Siondo, one of the participating European BizSpark Summit showcase start-ups, provides managers and directors with a set of integrated software applications that enable simple and efficient management of the key business functions. Hear from Siondo CEO Christian Steiner in the below video interview.
The BizSpark startup of the day is Siondo, based in the UK. Below you will find an interview with Christian Steiner, CEO of Siondo. All the best to them and congratulations for being the startup of the day!
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
As CEO for Siondo, I am responsible for the day-to-day running of Siondo on a strategic level, board and investor liaison, and the formulation and implementation of the marketing and sales strategy. My educational background allows me to work on business process analysis and application designs for Siondo.
What did you do before creating your company?
Born in Munich, Germany, I have gained my industrial experience while working as controller and financial auditor in various companies based in the UK and Germany between 1996 and 2003. I hold a BA (Hons) in Business Economics from Kingston University, a MSc in Information System from London School of Economics and is a doctorate for Technology and Innovation Management at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Prior to Siondo, I have co-founded various businesses. I must admit, the first 2 did not work out as expected, but the last one, a consultancy business allowed us to bootstrap around $800.000 to take Siondo where it is today.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
Being the “startup of the Day” per Microsoft BizSpark is a great honour for us. It's been quite the journey for the whole Siondo team and receiving this recognition makes every mile worthwhile.
What is your company’s mission?
Siondo aims to simplify the way SMBs do business by delivering high-quality and cutting edge software solutions at the best value for money. Siondo’s objective is to position itself as a global “One Stop Shop” for on demand software solutions that are fast to implement, easy to use and can grow as the company grows.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
Siondo provides owner managers and directors with a set of integrated software applications that enable simple and efficient management of the key business functions.
How did you get the idea for your company?
The spark that led to Siondo came out of a combination of my PhD thesis (Technology and Innovation Management) and Jason Devenney’s early experience with the SaaS concept while he was working in the US. We could see that there had to be a better way to distribute business software world-wide while making it easy to access and use, especially for SMEs who don’t have the time or resources for large-scale systems.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
Siondo has been “bootstrapped” by myself and my fellow co-founder Jason Devenney. Till date, we have invested around $800.000 and we have recently raised an additional $500.000 from angels in Germany and India. Siondo requires an additional $1.5 Mio to internalise all outsourced development operations and to build sales, support and operational teams to handle current global growth and future expansion. At present, Siondo is due diligence with various European private equity firms.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
Two owner managers in the UK plus freelance staff. 15 developers in Siondo’s dedicated offshore development centre in India. 2 sales people in India funded via BizSpark UK Summit prize money.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
Depending on the next funding round, we are looking for reinforcements in sales and project management.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Siondo is 100% based on the latest Microsoft technology (ASP .NET C#, SQL Server, AJAX .NET, IIS and Windows Server). Thanks to Microsoft and BizSpark we have recently completed a proof of concept study to migrate onto the Azure platform.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
With regards to the software/internet area, I see the greatest opportunities in emerging markets. Unlike saturated markets like the US and Europe, markets like China, India, Africa or South America are estimated to grow by more than 76% in the next 5 years.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
BizSpark is fantastic. Siondo is the first BizSpark member in the UK and we’ve had excellent support from the whole team there, particularly Lars Lindstedt and Bindi Karia. BizSpark is a big benefit for us – the free technology is great but it’s much more than that. BizSpark opens doors. Soft benefits include being introduced to VCs, media, and many other potential partners. BizSpark events are great for networking and the credibility of being part of the Microsoft community is priceless for a start-up in our space.”
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Work hard, play hard and never give up.
Who’s your role model?
I have not found one yet but I am working on it?
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
Check out www.siondo.com, one of the fastest growing providers of Internet-based business software today.