From a small flat in London’s Shad Thames, Danny Waddington looks out over a sea of Victorian rooftops and smiles. Taking a sip of his morning coffee, he returns to a line of C# code on his laptop.
Still fresh from his computing master’s at Imperial College, Danny ponders on the direction Threadneedle Software Ltd might take in the years to come. One of just two employees, he’s taken on a programming job at this new company. With ‘offices’ in a building more suited to student accommodation than facilitating paid work, this enterprise is bankrolled by two coders-cum-entrepreneurs that have, for now, retained their day jobs in the City. Fast forward to 2017, and the company is focusing on its most commercially viable and exciting product: a solution for visualising dataflows. With Danny now Chief Technology Officer, Solidatus is about to be launched, its market – for now – being banking and financial services.
A further five years on, Solidatus is in that Goldilocks zone. With Series A funding behind it, it has expanded to 111 employees, dozens of very high-value clients, including four of the world’s biggest banks, and it has a large office in a WeWork on London’s South Bank. But it’s still very much a start-up, and new employees – all of whom are entitled to share options – are joining at a time when they can make an obvious and measurable difference in the company’s shared mission: shining a light on data mess.
And it’s not just the company: our solution meaningfully helps people beyond its client. It’s not exaggerating to say it can make the world a better place by making the data that governs people’s lives more transparent and easier to find. Or at least this is the case for our early adopters, one of the most recent of which being the Bank of New York Mellon. But, whilst it’s relatively early days for Solidatus, we have very bold ambitions and are following the right line on a graph to achieve them. The people working here – whether they’re building the product or involved in marketing and selling it – make a real impact and are shaping what Solidatus is and what it’ll become.
While our biggest employee hub is in London, and people work on a hybrid basis, coming into the office a couple of times a week, we have regional headquarters in Houston, Singapore and India, supporting a hugely diverse workforce, a number of remote workers, and, of course, we have customers around the world. This international flavour is crucial for developing a well-rounded product, as user experiences vary from one country to the next. This is also true of the regulations that our software helps clients deal with.
Our founders, one of whom is the CEO, play a very hands-on role in the company. We’re all on first-name terms with them, and from the top down, the leadership team, which includes Danny, has worked hard to foster a supportive and collaborative approach. Every day we share our ideas with each other, whether formally or informally. It’s a cliché but we really do work hard and play hard – whether it’s cruises on the Thames when we hit our sales targets or sponsored activities, like a recent fun run in Battersea Park, you can rely on us to get involved – we even employ a fungineer. The red squiggle I see in Microsoft Word when writing this suggests that not many other companies can say this.
But not many other companies are like Solidatus.
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