South African startup Full Stack, which provides data products and services to a range of clients, says it is looking beyond attention-grabbing startup achievements such as funding rounds and exits to instead focus on delivering clients with high quality bespoke software.
Founded in May last year by Danyal Hendricks, Werner Visser and Andrew La Grange, Full Stack already has 13 employees and several blue chip clients. Though La Grange, talking to Disrupt Africa, would not go into details on revenues, he said it had already exceeded its original revenue target for the financial year by 33 per cent.
“We are proud of our team and what we have done so far and are really excited about the months and years ahead as we grow and strengthen our team and burgeoning culture,” he said, adding that Full Stack was less focused on the usual startup milestones than delivering quality products and earning revenues.
“While much of the press and the trade talk is excited by tales of funding, exits and quick bucks, we have found our clients to be glad to have a startup partner with a long view, to grow, to remain owner managed and to be committed to long term partnerships.”
Full Stack is completely self-funded and bootstrapped, and La Grange said the company believed the state of local capital markets for startups was dysfunctional for any serious business.
He said the startup had grown so quickly by identifying what he described as “less of a gap, and more of a gaping wound” in the market.
“With so much energy being directed to product-based startups there is nowhere for companies who require high quality bespoke software to turn to besides industry specialist consultancies and the developer-crushing hired gun body shops who sell in-place developer teams to corporates,” he said.
“This means for great developers who love solving general problems there is no home because all the startups are product-focused. And all the corporates have nowhere to turn for great professional experienced problem solvers and generalists who apply multiple disciplines to their problem set.”
He said this was the space in which Full Stack was operating, and that it had found “fertile ground”.
Thus far the company has been operating solely in Cape Town, but at the end of February will start working with clients in Johannesburg.
“Bespoke software is a face-to-face business and we don’t believe it is well done completely remotely,” La Grange said. “We are exploring a United States (US) sales and small development operation by registering a Delaware corporation from the middle of next year, but that is fairly speculative at present.”