Many said it couldn’t be done, but for six years we’ve been working to make the harder things in life easier to overcome. Things like opening a bank account without a stable address; recruiting a returning clinician to the NHS or buying a first home during a pandemic lockdown. Our origin story has been widely reported, but what were some of the milestones in building a scaling technology company with a profit for purpose business model?
When we turned one in 2016,
The founding team at Amiqus worked with The Data Lab and the Computer Science and Law departments of Strathclyde University to build our first Beta product: a functioning prototype that could analyse legal case information with the aim of helping people and small businesses make informed decisions about their likelihood of succeeding in court.
Before winning the Scottish EDGE treble, the team took their Beta to lawyers who identified a stumbling block. As regulated professionals, lawyers need to know that their clients are who they say they are before they can help them. Could Amiqus make that happen faster?
When we turned two in 2017,
The Amiqus team were ready to prove that lawyers and their clients could perform identity verification remotely and securely. With a new product developed, Serenity Law LLP, a digital commercial law firm serving central London, became our first client – one we’re still serving today – and journalist Nick Freer named Amiqus one of five Scottish tech start-ups to watch.
In May, having doubled the size of our team from six to 12, Amiqus took home the pitch of the day and audience’s choice awards at EiE 2017; Scottish business heavyweight Sir Sandy Crombie joined the Amiqus board as Chairman, and our CEO Callum Murray rowed 200 miles across the Mediterranean sea, from Barcelona to Ibiza, for charity. Before the year was out we’d been selected as the Barclays Entrepreneurs Awards’ regional winner for Scotland & Northern Ireland and gained 20 new paying customers.
When we turned three in 2018,
Amiqus scooped Deloitte’s ‘Disrupt the Enterprise’ prize and became a strategic partner of the Law Society of Scotland for the first time. We released the first version of our API and added new features and workflow to support large scale clients within Amiqus, like custom forms, assignees and notifications.
As an accredited Living Wage employer, we won the Tech for Good Award at the Scottish Tech Startup Awards and increased the size of our team to 30. Amiqus also joined the EDGE Pledge, promising to contribute at least one per cent from future revenues or exit to support Scotland’s future entrepreneurs. While on the bus one day, our CEO read an article in WIRED about a radical plan to give people at risk of homelessness access to financial services with a ProxyAddress. Like most good stories, it didn’t quite end there.
When we turned four in 2019,
Over 250 firms including Thorntons and Anderson Strathern had adopted Amiqus to make their onboarding and compliance processes faster and more secure, but it had also been clear for some time that the Amiqus platform could be applied to solve a whole range of problems. By listening, learning and working collaboratively with new clients we began rolling out Amiqus to accountancy firms, letting agents and financial services across the UK.
In May, we became the first company to win EIE pitch of the day for a second time and our research and development team Amiqus Labs began working with ProxyAddress, as they worked towards a first FCA pilot with Lewisham Council to help people at risk of homelessness access financial services. Our strategic partnership with the Law Society of Scotland was renewed and we began preparing for CivTech. This meant an opportunity to work openly with government to co-create new ways of engaging with their staff digitally via Amiqus.
When we turned five in 2020,
There had been an air of tension and lots of anti-bacterial wipes at the CivTech demo day finale. The whole team pulled together to pitch to the Scottish public sector assembled. We even wrote and designed our first real life Amiqus Notebook in ten working days, but that ill-fated February there was already the sense that the world was about to change forever. So, we made some predictions and assured our clients, friends and network that it was time to trust (and look after) remote workers.
2020 was the hardest year our team had ever faced. We got some things right and tried to learn swiftly where we could improve – focusing all our energies on bringing new value to the public sector. Thanks entirely to an exceptional team, and an exceptional network of partners and supporters working under the most exceptional of circumstances, Amiqus continued the trend of doubling our growth year on year and, in December last year, we were delighted to announce that the Scottish Government and NHS BSA had become our first public sector scale clients.
When we turned six in 2021,
We reflected on a year of shared recovery from the most isolating time in all our lives, pausing for a few moments of poignant celebration over Zoom and marshmallows: a celebration of the milestones, the shared wins and the positive position we’re now in; all as a result of the long term view the company has taken and that our team has worked so hard for, nicely evidenced by a tripling of revenue.
When the time finally comes to see all of our colleagues in person again, there will be new milestones to mark and memories to make but, for now, we’re doing all we can to prepare for the next stage in our growth as a profit for purpose scale-up.
Dear colleagues, we may be six years into this journey, but this is only the beginning. To quote a certain board member, “Amiqus is on the cusp of magic”, and to quote our CEO, “the last year has taken a toll on every person and every family. We will build on our growth not just in terms of revenue, but in how we can continue to look after our people and contribute to making flexibility and wellbeing at work the norm”.
Dear partners, as members of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, we will continue to commit ourselves to working with you – the University of Glasgow, the Scottish Refugee Council, Scotland’s annual Refugee Festival Football Tournament and others – to use business as a force for good by being conscious, strategic and progressive in our decision-making.
Dear clients – and in particular to our first paying client, Serenity Law – this year, you’ve helped us to evolve into a high growth, sustainable business having impact in the work we do and the causes we support. You’ve attended webinars and engaged in numbers that have left our mouths agape and you’ve been ready to recommend us to your peers; to work with colleagues across our team, during what we know was also the hardest 18 months any of us can remember and, above all, you continue to help us improve everything we set out to do.
To everyone who has helped us reach our sixth birthday, thank you, thank you, for lending your time and generosity to our story.
Our ambition for our tenth birthday in 2025?
To show the world that valuing purpose as much as profit is not only the right way to do business, but the smartest. That and cake. A very big cake. Perhaps also a party with a smoke machine, a laser and some Tune signs.
As we prepare to double our team once more and to welcome new partners and clients – from government departments to multinational financial service firms, to family law firms and sole traders – we’re looking for a range of people to join us and to invest in this, the most exhilarating step in our journey, Amiqus at scale.
Whatever the problem, we believe technology has an important role to play in bridging the gap between the people with privileged access to expertise and those who simply don’t and can’t. By working collaboratively and purposefully, our goal is to make the harder things in life easier for everyone to overcome. Yes, we’re a technology company making software and no, we don’t think we’ll change the way the world works on our own, but we’re tackling one complex problem at a time with a growing team of talented people; working for impact and building value for the long term.
Amiqus CEO, Callum Murray