I had to do a double take when I was reminded that we recently hit our second birthday.
It only felt like yesterday that myself and Charles bought the domain name blackcurve.com and logged onto Companies House late on Easter Sunday in 2016. This was after weeks of trying to come up with a sensible name that also had the .com domain available (they’re now few and far between!)
- The release of our first system dashboard.
- Making our dynamic pricing rules engine available out of the box.
- Rebuilding our data uploading and downloading capability so it all happens in real time (say goodbye to 5-minute batch processing).
- Updating our integrations – now with a few
clickswe can connect to third parties either via Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) or via our Full Rest API.
My business partner, Charles Huthwaite and Technical Lead, Robert Dexter, have been the driving force behind the scenes, making advanced pricing more accessible for end users. Plus, the great work by Moira McCormick who has produced the majority of the insightful pricing blogs, pricing guides and tip sheets you all enjoy.
We welcomed some fantastic new customers to the platform. Notable shout-outs include Appliance House, Cleverboxes, Electrical World, Little Blue Van and Ribble Cycles.
Thank you for putting your trust in us, we won’t let you down. It’s great to see some punchy returns on investment already being reported by these entrepreneurial businesses.
On a personal note, back in November I welcomed into the world my son, Rupert. This has certainly given me a greater perspective on what’s important in life - and ensured I’m more efficient during the working day so I’m home as much as possible for bath time.
We closed our first investment round with Mercia Fund Managers, which has seen Chris Kilroy become a regular fixture at our board meetings, as well as supporting us throughout the month with introductions, and being a business champion. He’s been brilliant at opening up our network and providing direction but also knows when to leave us to do our thing.
We brought on board Rob Horton, our cool new Data Scientist, to shake up our Analytics and Machine Learning capabilities, and Vanessa Williams, our equally cool and fantastic Customer Success Manager, to support with customer onboarding and product development. Plus, we have added Paul Rowley as our Sales Director to drive the sales part of the business.
There are a number of other names to add to the mix from a software engineering and sales perspective, and we have some big hitters joining our Board and Advisory Team soon, but I’m not yet allowed to talk about those. Mum’s the word for the time being!
After 9 months in our first office in Central London, we ran out of space, so we packed our belongings and moved into a bigger office next door – bonus saving on moving costs! This has meant Ikea has done very well out of us this year. Thank goodness for the Ikea Family Card!
The same month that we moved office, we launched our first international partnership with BMi Research in South Africa. BMi is doing some really great things in the retail sector, and both parties are excited to see how the complementary relationship will evolve. Now I have the perfect excuse to regularly organise business meetings in a sunnier climate 😎.
I won’t give the game away for our plans over the next 12 months but, in the words of our Growth Lead Emmanuel Aremu - “It’s going to be huge!”.
Watch this space – and, as ever, if you would like to “chew the fat” over your pricing strategy, my office door is always open. My advice can easily be bought for just an espresso and gluten free brownie!
Thank you all for your support and a Happy 2nd Birthday to the BlackCurve Team.
Helping ecommerce companies find the optimal price for their goods or services, through advanced pricing algorithms and machine learning. Find out more at blackcurve.com.