Appsense, the Daresbury-based technology company founded by Sharland 15 years ago, now employs around 500 people globally with turnover growing to £62m last year, more than double the number in 2010.

Last year did see the company sink into the red, with a loss of £11m the result of a sizeable and ongoing internal investment, but Goldman Sachs – who invested $71m for a 28 per cent stake in 2011 – is driving US expansion from Appsense’s California HQ and has said it is committed for the long term.

Cheshire-based Sharland still owns more than half of the company, the exact valuation of which led to a divorce case with ex-wife Alison that played out in the national newspapers earlier this year.