Matt Larner (30)
- Head office
Marketing and communications
Launched from founder Matt Larner’s garage in 2013 as a bulk SMS marketing tool, ClickSend has grown into cloud-based multi-channel software that helps companies communicate with customers.
While SMS messages still account for 80% of business, ClickSend now distributes email, direct mail and post, voice messages and even faxes, all from one dashboard.
Over the past 18 months, the business has seen customer uptake increase from 100 each month to 2,500 each month, following expansion into Asia, Europe and North America. ClickSend now has a revenue of $6.5 million, with 362% revenue growth landing it the sixth spot in the Smart50 list.
Larner, once a structural engineer, launched the product alone, and while there’s something to said for only having to rely on yourself, being a sole founder also has its challenges, he says.
“You can certainly expedite work when shared and it’s invaluable to have other knowledge and experience to bounce ideas and thoughts off,” Larner says.
He also came up against the challenge of launching a product in an already crowded industry that was in “one big price war”.
“You can’t be first to market when the market’s already there, so you have to constantly assure people (and yourself) that there is a better way to do this (and that your way is the better way),” he says.
Rather than engaging in a price war, ClickSend embarked on a strategy of product innovation, customer support and quality of service — Larner says the company has a 100% up-time service level agreement guarantee.
This means “we get greater customer retention and lifetime value”, he says.
And he’s also preparing for the future. New Rich Communication Services (RCS) are threatening all SMS service providers.
“We are already building an RCS product, of which we believe will be Australia’s first, and our current strategy is morphing the software into a true all-in-one multi-channel messaging tool.”
When it comes to marketing its own product, ClickSend’s best trick was “a bit of a cheeky one”, Larner says.
When a number of global car brands signed up for the service for an airbag product recall, ClickSend used its own email marketing software to approach all affected Australian brands, promoting its services as a way to inform potentially-affected clients about the recall.
“We’ve now had the two biggest car brands in Australia sign up to long-term contracts,” Larner says.