How Governance.com Went From A Bootstrapped Startup To A Fast-Growing International Organization

Led by Bert Boerman, Governance.com’s revenues increased by 260% in 2021 (Photo © Governance.com)

Governance.com is a Low-Code Business Process Management platform that helps regulated companies to structure and automate business processes. We sat down with Governance.com’s CEO, Bert Boerman, to get his insights on how his company went from a bootstrapped startup to an internationally growing organization.

Tell us about Governance.com’s growth over the years.

In 2014, we were a bootstrapped startup and nobody knew who we were. We quickly realized that you can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t market it, nobody will know about it. We focused our efforts on getting the word out there, and networking as much as possible to bring in our first client. In the early days, we were doing everything ourselves to get the first few clients in the door.

From there, we increased our capital and started to build a platform in a way where we knew it could be scalable down the road.

Today, we’re happy to be an international organization with 25 employees, and most recently, have been listed as one of world’s most innovative RegTech companies for 2022.

Is funding necessary to scale up?

Yes – this is absolutely necessary, especially as a fintech. In order to be able to build an enterprise grade, secure platform, and deliver to clients on a global scale, you need to hire a big team in advance, which requires capital. The lead time of building a team, training them, and getting them ready to service clients can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months. And that’s not counting the time it takes to actually sell your solution which can take even longer.

Did your client base change as you scaled? If so, how?

We shifted from acquiring small clients to larger ones in the enterprise space, and that was a conscious choice we made. Our revenues increased by 260% in 2021 – we are experiencing a sharp increase in interest in process automation as financial institutions are recognising the massive cost and time savings they gain by “going digital”. Enterprises are beginning to understand too that no matter the size and scale of their project, we can get them started with benefitting from automation straight away by working with them process by process.

“We are about to launch with a major global client into over 80 markets; this is a big and exciting step.”

Bert Boerman

When growing the team, what roles did you hire for first, and why?

We hired developers first to help us build the platform whilst I managed sales and marketing myself. Next, we hired client support and client implementation specialists to help service our clients. Then, we hired business development managers to help grow our client base. Now, we’re at a point where we’re hiring for head office roles like HR, finance, and project management. We are expecting to grow to close to 200 employees in the next three years.

Did you face any recruitment challenges?

Initially, we received minimal applications to our open roles as we simply had minimal brand awareness. As our brand grew, so did the interest in candidates wanting to work for us.

Today, we’re thrilled to have a strong presence across the fintech sector. At times, we can get more than 300 applicants for an open role, so it’s important that we can manage the volume of applications and quality of candidates – all while providing a great experience for those who are interested in joining us.

How do you build company culture as a startup?

When a company is small, the culture is autonomous and essentially builds itself. As you grow the workforce, it’s important to ask yourself, “who do we want to be long term”? By being clear about the culture, and the mindset of talent that you want to hire, this will help you avoid hiring the wrong people, which can have negative effects. As well as the right qualifications and expertise, we know it’s critical to consider the cultural fit of a profile. Our motto is “work hard, play hard” – we want to enjoy working as a top team while enjoying the job itself!

What is the vision for the future of governance.com?

As we continue to scale up, our main focus is to expand on a global scale. We are about to launch with a major global client into over 80 markets; this is a big and exciting step. We want to change the way the financial sector works – making them more efficient, safer and also more fun by helping to make regulatory burden bearable! We realize that to make big industry changes, you need to go step by step while still thinking big. We’re proud to have our place in the market, so now it’s a question of scale.

To learn more about Governance.com, please visit their website here.

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