CITY Falcon moved to Malta just months before the pandemic hit in March 2020. However, plenty of sunshine, help from third parties and self-imposed cautionary steps have allowed the City Falcon team to not only survive this trying period, but also grow at the same time.
In fact, the company has flourished since first setting foot on the island. City Falcon transforms unstructured financial news and content from over 3,000 sources into structured data, and then delivers analytics, insights and news in real time. Yet, since coming to Malta, it has launched several new features, added content and onboarded new clients. It has also expanded its product into 18 new languages and recently relocated its senior management here. Founder and CEO Ruzbeh Bacha is not lowering his business prospects any time soon. “The company is moving towards becoming a cash flow-positive company by next year, and hopefully a unicorn in a few years’ time,” Bacha said.
Bacha pointed to three factors which have impacted City Falcon’s feat. “With the help of Malta Enterprise, City Falcon was able to make claims for wages early on, for which we received a three-month advance,” explained Bacha. Meanwhile, significant temporary price reductions from suppliers, as well as a cash conservation programme implemented by the company, have helped reduce cash burn. The latter has since ended as client leads have picked up.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Bacha would not think twice about choosing to invest in Malta again. “Malta Enterprise has been very helpful in assisting and supporting our business. Besides that, Malta’s climate is preferable to London – even though Mediterranean summers are awfully hot like back home in India! And the high number of foreign residents makes it easy to entice new workers to come here as they know there is a big expat community. So, investing in Malta remains a good idea,” he said. When it comes to Malta’s size, Bacha praised the proximity of places and activities, and the options for sports endeavours, adding that he has lost 13 kilograms since moving to Malta. However, the island’s size also comes with its disadvantages. “The smaller population compared to cities like London does mean that one meets the same people at events sometimes. This can be good or not, depending on your approach,” he said.
Bacha went on to highlight things that can be improved in Malta, such as procedures for the opening of bank accounts, and further digitalisation of processes. Nevertheless, he feels that the government is taking active steps in the right direction.
“With the move towards digitalisation and video calls (which allow us to close deals in the UK and US, for example, remotely), cash and other support from the Maltese government, and of course 300 days of sunshine per year, there is no better place for businesses in the EU than Malta right now,” he concluded.
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