Waterloo Axonify, helps companies train / better retain their employees, raises $27 million to date

Axonify is the world's first Employee Knowledge Platform that uniquely combines brain science, gamification, micro-learning and personalized knowledge to deliver a highly effective learning experience to corporate employees. Through a daily, 3 minute session on any device, Axonify creates memory and changes employee behaviour in positive ways that can drive significant business outcomes.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

The company was started in 2011 by Carol Leaman and Christine Tutssel who acquired the IP and one customer from the original founders. Carol is a CPA and a serial tech entrepreneur while Christine is a senior Executive Sales professional. Neither has a tech background other than running and working in tech companies for 20 years. The overall team is now comprised 30% of developers.

How are you being financed?

We've raised venture capital and private equity.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

The biggest obstacle is always creating brand awareness when you are selling to large corporate enterprise. As a small company with fewer dollars to spend on marketing, it's a challenge to build the business one customer at a time, while balancing cashflow and the need to grow. That challenge never goes away, but it does get easier.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

We have used our networks to find great developers. We're fortunate to have a really good reputation in Waterloo Region as an employer, and it's allowed us to attract amazing talent.

Who is your biggest competition?

Our biggest competition is the "do nothing" customer. We are disrupting old, established processes and technology that our customers have typically invested millions in. They can be reluctant to take the leap to a completely modern approach. We're still in the early adopter phase, but I sense the tipping point is coming.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in
revenues? In what markets?

2017 is a year where we are doubling down on the markets and applications we know work best for us, which are retail, plant and logistics (industry heavy on deskless workers). Our marketing dollars and sales teams will be laser focused on those targets, and leveraging the results from our existing customers to replicate. We expect to see increased velocity of sales and lots of other good things come out of that.

What is the big lesson you've learned (success or failure) with this venture.

This is my fourth technology company and I can say that the hard lessons I learned in previous experiences have helped me avoid most of the same problems this time around! Axonify has been a significantly smoother build, and I can't say that there have been any huge lessons that jump out at me. But I do keep having to remind myself how long it takes to get customers when you're selling to Fortune 1000. I guess my biggest lesson at Axonify has been having patience in the face of driving urgency.

 

Website: www.axonify.com