The London-based social media scheduling platform Sendible is set to triple in size this year, even though it started as just a side project. A technologist from South Africa called Gavin Hammar created the platform in his bedroom while working for a software company designing social media tools, but it has grown since then to include a number of big name companies as clients.
Hammar realised that users would need platforms with which to manage multiple social media accounts as an increasing number were being invented. His platform was housed on a site that enabled users to schedule posts to a number of social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook for free. After receiving thousands of new signups, he realised that his creation was a much-needed idea for web savvy individuals and he started to charge $2 a month as well as asking his boss for one day a week which he could use to work on the project.
The company wanted 50% of the project in exchange but agreed on 10% with Hammar, who quit his job after six months to concentrate on working on the site full time. Sendible now has over 100,000 users and is a fully fledged social management platform offering a number of great features for users. However, compared to rivals like Vancouver-based HootSuite, which boasts over 10m users, the site is still very small in comparison. But Hammar has just signed a deal to put Sendible in partnership with Bluehost, one of the largest web hosting companies on the internet which hosts more than 2 million live domains. Hammar estimates that around 10% of the 2m will sign up to Sendible, giving the platform a huge boost in numbers.
Six years of work have gone into creating the Sendible site which users see today. Hammar has funded the project entirely himself and he has created a lot of the back-end technology on his own. He now believes that the site is secure enough to be taken to the mainstream.
The project hasn’t been without complications, though. In 2010 Sendible was used by spammers to send posts from the accounts of famous brands by exploiting an existing Facebook bug. Hammar has admitted that the site has been hacked on more than one occasion and an incident which led to a user being able to send 100 posts a minute to LinkedIn led to Sendible being blocked from the site.
Sendible now works with both large and small companies, charging between $30 and $315 a month for its social media management services. The company turns over around $3m and also provides white-label versions of the platform. Hammar has explained that agencies are able to create dashboards for clients that look custom made and then the platform is effectively sold for him.
The platform has a number of interesting and unique features which makes it valuable for users. The lead generation tool is able to track how much revenue is created by a Facebook post or tweet by sending out a call to action including a special offer or discount code. The user is then tracked when they click on the link. In addition, Sendible is also able to track leads that have been generated through sites like YouTube and blogs.
In addition to Twitter and Facebook, Sendible integrates with Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs created through WordPress and Blogger. The platform boasts clients such as Toyota, Panasonic and the BBC as well as smaller individuals and companies with less complex social media needs.
The scheduling platform has just 10 support staff, a huge amount less than other companies with a similar turnover. It is likely that this number will increase once the deal with Bluehost comes into effect and Hammar is expecting to have a team of 40 staff overall before long. Hammar has received a number of offers for the growing company, but he has refused them all and isn’t ready to sell it on yet. He says that he may look at selling in five years, based on the numbers he has received so far. Until then, he wants to see how far he can go with the site, which he now believes is secure, robust and scalable.