We were delighted to see our Investee Obeo feature in an article in The Sunday Times Small Business Section highlighting the success of the company and how entrepreneurs who can use mistakes made with early start-ups can achieve success with subsequent ventures.
Here is a quote from the article:
“Accountant Liz Fingleton and designer Kate Cronin were first-time entrepreneurs when they got together in 2010 to set up Klickity, a Dublin design studio that makes lampshades.
By their own admission, they made plenty of mistakes. “We were operating in the craft sector and we did everything by hand, including packaging,” said Fingleton.
“We were so busy doing everything by hand it took us two years to realise we weren’t hitting the profitability we needed. Hand-labelling is not a good use of a founder’s time.”
There were other problems. Lampshades were nice to have, but not a necessity. The customers that did come through the door tended to buy one and not return.
After licensing out Klickity, Fingleton and Cronin approached their next venture with a different mindset. “Second time around, we started by finding a problem and then coming up with a solution,” said Fingleton.
“This time we wanted to make something that people would buy, consume and buy again.”
Their new business, Obeo, has developed small compostable boxes for food waste and peelings that can then be thrown into the brown bin.
From the start, they outsourced production to concentrate on marketing, strategy and growth. Investors clearly like their approach.
Obeo has just raised €150,000 in seed funding from the Jenson Fund in the UK, while Irish angel investors are putting in €50,000 and Enterprise Ireland is providing €150,000.
The pair are using the funds to target the UK market. Obeo has just hired a new staff member and can afford advertising through Google AdWords.
“One of the biggest lessons we learned with Klickity is that you need money,” said Fingleton. “We did everything on a shoestring before, but you can only be broke for so long.”
Take a look at the Obeo website here.