Time flies when you’re working hard and having fun, and 2016 came and went in the blink of an eye for the See.Sense team. We have enjoyed tremendous growth and success over the past 12 months and shared some great memories with our customers, backers and followers. You have all been part of our success story, and we are indebted to everyone who has joined us on our journey.
See.Sense is gearing up for another massive year in 2017 - there are so many exciting developments planned for the next 12 months. But before we look to the future we thought we would revisit the year that was. As a startup company we barely get the time to sit down and reflect on how far we have come since launching in 2013. We have almost doubled our revenue every year, have won several major awards and distribute our products to over 50 countries in the world. We have gone from being a small business with big ambition, to a growing brand that is now recognised across the globe. And 2016 played a massive part in our success story.
We started off the year by meeting the demand for our products following another hugely successful Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2015 where over 900 backers pledged in excess of £80,000 - a phenomenal response. See.Sense wouldn't be here today if it wasn’t for backers like you who Kickstarted our first product - the See.Sense Intelligent Bike Light , and our company in October 2013. You helped us bring See.Sense to market and we successfully delivered. Since then our team has rapidly grown.
We're made up of designers, software and electronics engineers, operations experts, marketing and data scientists. We are all cyclists, with a mission to delight the world with products that bring technology to the cutting edge of cycling design.
This year we also raised £711,000 through the support of 479 investors on crowdcube to accelerate our product development and grow our team. Again, we are indebted to everyone who has pledged their money and faith in See.Sense. The great thing is that it allows us to bring exciting products to our customers even sooner!
We also agreed a deal with Raleigh in the summer to lead our distribution in the UK and Ireland, with our ICON intelligent and connected bike lights now sold into more than 50 countries around the world. For a company born and raised in Newtownards, Northern Ireland, this is a fantastic achievement and one we are very proud of.
As the year progressed See.Sense’s burgeoning reputation as thought leaders in cycling technology and smarts cities data led to invites to a number of high-profile industry events. The company was asked to present at Velo-city Global and featured in Innovation Cities and Mobile World Congress where our CEO Philip was keynote speaker. See.Sense was also asked to join the ECF Cycling Industry Club to collaborate and share ideas with the cycling community - the people at the very hub of our vision.
In November See.Sense was one of only 11 companies from the UK to be invited on a special trade mission to India with British Prime Minister Theresa May. The trip allowed the company to once again showcase its smart cities expertise and open up the potential for future working projects.
We continued to earn recognition for our products and innovation during 2016, including winning the BT Infinity Lab SME Awards: Connected Cities in July. Our ICON intelligent and connected cycle light was judged to have the greatest potential to make a difference to the cities of the future. We finished the year with a flourish by claiming another THREE awards.
In November we won a Northern Ireland Road Safety Award in the Cycling category. We were also the proud recipients of the Ards Business Development Award, and were shortlisted for a Marketing prize on the same night.
In December we won a prestigious Elektra European Electronics Industry Award (pictured below) for Consumer Product Innovation at a gala dinner in London. See.Sense was recognised for ICON, a product that has been hailed by cyclists for its innovative safety features, while also receiving widespread acclaim from the electronics industry.
The cycling and technology industry continued to follow our progress in 2016, with See.Sense receiving some great reviews from the media, including:
Being recognised for our products is testimony to the hard work and passion we put into our work, but what we love even more is the fantastic feedback we receive from satisfied customers. It is reviews like this one submitted by Phillip (pictured below), who hails from California, USA, that give us an extra buzz:
“The Icon+ is one of the finest products that a person could purchase for cycling. I ride a custom built Pinarello F-8 and everything on that bike was selected for its superiority, workmanship and function. In use, I have found that I can ride for 10 to 12 hours and still have more than 50% battery life available. All functions work perfectly and the interface application is clear, concise and accurate. Needless to say, the Icon+ makes a perfect complement to my bike. I am proud of the product and I have been recommending it to all of my fellow riders. And See Sense has been a dream to work with. Something I very much appreciate when purchasing a product from outside the United States. Great company and great product…”
Phillip’s experience is just one of many great customer testimonials we have received throughout 2016. On average nine out of 10 customers would recommend See.Sense to a friend, while 8/10 would buy more products from us in the future.
The past year has been another proud chapter in the See.Sense story, and our epic adventure will continue into 2017 and beyond. We see more great things happening for the company over the next 12 months as we continue to stretch the boundaries of cycling innovation and design.
And we look forward to your continued support, and hope that many new followers get behind us and join us on our adventure. We are clicking into gear for a busy and productive 2017. Best wishes to all our friends for a Happy New Year!