Three years ago (almost to date), Accelo was 72 hours away from having to close down. With three days to make payroll, we were out of money and almost out of options. I had moved to San Francisco 6 months earlier, and I had drained all of my personal savings - there was nothing left to give. Our only hope laid in the hands of an angel funding round that I had been working hard to finalize.
Obviously, things turned out pretty well from that dark day. The angel funding came through, and it was what we needed to get through the trough and allow us to continue on building the product and the company. Since that moment, it has been a constant upward trajectory, and last week marked another milestone - we added the 30th full-time member to the Accelo team. Given this three-year anniversary and very opportune milestone, I thought it would be worth writing a post to share a bit of background on Accelo and the team behind the product that thousands of people depend on to run their businesses every single day.
In the beginning, the team at Accelo consisted of a very small group of Aussies and an American that over the next two years, worked around the clock to construct five cutting-edge products. Creating one product is hard enough - the challenge we set for ourselves was almost impossible (and not something I'd ever recommend). Hundreds of database tables, tens of thousands of lines of code, designing user interfaces and dozens and dozens of individual screens. The achievement of our small engineering team was nothing short of extraordinary - especially given the fact that the team could comfortably fit in a sedan.
Luckily for us, from the end of 2012 through to the end of 2014, our growth in clients and revenue allowed us to triple the number of engineers on the team. Focusing more on engineering and product was deliberate: we wanted to make sure we had an awesome product to market and sell before ramping up that part of the business.
On the other side of the Pacific, our US team went from 1 to 4 in 2012 and stayed steady through all of 2013. Focused on marketing, sales and support for Accelo, this time last year we had just one amazing person in each of these three roles working alongside me in our small San Francisco office.
The last year has been incredible. The number of clients, our revenue, and our team has grown rapidly, and the pace is only accelerating. Our internal growth and the positive word-of-mouth have also attracted investor interest - a big change from where we were at three years ago!
This week's milestone - 30 full-time amazing people in our Accelo family - means things look and feel different than they did just a year ago.
When we moved the Australian team into their first solo office three years ago, we had a lot of space to fill, but gradually we've been running out of room until last month, when we literally had people working from our conference room because we ran out of desks. We looked at moving offices, but the sweeping ocean views and super central proximity had us choose a more practical option - knocking down walls!
The new Wollongong office now has tons of lighting, space and nerf guns. With a team that is now 18 strong - and still growing - this space allows for even more growth in the future (we're hoping to get the engineering team above 30 all on its own!)
Our US marketing, sales and success team also has a great new space in the heart of San Francisco's SOMA district (with more startups per square mile than anywhere in Silicon Valley). After starting out with a single desk in a freezing/melting windowless room, we've grown out of our small office and into a great new space with a dozen amazing people and room for another half a dozen more.
Reflecting on how far we've come isn't something we do often, but when you've got a team that works as hard as ours does, it is especially nice to take a few minutes out from the slog of hitting ambitious targets and look back on the journey and achievements so far. We're all incredibly grateful for the support of our families and friends, as well as the confidence and trust our clients have shown in choosing Accelo - without all of this help we never would have gotten this far.
The other exciting thing about pausing to admire the view is the sense of perspective on the journey still to come. With literally millions of professional service businesses around the world still trying to manage their client work with manual and ineffective technology, we're just getting started.
Thanks for joining us on the journey so far, and we're looking forward to making the next three years (and beyond) truly incredible together.
PS - we're hiring, so if you know someone awesome who'd love to join our team, get them to email their resume to email@example.com.