Dublin startups tell their stories, powered by DCU Ryan Academy.
Meet Mikey Cannon, Co-Founder and CPO of Bizimply…
Tell us about your product…
Bizimply is an all–in-one people and shift management solution that changes forever the way restaurants and retail businesses manage and engage with their employees. We combine all the day-to-day management requirements of these businesses (scheduling, HR, clock-in stations, shift reporting etc) into one easy-to-use cloud based system. We take the pain out of scheduling hourly employees, speed up payroll with our Timestation iPad app, and give managers instant access to all HR files; we also have an app for employees that allows them to check their schedule, and are about to release a new messaging feature. Some of our customers include Wagamama, CompuB and Insomnia.
Since we came out of beta in January of this year we have added over 300 locations in 11 different countries to the platform.
What inspired you to start Bizimply?
We had the idea for Bizimply after years of watching frustrated managers using spreadsheets, notebooks and emails in a struggle to manage the operational aspects of their businesses. We believe that restaurant and retail managers should always be out on the shop floor driving sales, but unfortunately they are all too often stuck in the back office under a mountain of paperwork.
What market are you targeting and how big is it?
60% of the global workforce is paid on an hourly basis. Our addressable market is huge. We conservatively estimate it to be worth circa $20bn annually.
What’s your business model?
We charge €1 per employee, per week. We are a SaaS company so it’s a monthly payment with no fixed contracts or commitments.
What was the funding process like?
To date, we’ve raised money from a number of angel investors. Seed money is notoriously difficult to secure, but having a product that’s easy to explain, and targeting a market that the average person is at least vaguely familiar with (our first vertical was hospitality, so pubs, cafes and restaurants) really helped with engaging potential investors. Once we had test customers up and running on our product, we were in a position to get a syndicate of great investors together. As with any investment round, putting together the deal was a very time-consuming process, but we had great lawyers, which makes a huge difference.
Who are your investors, how much did you raise and why does that matter?
We have some amazing investors, including Bono (U2), Jerry Kennelly (Stockbyte & Tweak.com), Ray Nolan (Hostel World & Xsellco) and Michael Carey (Jacob Fruitfield & Bord Bia). We’ve raised €750k to date. We really can’t emphasise enough how important it is to choose the right investors: a balance of people who will have great insight into your business and/or target sectors, and people who’ve successfully scaled businesses in the past. It’s also important to seek a sum that will allow you to focus on what you need to do, without being too much too early, which would mean you’re bringing in a larger sum when you’re still at an early-stage valuation. We’re currently raising for a larger round, now that we’re further along, in terms of having an established core customer base and recurring revenues.
Who are your competitors?
Our main competitor is still pen and paper.
What are the biggest challenges Bizimply faces today?
Raising each round of finance can be very time-consuming. We would far prefer to be closing sales and building great product.
What do you think motivated your investors to write that check?
Bizimply is solving a very real problem that affects the businesses we’re targeting all day every day. It was clear from the outset that, if we could solve this problem, people would be prepared to pay for this solution.
What milestones do you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We plan to reach €100k monthly recurring revenue in the next six months; we are also currently working on opening an office in the Boston area and plan to open a UK office by the middle of next year.
What advice can you offer companies in Dublin who are just starting out?
Build a great product, listen to your customers, think global and surround yourself with a great team. Also we would advise any company to start their journey with the NDRC: Gary Leyden and his team run an incredible program and we will be forever grateful for all their support and guidance. We are so lucky to have one of the best incubators in Europe, here in Dublin.
Tell us one (or more) things you love about Dublin as a start-up community and as a city?
Ireland is the best place in Europe at the moment to start a tech business. The proof can be seen in the Irish technologies that we use to run our business. At Bizimply we use Intercom for communicating with our users, Stripe for taking payments, and OnePageCRM for managing our sales pipeline. It’s not a ‘Buy Irish’ thing, we use them because they are the very best at what they do.
P.S. We are hiring.