Careers at Huddle
Huddle’s mission is to transform the way teams work.
After graduating with a degree in Naval Architecture, Alastair Mitchell spent four years sailing and designing submarines and ships. At a certain point he decided he wanted to start his own business. He had gained an interest in information technology while in school, so he planned to make that his focus. He launched two different Application Service Providers (ASPs), but they failed to take off.
At the time Mitchell was on the board of Dunnhumby, a retail customer analytics provider. He observed that the company was spending millions of pounds on SharePoint, its collaboration software, but few of its employees were using it. His frustration with this reality inspired him to come up with the idea for Huddle – a cloud-based collaboration program. The main benefit was that it would be a single system that all members of an employee group could use to collaborate on projects. In many respects, it would act like Dropbox, except it would be targeted at companies.
Retail chain Tesco acquired Dunnhumby, and Mitchell used the capital he obtained to establish Huddle in 2006, along with his colleague Andy McLoughlin. The venture had many fruitful rounds of funding. These included a $4 million round led by Eden Ventures in 2007, a $10.2 million round led by Matrix Partners in 2010, and a $24 million round led by Icon Ventures in 2012.
The company has been a great success, with the public sector accounting for a significant portion of its clients. Other major sectors include banking and financial services, which create a lot of content and place a high priority on security. In 2014, Huddle secured enterprise-wide agreements with Grant Thornton, an advisory firm, and Williams Lea, a business process outsourcing company. Huddle is now used by 160,000 organizations and has 1.5 million workspaces managing 26 million documents.
Benefits at Huddle
Business model of Huddle
Huddle has a segmented market business model, with slight differences between its customer segments. Its customer groups are as follows:
- Accounting and Professional Services Firms
- Government and Public Sector Agencies
Huddle offers four primary value propositions: cost reduction, risk reduction, accessibility, and brand/status.
The company’s cloud-based platform lowers costs in a variety of ways. It eliminates the need for hardware to host systems, getting rid of upfront and maintenance costs. It also minimizes the need for internal resources to maintain collaboration software. Further, it reduces licensing expenses by offering a monthly subscription model.
The company’s platform lowers risk by enabling users to dictate who can access which files. This feature increases security for customers, which has made it particularly attractive to banks.
The company’s platform increases accessibility by offering seamless integration with other systems such as SalesForce, SharePoint, and Microsoft Office. Beyond those well-known brands, Huddle has partnered with other applications to facilitate integration, including Nelogin, Okta, and Centrify.
The company has built a strong brand as a result of its popularity. It is used by over 160,000 organizations, including major clients such as Panasonic Europe, KPMG, Procter & Gamble, Kia Motors, Keolis, National Grid, AKQa, Go-Ahead Group and Beats by Dre. Its customer base includes 80% of central UK government divisions, including the Department of Energy & Climate Change, the Ministry of Justice, and the Cabinet Office. Finally, Huddle has received many honors. These include recognition as 2013’s “Emerging Star of the Year” (UK Tech Awards) and 2013’s "Supplier of the Year" for Enterprise Software (Computer Weekly’s European User Awards).
Huddle’s main channel is its direct sales team, through which it acquires most of its customers. It also utilizes resellers and system integrators. The company promotes its offering through its website and social media pages.
Huddle’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website includes a “Huddle Help” section with useful “how-to” articles and training webinars. There is also a “Resources” section featuring white papers, case studies, and industry reports. That said, there is also a strong personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support and the option of paid on-site training and user workshops.
Huddle’s business model entails maintaining and updating its software platform for customers. The platform includes its website and mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android.
Huddle maintains the following three partner programs:
Channel Partners – The company works with organizations such as resellers, system integrators, and telecommunications firms to help them integrate and distribute its software into their existing solutions and channels.
Technology Partners – The company works with developers and technology companies so they can use its API to develop innovative new tools and mash-ups.
Referral Partners – The company works with organizations (primarily resellers and independent software vendors) to promote its offering in their channels. Partners receive a commission for customers who make a purchase as a result of the referral.
Huddle’s main resource is its proprietary software platform, used by more than 160,000 customers. It also depends on its human resources in the form of technology staff members for maintaining the platform, sales staffers for selling the solution, and customer service workers for providing support. Lastly, as a start-up it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $89.2 million from seven investors as of December 2014.
Huddle has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is likely customer support/operations, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of administration and sales/marketing, also fixed costs.
Huddle has two revenue streams:
Subscription Revenues – The company charges monthly access fees for its platform
Service Revenues – The company offers professional services that enable companies to get the most out of their usage
Huddle offers the following pricing options:
Workgroup – Starts at 25 users and includes 100 GB storage with a 2 GB maximum file size and 25 Team Workspaces; charge is $20 per user per month
Enterprise – Starts at 100 users and includes 1 TB storage with a 10 GB maximum file size and unlimited Team Workspaces; charge is $40 per user per month
Accounting and Professional Services – Includes secure, cloud-based workspaces, client engagement portals, and ISO 27001 certified data centers; sales team must be contacted for pricing
Government and Public Sector – Includes U.S. or UK data sovereignty through ISO 27001 certified data centers, FedRamp ATO (U.S.), and Cyber Essentials Plus Certified (UK); sales team must be contacted for pricing
info: Morten earned an M.A. in International Marketing Management from Aarhus University. He previously served as CEO and Chief Sales Officer of MACH and has held leadership roles at TDC Denmark, ATEA, and Sunrise Switzerland.
info: Stuart earned a B.Sc. in Theoretical Physics and a M.Sc. in Computing from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He previously served as VP of Product Management at Amdocs and CTO of Evolving Systems. He has over 20 years of experience.
info: John earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and an MBA from Harvard University. He previously served as CFO of Conviva and Director of Strategic Finance at Alta Devices. He oversees all finance and operation endeavors.
info: Rasmus has a Master’s degree in Engineering from IKT Copenhagen. He previously served as General Manager of the Revenue and Risk Management business at Syniverse and has held leadership roles at Nokia, Intec, Oracle, and Digiquant.
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