2022 - A Year of Firsts for distriBind
Written at Jul 31, 2023 2:04:12 PM by Dave Connors
2022 – a year of firsts.
It has been a really successful and rewarding 2022 for distriBind, a year of which everyone on the team should be really proud. It feels like this is the year the product really became a company… perhaps overdue, but bringing change to an inherently conservative market was never going to be an overnight thing.
I recently posted on LinkedIn some of our year in numbers – the near 20x revenue increase, 7 active clients, growing to a team of 13 etc. These are all great numbers but I don’t want to rehash them here.
Instead, I’d like to review some of the many “firsts” we’ve experienced this year and what they’ve meant to me as a founder and to us as a company in terms of signposting our growth.
On 29 July 2021, 2 clients gave verbal commitment to go into pilots, which was obviously a great day. We completed both of those pilots in the second half of 2021 and formally commenced our first implementation with one of those clients at the beginning of January 2022 and later in Q1 2022 they became our first live client. A momentous step!
We picked up more clients in early 2022, including our first Lloyd’s client. distriBind’s “standards-free data exchange” is an obvious point of difference to the Lloyd’s approach, and proving not only that we can work with the v5.2 but that we actually make life easier for Lloyd’s clients – whether they need to produce or receive the Lloyd’s format – was an important milestone for the product.
Working for any start-up is hard and distriBind is no exception. We’re a small team, we’re looking to achieve something radical and ambitious in a conservative industry and it’s pretty demanding. Recognising staff performance is important to me, and it was a particular pleasure to be able to issue our first promotion in March. Building a good company culture in a remote-first organisation is also a challenge, so it’s great when we have the chance to get together and unwind and our first staff party at the end of Q1 was tremendous fun.
That was followed by my first time giving a keynote speech on “DA 3.0 – Standards-Free Data Exchange” at the Fintech Global Summit in April. For a couple of my colleagues who joined me it was their first InsurTech conference. It went really well, and we got some great leads from it including one that will feature later…
One of the biggest milestones of the year was the first client to go straight to implementation, without a pilot – this really was a huge step, and a vote of confidence in the product.
During the summer, we had a moment of huge significance for the platform: the first roll-out of a feature not designed by me. For a founder of a product-based company, stepping further and further back from the product over the course of this year as the team has grown to become a “real” CEO has been an adjustment that’s not always easy but was definitely necessary. Seeing a feature roll-out that was not only not designed by me but was better than what I’d have done was a moment of immense pride.
Remember the 2 clients who went into pilot last year? I’ve mentioned 1 went straight into implementation, but what about the other? Well, after a second phase to their pilot (and a lengthy DD) they signed our first “large” contract… easily the best moment of our year, giving us a measure of financial security we’d never had before and the opportunity to grow the team. We’ve more than doubled in size since that signature.
Being the single largest DA market, achieving traction in the US is a key goal for us, and so securing our first US Client was a massive step in towards this. We also presented at our first US Conference and this was extra significant because it included the first on-stage presentation of distriBind by someone who wasn’t me. The growth of the team and them stepping up to let me step-back into other areas is so important to our growth, and has been one of the most pleasing elements of my year.
One of the leads we picked up at the summit off the back of my keynote speech led to our first broker client – another massive step as we bring the benefits of standards-free data exchange to all parts of the value chain.
And what better way to wrap up the year than with distriBind’s very first Christmas Party. A fantastic night that topped off our first Christmas Jumper Day, and first Secret Santa. A year ago we didn’t even have a team… now we’ve got a close and talented team and we can look forward to 2023 with a lot of excitement.
Every single one of those firsts was a really significant milestone in the evolution of the product and company. While we won’t get to experience any of these “firsts” again, there’s still a huge amount for the company to achieve – some for the first time, and others for us to repeat and refine as we keep getting better, and keep working to cure the insurance industry of its spreadsheet addiction.
Bring it on!
Happy New Year!!
CEO & Founder