A Brisbane-based brand management software company has hit the big time, scoring almost $20 million in US investment.
Founded in 2015, Brisbane startup Outfit helps businesses create their own branded content — and this has sparked the interest of a United States-based capital investor.
With the $20 million investment, Outfit is set to expand their operations in Queensland and establish offices in the United States and the United Kingdom.
We sat down with CEO and Founder Bruce Stronge to find out more about their business and how Advance Queensland helped in their growth.
Can you tell us a bit more about your product?
Outfit’s brand management platform empowers businesses to self-create content (campaign material, templates, banners, social media, posters etc) on-brand, every time for major brands across Australia, the US and the UK.
One of the big issues for many companies is the time and frustration around branding guidelines — ensuring documents and designs are sized in a certain way and use the right logo, for example.
Outfit is designed to support businesses by enabling them to create their own content using an online platform at speed and on-brand.
This means we can help to drastically reduce their production costs, ensure brand and compliance, while freeing up their capacity to focus on more strategic initiatives.
What makes your product different or unique?
Our product was a direct response to a serious customer gap in the market — allowing businesses to create their own content online using their brand.
It was important for us to workshop with our customers in the early years to understand what would work for them.
We are proud of our foundation and our ability to translate customer needs into a real online platform that solves the right problems — particularly for teams who may work remotely.
Any other businesses doing something similar? If so, why is yours so much better?
Most other businesses that have tried to solve this problem generally approach it without business process in mind — for example, approval processes before export of the product happens.
One of the other major advantages of Outfit is that our templates are built with web technology — which makes them extremely scalable and flexible. It also means that updating brand elements on the collateral or merging personalised information from big data sources is really simple.
Who are your customers?
Outfit work with several of Australia’s largest banking brands, leading universities and many brands such as Red Hat, Flight Centre (Corporate Traveller, FcM, Stage & Screen), Bakers Delight and Ray White.
What customers are you targeting?
Outfit works heavily across the financial services, higher education, franchise and technology sectors and supports other large companies where there teams may not work in the same office but work on a shared campaign.
You’ve just raised almost $20 million in funding. What are your plans now?
We’re in the process of moving to a much larger office in Brisbane to enable us to double in size here this year. We’ve also set up an office in LA and in Sheffield, UK.
We’re growing sales and customer success in those countries, and rapidly scaling our product and tech teams here in Queensland. We have much more to build and to continue to deliver for some of the largest enterprise brands globally.
How has Advance Queensland helped your business grow?
Support and funding provided by the Queensland Government that enabled us to focus on creating a brand and marketing strategy to get us get in front of our key verticals in the US, like university, franchise and financial services.
Developing our product in Queensland has allowed us to expand into the UK and US over the last two years.
As with all startups, it was a challenging and interesting road getting started, but through the supportive environment and strong innovation eco-system in Queensland, we were able to build a foundation that has really helped us reach where we are today.
What advice would you give to other local startups?
To guarantee you are solving a real problem, find a foundation customer keen to collaborate on the solution and to come on the journey with you. Finding paying customers from the outset also means you don’t need to give away half of your company too early on.
Get out to events and check out customer sites to learn what they’re up to, but don’t spend too much time ‘networking’ and collecting industry awards — those don’t tend to keep the lights on. Reach out to other Queensland startup peers for help — they are all keen to lend a hand and share their lessons.
Visit the website to find out how the Advance Queensland initiative can help grow your business.