Wow, 2018 was a great year for these three reasons:
- We found and worked with a bunch of great investors who understand the journey we’re on
- We launched our platform to the first 24 house builder/developer clients
- We won the UK’s Best Tech Start Up from 841 entries
There really is something different, special and extraordinary with Yourkeys and compared to my six previous tech start ups’, Yourkeys, is a quantum of difference. Of course, it helps that this is my 7th trip around the block, so I’m making fewer mistakes and have also grabbed the best team members from my previous companies, for the roles of CTO, COO and Design Director. However, what makes Yourkeys truly magical is Riccardo. It’s his vision for the platform and his training as an Architect, that ensures every single detail is totally perfect with zero compromise on quality. Not only, despite never having been in sales, his passion and enthusiasm, has resulted in 24 house developers all being swept along in the Yourkeys tsunami, they were never expecting when he first walked through the door. Thanks to your belief and investment in Yourkeys, we’re now building an awesome team, who are joining the pirate ship of mavericks. In my entire career, I’ve never enjoyed working with a team as much as the people I work with right now. I truly believe we’re building a company that will be worth a lot more than the £243M we have forecast and over Christmas I am revising the financial model. If Rightmove is worth £4.4B and Zoopla was sold for £2.2B in a crowded market, with pretty average tech then I think our platform should be pretty sizable. To that end, we have some exciting things to share at our big face to face investor update on Feb 28th at our offices in 1 Poultry, that will signpost how we’re planning to grow Yourkeys into a financial Dragon. We hope you have a fantastic Christmas and that we all enjoy an exciting and prosperous 2019.
The next investor update will be on the 10th of February.
Craig Massey - CEO & Riccardo Dawson - CPO
Winners of Go Tech UK – Best UK Tech Start-Up
Around 6 months ago, we entered Yourkeys in the category “Best Tech Startup” for the Go:Tech awards. Go:Tech describe this opportunity as ‘This award will be won by the tech startup that has put its stamp on the sector in which it operates’. These awards are the equivalent of the Oscars for technology companies in the UK.
An esteemed group of judges (https://www.gotechawards.co.uk/judges/), selected us along with three others as finalists for this category with the final decision being at the awards dinner on the 22nd November 2018 in Bristol.
Craig and I duly attended, a little nervous but had confidence that if the judges were looking for a company that is disruptive, we would have a good chance of winning.
The 3rd award of the night. “And the Best Tech Startup goes to Yourkeys !!!!!” Wow, fantastic. Craig and I made our way to the front to accept the award from channel 5, the gadget show’s own Georgie Barrat. Thankfully for all concerned, an acceptance speech by Craig was not required.
Thanks to your support and the vision of the judges, we’re creating a company that’s disrupting the sector and making a difference.
Dan Makin – CTO
This month has been an important one for the Yourkeys platform. The product team has grown to now comprise a CPO (Chief Product Officer), CTO (Chief Technical Officer), Design Director, UX/UI designer, Senior developer and an in-house QA. This in addition to our outsourced team in India means that we are able to develop new features and functions of higher quality and at a quicker rate with less errors. Having said that, November has been more about consolidating where we are and making sure our user experience is the best it can be. As with any digital product, if the users don’t want to use it, you won’t get very far. To that end, the 6 of us have endured a few ‘all-nighters’ and some marathon sessions to upgrade our UX to an amazing standard, the fruits of which will start to be seen in the first few weeks of January.
Not to delve too deep into the boring techie/product world (I don’t find it boring at all) but the growth of our team has inevitably meant that we have had to adapt the way we work day-to-day. We’ve started to move into a more ‘agile’ way of working which allows us to me more nimble when making decisions about priority and shift our focus where necessary. This all starts with daily 8am standups with the entire team (including our outsourced team) where we all spend 15 minutes discussing our progress over the last 24 hours, raising any issues we have and calling on the skills of the other members of the team where necessary. It’s taken a few weeks to get this right and there are still improvements to be made, but we’re well on our way to our final goal of becoming one of the most effective product teams in our sector.
In more objective terms, we have released our ‘Add new sale’ feature which has already started to show signs of success. We are engaging with our clients to book in training and feedback on this feature over the next few days.
Riccardo Dawson – CPO
Sales Team Training and Progress with House Developers
November was a great month, with our new sales team officially starting. Over the last two weeks we have had intensive training with Craig, Ric and John Fitzgerald. Over this period with have not only made presentations to new potential house developers but have re-visited all existing clients to explain the new features of the platform at a more granular level. This has included doing training with their marketing suite staff, their estate agents and also their conveyancing solicitors. From all this activity we decided to create explainer videos (YouTube Playlist) to make it easy for new clients to understand all aspects of the platform.
In the last month, we have also had two in-bound enquires from house developers responding to our marketing efforts on LinkedIn, opinion pieces (a Chinese Takeaway for Theresa), they are MBU Capital & Coronado
Cocoon Networks – Riccardo & Annie
Riccardo and Annie went to Cocoon Global pitching events, it was a great event with new start-ups pitching to a panel of investors. Yourkeys was voted best pitch, by the panel of 6 judges
Women in Social Housing – Annie
Annie presented at the Christmas Party of the Women In Social Housing (WISH) at Blake Morgan Solicitors office. The audience is made up from all female professionals involved in Social Housing which will become an important channel for Yourkeys in 2019. The event included many conveyancers and some house developers. Key benefits of this event:
- Great for brand awareness and the potential of meeting new house developers
- We met 5 new conveyancing solicitors who loved the fact that we were providing a solution to improve their part of the process
Annie Siara – Sales & Account Manager
PR Progress & Coverage
Last month we received the monumental news that Yourkeys wowed the judges of the prestigious GoTech Awards, pipping 840 other companies to the post, to win the ultimate award – Best Tech Startup in the UK! Coverage of this phenomenal win was secured in 40 + publications around the country including the … Showhouse. With other publications sending their congratulations, we are still expecting to see coverage of the big win appear into the New Year.
The Times of the Midlands, the Burton Mail featured local boy Riccardo Iannucci Dawson. Proud to have produced someone who is making waves in the property sector, they followed his career from his first job as a Bricklayer in Burton to proptech entrepreneur as Co-Founder of Yourkeys.
Professional Housebuilder and Property Developer this month featured an in-depth article on Yourkeys. This came after Editor, Jonathan Cole interviewed Riccardo and Craig at the UK Construction Week earlier this year. Property Industry Eye, Housebuilder, Derbyshire Live, the Eastbourne Herald are some of the other publications that have also featured Yourkeys this year.
We’ve got even more exciting things to come in the New Year. Following a very interesting meeting with one of the leading publications in the industry, Property Wire. We have forged the start of a great relationship and will be sharing some very exciting news in the new year. In January as we head towards the launch of phase ii of the business plan, we have been saving an exclusive with a highly reputable publication, so that we can announce our presence to the consumer press with a bang! So watch this space…
Georgina Turpin – Head of PR
Update on the Database
A total of 1,609 of House Builder/Developers has been identified and 2,871 contacts were found within these companies. The database consists of Sales & Marketing Directors whom we will be targeting in our sales activities. Some of the bigger House Builder/developers have regional offices, in this case, we have identified the Regional Sales & Marketing Director for us to contact.
We’ve licensed Zoho as our CRM system. Zoho CRM interface is easy to use and we can customise it to our own. A great collaboration system where the sales team can track each other’s progress and work cohesively. The tool enable us to manage the pipeline, analyse sales performance and the cloud access makes it easier to obtain information quicker at anytime, anywhere. More importantly, the automation function will ease up the time of the sales team without extensive data entry so they can do what they do best… Selling!
Shaw Tsen – COO
What House Awards
Me, Riccardo and the sales team did a marathon 15 hours network schmooze at two industry events on the same day. Great bonding with us and the new members of the team and we even bagged a meeting with Henley Homes www.henley-homes.co.uk as a direct result of the event.
Sales Team Training
We have brought in a seriously big hitter, called John Fitzgerald, to train and mentor the sales team.
I previously worked with John when we mentored tech start-ups for Innovate UK, so I know how awesome he is at close quarters. The training is very much hands-on, with lots of video role play for the entire process, then analysing real sales engagements. The sales team are currently undergoing intensive training so that they hit the target of setting up 40 x house developer meetings in the first 6 weeks of 2019, so that we get the company off to a flying start. I’m currently in discussions with John about taking a bigger, more permanent role in YK early next year.
Christmas Marketing Campaign
Christmas is a great opportunity to deliver something to a prospective client without it feeling forced or cheesy. To continue the theme that Yourkeys is new, fresh and fun, we injected humour into the campaign via Santa being stuck down a chimney of a marketing suite (as it’s not a real house) and therefore showing his ‘builders bum’. We then ran a caption competition where you can see the 4 x winners that we used:
The Christmas campaign was broken into three phases:
- 80 x Marketing desk drops:
We identified 80 x contacts from the absolute top house developers we really wanted to speak to. Then sent a personalised Christmas Card, personalised Christmas Cake and Champagne with a branded bottle cooler
- 300 x Christmas cards with a Yourkeys branded silver key memory stick stuck to the inside:
From our total database we then identified the next 300 x most important contacts and sent them a personalized Christmas card with memory stick attached inside
- 2,491 x Individually personalised Christmas cards:
So, for the remainder of the full database, we changed the house developer sales board in front of the marketing suite to match the logo of the company we were sending it to. As you can imagine this was a logistical headache for Chris, our Marketing Exec, whose currently lying in a darkened room
Craig Massey – CEO
End of Year Review
The 4th of December marked our first ever Yourkeys Christmas party and end of year review as a team, including the guys from Flatrock who happily flew over to be a part of the day with us and our newest advisor John Fitzgerald. The review gave us the ability to see the opportunities we have available to ensure we maximise 2019 and make the upcoming year the best it can be. Each of the directors focused on a specific aspect of the business for next year. During Riccardo’s piece, he highlighted the 8 Yourkeys values of which we live by:
- Be the user
- Think big
- Own your s**t
- Be fun, different and a bit weird
- Give bad news early
- Argue your case, then back the winner
- Be adventurous, curious and open minded
- Be fearless
Investment Funds Timeline
I would like to thank two of our investors and let you know what they did to help the company:
Yaser Martini (you gotta love that name https://www.linkedin.com/in/yasermartini/) he has made two fantastic introductions to 3rd party tech suppliers (Opature and Spinview). We were actually analysing one of their competitors at exactly the same time and the new guys Yaser suggested are more superior, so we’re looking to license their tech early next year.
Ran https://www.linkedin.com/in/kai-ranjan-77130425/ – Ran provides loads of intros to investors and property developers but he also introduced us to Kevin Neun https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-neun-91718574/ and Neil Ferguson who will now be part of a new initiative we will present to you at our face to face meeting on Feb 28th.
Please keep your antenna up for anything cool in the prop tech space, great potential team members and any investors who would like to join the party
KPI - Monthly Tracker
YTD - Target
YTD - Actual
Number of Monthly Developer Meetings (we launched 2 months later than the initial forecast locked in 2017)
Number of Live Clients Selling New-Build Homes
Total Units Live on the Platform
Average Time to Exchange Contracts
UK Full Time Headcount
Overseas Content Loaders
Number of Houses Sold Through the Platform
Total Revenues (2 month time lag, starts November)