How we started

How we started

Sage is a global company, working with 6.2 million businesses across the world. But our roots are in the North East of England, with our global headquarters in Newcastle, where we first began.

Like many of our customers, we began as a start-up business. Our founder, David Goldman, was our first customer. He wanted to make it quicker to create quotes for his print business and to keep track of his business accounts.

The printer, the NASA man and the student

David worked with a team from Newcastle University, including Dr Paul Muller, a computer expert who’d previously worked on the first NASA Apollo mission to land on the moon. Student Graham Wylie was also part of the team who would go on to develop this innovative software.

David realised that other companies could benefit from software they developed and formed Sage in 1981 to sell it.

Inspired by meetings in the pub

Legend has it that the name Sage came from a picture of herbs spotted in the pub where the team held their first meetings.

In those days, technology wasn’t such a big part of everyday business, but when Amstrad brought out the first desktop PC, Sage adapted our accounting software, and sales grew from 30 to 300 a month.

Financial and global success

We floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 with a valuation of £20 million. In 1999 we entered the FTSE 100, and we’re still there.

Today we have millions of customers and around 13,000 employees across 23 countries, including UK and Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia and Brazil.

We continue to speak to thousands of customers every day to understand their needs and to develop software and service to help them.

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