We founded UnSeen on 2015 and now is a good time to review where we are.
Why does UnSeen exist?
You might have ideas how your products or operations could be improved, but to move your idea forward, it needs love from other people: acceptance, technology know-how, investments and eager customers. Often these ideas are overrun by busy schedules, lack of people, fear or simply people are just not caring enough. We’ve seen enough of this, trust me!
We founded UnSeen that these ideas would finally see the light.
Our mission is to help people like you to move your ideas forward and try them out in real life, without breaking the bank. We are the best in this in Finland – we do this by building agile experiments around your idea and taking the best ones into the market. We have over 15 years experience in productizing user experience and technology.
Targets for the first year clearly met
Our first operating year met the targets we had set to ourselves. We focused on building an R&D services which brings results very quickly and with a clear operating mode. An essential part of our promise is the 100% satisfaction guarantee, i.e. if you are not happy with the results or how we operate, you don’t have to pay. During the first year we completed 14 projects with 0% non-paid customers. It’s a great start.
During the year we naturally built up our team. We have recruited people with broad expertise and ambition, and can now serve our customers according to our vision. That means a complete package including software and hardware engineering all the way to mass production. At the end of 2016 we were 11 persons and are currently already at 14.
In addition to our own personnel we have built a strong network of specialists in industrial desing, user experience and technology. We have worked with these people throughout our careers and can provide wide range of services and deep knowledge to our customers.
Third important target was financially sound operations and building the stepping stones for further growth. We hit our revenue targets and were clearly profitable. Solid cash flow and financial position has allowed us to grow with operational income, without major external funding.
Selected stories from 2016
Cloud service removes 95% of Excel work
Our first year was started with lots of legwork, researching what sorts of technology challenges and needs there are around us. We met over 80 companies and got clear understanding of the biggest challenges. From this we were quickly able to define our service offering: complete delivery including software, cloud services and physical devices. UnSeen Labs™ operational model was also put on paper.
First major cloud project was started at the beginning of 2016. Customer wanted to make follow-up in equipment installation projects more efficient and get rid of old Excel-and-paper based planning. At the end of the project customer CIO commented “best execution in any ICT project I have seen.” You really can not get feedback better than that!
We also made several other software projects, some still continuing during 2017.
Loupedeck got 360 000€ in pre-orders using UnSeen Labs™
Another big story in 2016 was Loupedeck. It is a prototype example of how we want to work and help our customers.
At the beginning there was an idea, which needed prototyping to find out if it is possible to implement at all.
UnSeen Labs™ helps in cases like this, with little money and risk. After the first prototype showed that Adobe Lightroom™ can be controlled with external HW, we iterated the product design with user-centric prototyping. At the end of the project, Loupedeck was able to present a fully working, finished product prototype in Indiegogo crowd funding campaign and got over 1400 paying customers from 60 countries. At the moment we’re finalising software for Loupedeck and building up the mass production capability for product shipments in the summer. You can check out Loupedeck campaign at their Indiegogo page.
More reliable connections for Cimcorp
This one is a good example how different tasks can be solved with agile methods and capable people. Cimcorp develops material flow logistics systems for industrial customers. Complicated buildings with metal structures could be extremely difficult for radio links and keeping the machines going. Our antenna and radio specialists helped to analyze and find the potential problems and built guidance how the wireless components should be installed and configured. Now Cimcorp can optimize the system in all different kinds of installation environments and ensure reliable connectivity. The experience gathered with mobile phones can be used in many surprising ways!
Testing UnSeen Labs at Slush
We got an opportunity to participate to Slush. Even though we are not seeking investors, we decided to use the opportunity to present UnSeen Labs service model. We wanted to test how it works in the startup world. With fresh stand props and Loupedeck story we got lot of attention and very promising contacts. Also many people from bigger companies were interested. UnSeen Labs™ works for both startups and established companies who want to innovate and work more agile way.
Lookout for 2017
For 2017 we are targeting growth: revenue clearly over one million euros, 20 persons in the team and profitable result. There is clear growth seen in the Finnish technology industry and this is visible in the markets. Companies want to improve their products and processes and they are investing in development projects. Our agile working model has been proved and interest for it has been excellent. Companies want to move fast with their ideas.
This year has started nicely and last year’s revenue has already been reached. One year ago I set up 500 000 € as a revenue target and promised a proper coffee maker as a reward. The machine has already been bought in February.
Personnel development continues naturally as an important area. We want our people to see UnSeen as the best place to grow their knowledge to a new level, even outside current specialities. We offer a possibility to work on interesting projects where people can bring out their ideas and take them to the final products. Exactly like we do with our customers.
Have a great year 2017!
Esa Alanen, CEO