Smart50 Awards 2014

10 Lighthouse8

Revenue

Over $2.4 million

Growth

136.87%

Founders

Freddy Aurso, 42

Head Office

Manly, NSW

Year Founded

2010

Employees

8

Industry

Internet

Website

www.lighthouse8.com

There are no meeting rooms at the Manly offices of Lighthouse8, the digital strategy and management consultancy that has secured the 10th spot on this year’s Smart50 list.

Founder Freddy Aurso says every Lighthouse8 staff member is invited to listen in on meetings if they want to, telling SmartCompany it is just one of the ways his company has fostered a casual working environment and culture. And the clients like it too.

“If you are saying something in a meeting that you don’t want others to hear, you are probably not focusing on the right things,” he says.

Aurso founded Lighthouse8 in 2010, having spent 10 years working for a large digital marketing company along with many of the people who make up his agency’s staff. Since then, the business has grown by 136%, turning over more than $2.4 million in the last financial year.

The company handles all elements of clients’ marketing campaigns, from strategic planning to technical decisions and implementation, through its proprietary software platform, Ignite.

Aurso describes Ignite as akin to “artificial intelligence in digital”. With the “intelligence”, the platform learns from clients’ campaign, automatically feeding back into the system to continually improve the process.

The company already has a presence in Australia and Europe and Aurso says the next step will be to expand to Asian markets, starting with Singapore and likely followed by South Korea.

Aurso’s own Scandinavian background has no doubt helped Lighthouse8 grow in Europe, but he says being a foreign business owner in Australia has its challenges.

“Being a foreigner in Australia, I have struggled at times to get into business meetings, having a local network would have really helped,” he says.

But Aurso says his perseverance has paid off.

“I have hired some local team members now and the doors have been opening through their networks. I have also learnt that the niche was real and is resonating well with the marketplace.”

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