4 Ways to Spot Companies Looking to Expand Overseas

4 Ways to Spot Companies Looking to Expand Overseas

25 MAy 2023

International expansion is one of the biggest steps in a company’s growth journey. Expansion into international markets is a move that often requires the help and expertise of numerous advisers, agencies and investors, in order to build a robust international expansion strategy. Many of our clients use our platforms to find promising early-stage companies that they can support through their next stages. 

There are a number of indicators that suggest a company has achieved saturation of its local market and is ready for international growth. Businesses could publicly announce intentions to enter new markets or reveal their goals in more subtle changes of business activity. We collect and curate a number of different data points that can reveal these intentions, directly on one platform and provide our clients with powerful tools to easily find and keep track of them. 

In this article, we’ve outlined four methods that we see companies use. 

1. Find out where they are filing for patents

Using our newly added patent data set, it’s easy to search for companies with international ambitions by seeing which countries a business has secured patent protection in. It’s a comprehensive collection of 211k granted patents for 32.2k companies in the UK, sourced from the reliable European Patent Office and updated twice yearly. 

Picture this: your business specialises in helping companies expand to Scandinavia. By running the search below, you can identify 5,142 companies that might be interesting in a few moments. To whittle this list down even further, you can combine it with the other searches we’ll show you in this article.

A search for UK companies looking to expand internationally on Beauhurst, a UK company database platform

2. Check out their exporting activity 

Analysing trade data is another quick-fire way to find out whether a company is going international. By learning how frequently a business is trading, you can discern their international expansion plans. 

Our platforms’ trade data set reveals when a UK private company is increasing its international presence. For example, you can see when a company’s unique exports are increasing over time. 

A search for UK companies looking to expand internationally on Beauhurst, a UK company database platform

Our import and export data set comes directly from HMRC, which publishes its trade data every month. Our data covers trades from 2016 to the present day—so if you want to go further and see the trading history of a business, it’s right there for you. 

3. Look out for recent fundraisings with foreign investors

Going global is—like many startup activities—capital intensive. Many companies will secure equity fundraisings a few months prior to an international launch in order to fund the operation. In turn, rounds backed by foreign investors act as a stronger indication of plans to expand overseas, as foreign investors can better advise on the business environment in their home locations, and introduce their portfolio companies to local contacts.

For example, earlier this year It’s Fresh raised £6.70m to expand into new markets. Looking at its investors—Anterra Capital from the Netherlands, AgroFresh from the United States, Praesidium Agri-FooTech from Luxembourg and Zintinus from Germany—we get a strong indication that “new markets” might mean Europe and the United States. 

A search for UK companies looking to expand internationally on Beauhurst, a UK company database platform

How can you utilise this knowledge? Our platform Advanced Search capabilities allow you to narrow down a list of companies by the type and location of their funders, the relative dates of their latest raise, and even the proposed use of funding rounds (where it’s been announced). For example, if you were interested in companies that might be looking to expand to the United States, you could start with a search like below and build upon it by selecting specific sectors or the size of the company. 

A search for UK companies looking to expand internationally on Beauhurst, a UK company database platform

4. Look out for company websites with foreign languages

You can quickly infer that languages other than English being used on a company website indicate they’re appealing to international markets or they have an established customer base abroad. Here at Beauhurst, we know the importance of this, so you can search across companies using specific languages on their website with our Advanced Search Tool. 

For example, say you’re interested in companies that may want to expand to Spanish-speaking countries. A quick search on our platform gives you a list of 765 prospects. 

A search for UK companies looking to expand internationally on Beauhurst, a UK company database platform

Top tip: 

‘HREF’ refers to a piece of code that tells Google which language is being used, so it can show the relevant page for users, depending on which language their search query uses.

Putting all this to use for your business

We understand the importance of finding promising companies with international intentions as early as possible, that’s why we created numerous ways to find them on our platform. If you’d like to learn more about where our data comes from or how you can run searches to find what you’re looking for, why not talk to one of our experts? They would be happy to show you around the platform. 

Uncover companies with international intentions. 

Get access to unrivalled data on all the companies you need to know about, so you can approach the right leads, at the right time.

Book a demo today to see all of the key features of our platforms, as well as the depth and breadth of data available.

An associate will work with you to build a sophisticated search, returning a dynamic list of organisations that match your ideal customer profile.

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