Brandwatch in 2019: A Year in Review
By Leia ReidDec 30 2019
Today, we’re announcing a new round of funding.
It’s definitely a big moment. Seven years ago we launched Brandwatch and since then, we’ve been pouring our hearts and heads into building a business that we’re proud to put our names and careers against.
A business that reflects who we are and who we want to be.
Possibly even more pleasing is we have built products that clients find useful and a pleasure to use.
And over this time, we’ve gone from a small team in Brighton to a medium-sized team spread across the UK, US and Germany.
We’ve secured some seriously top talent – some of the most impressive people I have ever met have joined us and continuously help us with our quest.
Plus, on top of all that, we’ve tried to build it with a progressive environment and an authentic culture.
In late 2010, Gorkana invested $1.5m and my exceptional business partner Fabrice Retkowsky used half of it to expertly build out the Brandwatch infrastructure.
Eighteen months later we took on $6m from Nauta Capital, and Sebastian Hempstead moved to the US to start up Brandwatch in North America.
He, Adam Bambrough and Nate Walton have done an extraordinary job building out our US operations and Seb is now an EVP running a team of 50 people in New York and San Francisco.
They have brought on some amazing customers including Verizon, Moneygram, Papa John’s, Whirlpool and Monster.
I’d like to thank them and all our customers for choosing to work with Brandwatch – that patronage means the world to us and we are totally committed to making sure they continue to believe that their choice is a brilliant one.
Now HCP, together with significant follow-on from existing shareholders, are investing another $22m and Sam Brooks is joining our board – welcome Sam.
It’s a significant number and a big step for us.
Brandwatch is now a serious business. We’re growing at more than 100% per annum (and have done for five years running), we’ve got 1,000 customers and we’re breaking even. 2013 was a great year for the company.
We launched our second product – Brandwatch Vizia, a beautiful visualization platform.
It was designed by our in-house team, led by our secret weapon Katja Garrood.
We’ve doubled our design team in the last three months and I’m looking forward to seeing what other amazing things they will produce this year.
And, of course, we couldn’t do it all without our brilliant engineering team, which we plan to double in size with this new funding.
When I told my mother recently that we have more than 200 people working for Brandwatch, she said ‘darling are you sure you’ve got enough work for all of them?’ Here’s to all our mothers!
The truth is that there’s enough work for another 200 people.
The space that Brandwatch works within is just that – space – there’s so much of it. So many places that we can explore, so many things we can do, so much we can create and build. And that is what we love doing.
We want to build beautiful products that meet big needs. That’s what we are going to do with this money – build more amazing products. It’s that simple and that complicated.
We’ll be sharing more details in the coming months.
I have said this to the Brandwatch team internally, but I’d like to say it publicly – I’m honored to work with you and there are few things I love more than seeing you all work together and grow along the way.
I have this concept of leveling up – from my gaming days – and watching you all level up first hand is a privilege.
And thank you to our non-exec team – Mark Heeley has been a mentor for me over the course of the Brandwatch story, Carles Ferrer from Nauta is a dream VC for a start-up entrepreneur and John Moore from Gorkana has brought a “been-there, done-that” dimension to the team which is so valuable.
Finally, and for me personally in my role, most importantly, I want to recognise my amazing peers here at Brandwatch – Fabrice, Bryan, Alex, Will, Seb and Naomi. Thank you guys.
We’re growing rapidly and are hiring for lots of roles in all our offices. Want to join us and be part of our success? Take a look at open positions here.