An internet search of the phrase " first year of a startup" will lead you into an extensive collection of survival stories from entrepreneurs. To mark our first anniversary as Wattsense, we decided to switch things up and discuss with CEO and Founder Louis Vermorel the next steps on the roadmap, our mini-pivot into a new market, upcoming features, services and the team that is making it happen.
PS: if you are still curious about the early stages of Wattsense I recommend the article: "Giving birth to a startup, the first nine months of Wattsense."
What are the next goals for Wattsense and how are we going to achieve them?
In terms of product development, we are working toward a “general availability” version. To do so, we need to finalize the transition from the Beta version to a solid and scalable platform. This is a must, prior to supporting our clients who desire to deploy Wattsense in hundreds of buildings.
How would you explain the introduction of Facility Management companies as a market interested in Wattsense?
Originally we did not think we could be relevant to Facility Management companies so soon. These companies have decades of experience in building technical IT and large technical teams. We assumed that they were satisfied with the solutions offered on the market. We were quite wrong… We found out that a number of these companies are actively looking for a more effective solution to connect the buildings of their customers. Adding FM companies to the original scope of software-driven companies happened to be a mini-pivot for us.
What have we learned from our Beta Launch and first official clients?
Well first, that nothing is easy… In our early versions, there were bugs, and critical improvements had to be made quickly. I don’t think that in any of our first deployments anything worked as per the plan.
Another learning was that software developer companies and facility management companies have very similar requirements for the Wattsense solution. This is awesome as it means we do not have to build two distinct services to address these two customer groups.
Financially, where is Wattsense headed in terms of funding and revenue?
We have recently finalized our first round of funding with 2.1€m in equity plus debt. It gives us some peace of mind. Now, our priority is to secure achieving 25€k Monthly Recurring Revenue by end 2019 and multiply this revenue by 10 one year later. Still, to pursue our goal of fast growth, we will need to rely on additional funding. For that purpose, we are currently having talks with business angels and investment funds.
What new services and features will be incorporated?
That’s a topic I am really excited about. To put things in perspective, one year ago we didn’t even exist, and now we have a solution which is delivering value to customers in a fairly heavy technological playground: electronics, embedded, back-end, front end, security, field networks, etc.
Here is what is to come in the near future: We will launch a new version of the Box. The feedback we got on its new specification is super positive. Also, we will open a graphical and programmatic interface on our cloud platform for our users to build and load their own software onto the Box. And we will keep on releasing new field communication protocols. I am thrilled with the speed and quality at which our solution develops.
I think the small development team at Wattsense has both the seniority to not take any shortcut which could be harmful in terms of security/reliability or future developments and also the curiosity and creativity to build awesome features really quickly. Congrats to the development team for having achieved so much!
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