Over the past year we’ve met some wonderful people, worked with (and invested in) some incredibly promising startups, held a few amazing events and learned more than ever before. Here’s a few of our highlights from the last year…
We invested £260,000 across 7 startups this year (£120,000 more than last year), investing in 5 new startups and adding follow on investment to 2 of our existing portfolio companies, bringing our portfolio to a total of 12 innovative young companies. We’re already looking at another 5 investments for next year, 2 of which are currently being finalised.
We’re so proud to be involved with the talented people behind Health Apps, Coherent, Kinderly and Tikk (plus one more to be announced next year!), as well as our existing portfolio companies, OLIO, Ordoo, Chippin, The Crowd, W2 Global Data and our own spin offs Contactzilla, and SurveyWizard.
Last year, the total value of companies in our portfolio was £9,000,000. This year, it’s over £20,000,000.
Between them, our portfolio companies employ 44 people full time and will be creating even more new jobs next year. We’re very proud to be helping create jobs within such amazing companies.
We’ve directly helped 4 of our portfolio companies and clients hire 6 people this year, sorting through CVs and interviews, allowing our clients to become completely self sufficient. We miss them, but we believe it’s the right thing to do.
In 2016, our team has grown by 4 people, from 18 to 22 and we’ve knocked down a wall here at Simpleweb HQ to make room for everyone!
Between us, we’ve done some amazing things this year. Adam spoke at his first big conference, Reasons To, Mark met the Queen, Craig built his first React Native application, Dave DJed to DJ Krust at our hack night with BBC Radio 6, Kylie organised our first all day Simpleweb Challenge hackathon and George learned 4 programming languages.
We’ve also been fortunate enough to meet and chat to hundreds of talented people with interesting ideas, including:
- 500 Startups founder and ex PayPal-er Dave McClure
- Futurist Gerd Leonhard (who provided some timely optimism for the future of humanity)
- ChartMogul founder Nick Franklin on the future of metrics
- Head of Marketing at startup bank Monzo, Bailey Kursar about their incredibly successful viral marketing campaign.
We’ve shipped 9 totally new products this year, and worked on 18 more. Here’s a few of this year’s brand new products…
We’ve put on more events than ever this year, including a rapid prototyping workshop with 14 year olds.
We were asked to give a talk to 14 children from Colston Girl’s School about careers in IT. To demonstrate the creativity in our industry, we created a workshop to help the group prototype their own chat apps.
They had some amazing ideas including a combination chat and photo sharing app, a music sharing app, a group video chat app, an app to share your secrets and so much more.
It was incredible to pass on a little bit of what we know, and we’ll definitely be running more of these in 2017 – these kids are smart, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with in the future.
We held 3 hack events in 2016, including a music-themed hacknight as part of the BBC Radio 6 Music Festival. We were joined by Ujima Radio and special guest judge and Bristol legend DJ Krust, who chose a whale-themed webcam based theremin as the winner.
— ➫ Steve Bowbrick ➬ (@bowbrick) February 11, 2016
Later in the year, we hacked communities and relationships with Lovehoney and held our first all day hack day around the future of chat with the support of Twilio, Pusher and Marvel.
Thanks to our talented team and forward thinking clients, we won Best Digital Agency at the SPARKies awards back in February, which was an amazing start to the year.
And finally, we’re proud to have raised over £1,000 for charity this year, simply by donating £1 every time we eat a slice of cake, homemade by a member of the Simpleweb team.
A huge thank you to our team, our clients, our investments and our friends for supporting us this year. Here’s to an even better 2017, bring it on!