.
In the meantime, Uniblue is gearing up to launch product updates in the autumn and new online projects by the end of the year.
Uniblue was conceived by three Swedes, including CEO Bosse Malmberg, to design products which would simplify home and business PC use and help users maximise their machines' potential, by making them more efficient and enhancing performance.
Before deciding on Malta, they examined several international locations to base the Uniblue headquarters. Malta matched all the criteria - English-speaking, appropriate infrastructure, and better climate than Sweden. The move was sealed.
The popularity and accessibility of products developed in-house, such as SpeedUpMyPC, DriverScanner and RegistryBooster - selling online for $30 - has seen global sales spiral into millions. RegistryBooster is also to be launched in various language options, including Italian, German, Spanish and French, to complement its current English-only version.
The company's subsidiary Uniblue Labs distributes a range of free products primarily aimed at helping users to understand their PC better. Launched in 2004, ProcessLibrary.com, a comprehensive online library with information about what should and what should not be running on PCs, has seen over 300 million searches run by visitors (it had over 2.25 million visits last month).
"Our online presence is key to our growth," Chief Visionary Officer Johan Malmberg told The Times Business. "Because Uniblue targets the entire global market, the web is the best platform for showcasing our products and services. We also have a dedicated search engine optimisation team which ensures that we get the best possible exposure in search results. Uniblue specialises in software utilities, focusing on PC performance and stability. Anyone with a slow PC or one which needs updating will find the right, easy-to-use product to install among our range of solutions. All have been designed to be simple, instantly usable and goal-oriented. Our users tend to be from a wide range of age groups - people who are after an effortless solution to their PC problems."
Mr Malmberg said that the current economic climate has created both challenges and opportunities for the company.
Uniblue's marketing department has been collaborating with editors of the most popular PC publications and websites worldwide to have products reviewed by critics or recommended in credit-crunch beating recommendation lists.
The company has negotiated several cover mount agreements with a host of magazines in its bid to raise its products' profile even further.
Uniblue has partnered software vendors and distributors to market their products. Its affiliate team works closely with third party websites to promote Uniblue solutions.
Traditional retailing has not been totally ruled out, but for the moment, the focus is online.
"The company has grown organically," Mr Malmberg added. "Despite being a relatively small organisation, we have evolved thanks to innovation, continuous development and the efficiency of our teams.
"Our immediate target is to keep sales growing steadily."
Around 60 per cent of Uniblue's staff are Maltese. The rest is made up of Britons, Swedes, Americans, Canadians, and an Italian. The average age is around 28. Uniblue tends to advertise vacancies in the Maltese press before publicising vacancies overseas.
Open planned and bursting with natural light, Orange Point has been specifically designed to be an inspirational workplace - boosting creativity and encouraging interaction. The Swedish-inspired wooden bridge and entrance are an indication of Uniblue efforts to ensure Orange Point's green credentials are up to scratch (low-energy air-conditioning, solar panels, and energy-efficient lighting).
All meeting rooms are glass-fronted and feature a colourful major city theme - London, Paris, Rome - the designs and artwork for which were developed in-house. Under its internal "UniCare" programme, launched to coincide with the company's move to the new premises, Uniblue implements a host of employee well-being measures, including fully customisable work chairs from Sweden, health care, individual ergonomic workspace consultations, several chill-out zones, open air terrace, fruit and juice.
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