Springfield Business Journal: What’s the key to your growth?
Phil Reynolds: We are expanding the type and scope of insurance companies that we appeal to, and that’s been a pretty steady march up market to expand our reach. Internally, we spend a lot of time building tools and practices to be able to upgrade customers steadily and smoothly on our software platform. We are about 16 months into a third-generation build of our BriteCore web services. That has fueled a lot of interest in the insurance industry. Additionally, we are raising a lot of capital, which has helped with staffing and being able to scale our internal organization.
SBJ: You’ve added 40 employees since the beginning of the year. How do you manage that growth?
Reynolds: As a primarily remote company, we utilize a pretty healthy range of collaborative web-based tools to run the company. Inside of our company, you’ll get yourself fired if you send me a Microsoft Word document or a Microsoft Excel document. We do everything in Google Docs and Google Sheets. Those tools are collaborative, and they’re online. We put a lot of effort and a lot of resources into making sure that our employee on-boarding processes is very smooth. We do project-based hiring, so there’s a fairly rigorous gauntlet we put people through before they ever come into the company. We hire globally. The best employee for any particular position could live literally anywhere in the world. Our staff is in 31 countries.
SBJ: Is there a tipping point?
Reynolds: We tipped a couple years ago and have taken off and have continued to take off. Eleven months ago, we did a $13 million capital raise, and there’s a new capital partner that’s about to invest about $50 million into the company. We have 57 insurance companies that use BriteCore for their core operations. The very first customer we worked with was Panhandle Farmers Mutual out in West Virginia. They only wrote $2.4 million in total premium. That’s the tiniest of tiny. One of our newest customers is a $14 billion insurance company, one of the largest in the country. Projected revenue [for 2019] is around $20 million.
SBJ: What has the company’s growth enabled you to do?
Reynolds: Our staff has tripled in size in a few years and shows no sign of slowing down. It’s enabled us to appeal to much larger insurers. It allows us to attract the very best talent in the literal world for whatever we’re hiring for. BriteCore is kind of a challenging place to work because you come in and no one is OK. Everyone is great.
SBJ: How have your goals changed as your business has taken off?
Reynolds: The basic goal is the same since our founding in 2005, which is to offer the best possible insurance software for the world’s insurance companies. Any business that is uniquely successful in doing something is doing something that’s uniquely difficult; otherwise, everyone else would be doing it. We set up to solve the problem of really small insurers, and then we expanded to include the needs of medium-size insurers. Now, we’re meeting the needs of much larger insurers. A core evolution in our own thinking is the realization that you could actually use the same base platform to solve problems at all those various scales.
A project that is now hitting its stride on the west side of Bolivar includes a retail strip and storage units.