Our three founders met when working at a successful R&D tax consultancy, where they gained many years experience serving both the SME and large business market directly.
Noticing key trends in the R&D tax market, most notably the high number of claimants that were being turned away because their claims were too small to be processed economically by consultants with their contingent fee pricing models, all founders felt that automating the process of preparing R&D tax claims would be hugely beneficial to the industry, enabling smaller companies to access support and their trusted advisors, like you, to expand their offering and bring a wider range of tax services in-house.
And so in 2017 our idea stated to take shape: a cloud based platform, easy to use, with all the help and guidance that advisors need to prepare R&D tax claims for their clients. As with anything that is disrupting a status quo, the only way we were going to make this work was to break away from traditional consultancy life and build this new vision from scratch…
The idea was born and the Founders committed to building a new business!
Wobbegong Technology Ltd was registered. Why Wobbegong? Well, one of our old colleagues took great pleasure in referring to smaller operators in the R&D tax market as “bottom feeders” - a Wobbegong is a species of bottom-feeding shark, so our new business name was a no-brainer!
We started knocking on doors! Armed with an idea and a set of powerpoint slides, we started engaging with the market to get a feel for what accountants might want from an R&D tax tool.
Having got our heads around the business proposition, we adopted the “WhisperClaims” brand - our reasoning was that we weren’t trying to build an end-user focussed product, but instead we’d be building something exclusively with accountants and advisors in mind. We wanted to be quiet about ourselves, and let our customers have the limelight in that end-user space
Our software build started, with a view to building something fast and learning as we went. We used up a lot of post it notes and whiteboards as we planned out what the software would do, who it would do it for and set about working on some of the finer details
Our very first invoices! The prototype system was doing everything we intended, and we had paying customers already
Having built a working system, we’d spent some time working on our commercial model - this month, we signed our first subscription customer!
We shifted from using external contractors to appointing our own Technical Director, bringing all software development in-house and setting the scene for building our own tech team
Having spent the summer testing and refining the product, knocking on more doors we were ready to launch our website and take the opportunity to shout about what we’d built!
In just two short months since launch, we won “Best Use of Innovation” at the UK Business Tech Awards - a huge achievement against some "big boys" in tech!
We’d already got so busy, we needed help! We took on our first member of staff - a major step - to help manage the influx of enquiries from accountants right across the UK
Our first stand at Accountex - A chance to stand toe to toe, from our tiny stand in the start-up booth, with fellow R&D providers and software companies
Winners of ‘Emerging Fintech Company of the Year’ at the Scottish Accountancy and Financial Technology Awards, gaining recognition from both the Accounting and Tech sectors
We made the significant step to invest in building out and implementing a more aggressive marketing strategy. So we recruited a Head of Marketing!
We were starting to build a head of steam, with 29 subscribers from across the UK
Nominated for ‘Product Innovation’ and ‘Rising Star’ awards at the Scottish Financial Technology Awards, against some heavyweight competition
Our first attendance at HMRC’s RDCC (Research and Development Consultative Committee) - an important step for us as we aim to be the “eyes and ears” of our customers, recognising and dealing with changes to the scheme as and when they arise
First bit of UK wide PR! With what we later referred to as the “Album Cover” shot, we got some fantastic coverage, particularly from The Scotsman
Coronavirus hit and we implemented a rapid move to remote working for the whole team - with our Technical Director taking the opportunity to move to the Netherlands, we started to become international in our outlook!
Formalisation of our marketing, along with the Covid-19 crisis driving companies need to bring in cash quickly, saw huge growth in interest in our service
This increased demand saw us hire yet more staff, with a marketing intern and senior developer joining us in the summer
Following the launch of our first ebook earlier in the summer, we launched our first training course dates AND our first webinar dates. We aimed to provide as much help and support as we could to our prospects and customers through these events and were surprised and overwhelmed by the amazing engagement from the sector!
The launch of WhisperClaims 2.0, a new user interface that catered to the needs of our customers, not just providing a more aesthetically pleasing environment but providing a much more feature-rich dashboard to allow our users to collaborate with clients and manage their workload more effectively
Rolling out our webinar programme, we ran “Building an in-house R&D Tax service” - actively providing help and advice for how users can not just service existing clients but build a profitable business in the R&D tax market
Another developer was hired to support our efforts to build out our product and continue to service our growing number of customers
Nominated against some sector heavyweights at the Accounting Excellence Awards, we came away having won “Best Non-Accounting Cloud or Banking App of the Year” - our biggest win to date!
Goodbye 2020 with the massive milestone of having over 100 firms subscribing to WhisperClaims, and our software delivering it's 1,000th report!
As we broke through £100m of eligible spend through the platform, we recruited to both the Sales and Dev teams!
Working with 120+ firms nationally with a team of 10 people, all focussed on helping our users to build and rollout new services and revenues through utilising our award winning software - we ended the financial year on a high, with record numbers of report downloads and reporting a profit - unheard of for a tech business experiencing our rates of growth