As news hits the wires today of Proxyclick’s €3m growth funding, and the business bids a fond farewell to bootstrapping mode, as founder, I can’t help but push the pause button, if just for a second, to take a nostalgic look back at our journey.
As developer of a technology dubbed “ahead of its time”, I can honestly say that the building success of Proxyclick is down to two things; perseverance (many years of it) and market ‘alchemy’. In the last two years we’ve hit that scale-up holy grail of the right technology, at the right time with the exact market conditions to grow our product into a fully-fledged business.
You’d think pouring over the latest technology news, that being the brains behind the latest “product ahead of its time” is genius; it’s not. There's an old saying in start-ups: "being early is the same as being wrong" – and in Proxyclick’s case, this is true. For Proxyclick, we had everything, but the market just wasn't ready. Sometimes you build it and they don’t come (for a while!)
In the last 12 months, things have now started to accelerate. We have finally reached a product/market fit. Property Management is waking up to the SaaS world and finally, #PropTech was born. Our brand new video is worth checking out.
Looking back, because the market wasn’t ready, being bootstrapped saved us - we had no return-impatient investor putting the pressure on. We were convinced the market would move our way at some point.
In the last years we spent countless hours with innovators and early adopters within large corporations around the world. They helped us build and improve our product to align it with market needs. The release of version 2.0 of our iPad app is a recent example.
And six (yes six!) front desk operation products later (a story for another time), the decision to focus all our efforts on our fastest growing service: Visitor Management, has been the making of Proxyclick transforming us from a tech innovator, into a company.
So, the capital is here, our product is gaining traction around the world, and the business has gone through a huge transformation to become the people-centred organisation we are today. We follow this mantra - 7 + 1 ways to tell if your company lives in the 21st century.
Building a company is about building a team and our strategy is to both retain the innovators that got us here, and provide an attractive proposition for new blood to take us to the next level. We currently have openings for a Product Manager, Junior Sales and a Web Designer to join our team. Check out our jobs page for more details. We also welcome spontaneous applications, if you feel you can bring value to the team don’t hesitate to email us.
Everywhere we go nowadays we are requested to open our bag, show our ID, answer questions, fill in forms, go through body scans… Is this really the type of world we want to build? Isn’t there a better way?
Well, our dent in the universe is to improve that “process” of welcoming people. Company security concerns are paramount but so is the warmth of human interactions.
We want to work towards a world where access is blocked to those who are not welcome, and only to those. We think that we should reverse the logic: doors should always be open, we should always feel welcome unless we don’t meet the requested criteria.
Proxyclick integration with Access Control Systems or Meeting Room Management solutions are exciting steps in that direction. As is the upcoming release of our ID face matching feature. More to come on this soon.
The long-term vision is to make arriving somewhere a frictionless process. The parking facility recognises your car, the access control is open for you, you enter the elevator to the right floor, you can access the Wi-Fi and indoor navigation takes you to the right meeting room where your favourite drink and your host is waiting for you – everything taken care of in an integrated, smart way. We want every legitimate visitor to feel like a VIP. Isn’t that an experience we all deserve?