Kiwi online scheduling venture Timely has opened an office in London and sees big opportunity to expand in that market.
The UK office mainly supports sales, with product development staying in New Zealand.
With customers in 35 countries, Timely co-founder Ryan Baker says the UK office provides better support around the clock.
"On population size there is obviously a big opportunity in the UK," he says. "With a bigger audience there is inevitably more competition as well, but our research shows that the UK is ready for a more contemporary, pure cloud-based offering in the appointment scheduling space for small businesses."
A big part of the focus for Timely in the UK is to validate its market there and it attended two large trade shows there in February, says Baker. Serial tech entrepreneur and Shout Digital founder Gary Hosmer is leading the UK office, with Neil Conchie as business development manager.
The opportunity to open in the UK came about after Timely staff met fellow exhibitors at a Kiwi beauty expo who were from Britain.
"One of them actually worked for a competitor at the time, but had seen what we were doing with Timely and wanted to be part of it," Baker says. "It took some careful planning over a few months to get the balance right, but we were stoked that it all took shape."
The Kiwi team has grown to nine and Timely plans to hire more support staff, web designers, marketers and account managers in coming months.
Timely has averaged 21 percent growth in its customer base each month for the past 12, says Baker, with the customer base now extending to 3000.
Baker and his co-founder Andrew Schofield previously started bookit.co.nz, which was acquired by Trade Me in 2010. Last year Timely won investment from Kiwi tech entrepreneur Rowan Simpson.
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