Interview with our CEO: Important milestones for a truly essential CommTech platform
New funding helps us expand further into our defined key markets
This week, we are delighted to announce a significant round of new funding. Investment group Capital Mills and management invested €2 million to allow PressPage to expand in our defined key markets.
We sat down with our CEO Jan-Willem Schalkwijk who answered some questions about the impact of this funding, the drive to expand PressPage’s service and his first year with PressPage.
First off, congratulations on the success of this funding round!
Thank you. We were quite happy to receive additional funding from our existing investor, Capital Mills, because it shows they also acknowledge our potential for growth. Their experts know our business and have seen how we’ve been expanding. They share our confidence that we have a good team, a solid product-market fit and a strong value proposition to help our target audiences and that we have the ability to strongly and securely scale up.
Can you please tell us a bit more, why do you believe in that growth potential?
There’s a huge need for what we’re doing. The work we help facilitate is key to businesses today. The 2021 European Communication Monitor (ECM) survey showed that a digital transformation is in progress, but no comms department is operating with a consistent level of technological maturity. In fact, over 80% of respondents indicated that building a solid digital infrastructure is important to them. Communications professionals are on the front lines for their companies. They need to be able to react swiftly, and they need time to plan proactively. As indicated in the ECM survey, they’ve been missing the kind of field-specific digital infrastructure that other sectors have. This is where we can help with what we offer: the ability to streamline and automate parts of the communication workflow, so these experts have time to excel at the heart of their jobs.
Communications teams are really at the core of PressPage's work. Would you say that they are our driving force?
Yes and no. On the one hand, our customer-centricity is so core to our teams. It’s ingrained in everything that we do. And I find our customers’ enthusiasm amazing. I have a background in Marketing, but I think it’s only here that I’ve realized the extent to which communications professionals have been put into a bind by the rapid expansion of channels and the even swifter pace of modern communications. I speak to a lot of our users, and they tell me how the platform is helping them on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, I believe what we do is crucial for companies as well. We believe accuracy, consistency and velocity in communications have a huge impact on reputation. Customers like Booking.com rely on our platform to get their work done consistently, on a global scale. Brands only stand out when their communications are clear, and they can respond quickly in a uniform way. We help them do that.
So, why is this investment so important?
It will fuel our growth at a time when communications technology, or the core functional digital infrastructure, is becoming pivotal to businesses around the world. In the past couple of years, we’ve entered a new reality, one in which companies are facing new, complex challenges and communications professionals' role in solving these is growing. According to CIPR, 85% of PR and comms professionals believe that the value and reputation of their profession have increased.
PressPage is growing fast, but this will help us grow faster and make our mark by supporting more and more companies who are looking at communication technology, or a digital infrastructure, to solve their inefficiencies. The opportunity is growing, and we want to be ahead of the curve to help them become successful. There’s a lot of work, however, that we need to do to get out there. This investment will help us grow our markets and expand our solution offering. Communications professionals are struggling, but they don’t yet know that there’s a solution.
Could you share more insights on our goals and plans for the future?
It all boils down to this: corporate comms teams are our heroes. We want to make them successful in their jobs by making it easier for them to achieve their goals. As for PressPage, our goal is to help more and more companies manage the growing complexities of corporate communications. By 2025, we want to be helping more than a thousand companies and corporate comms teams with their day-to-day work.
Exciting times ahead! Looking back, tell us how your first year at PressPage is going?
The image I had in my head when I joined PressPage was that of a box with a 1000-piece puzzle. I thought, “Cool. I like to think about solutions and puzzles.” Then, I opened the box and there weren’t 1000 pieces, only 200. When we started to put pieces together, more popped up out of the blue and gave new insights or directions on how to progress with the next challenge - or puzzle pieces, if you will. It’s an exciting process. Together, piece by piece, we are finding out ways to put everything together and complete the puzzle. Which, of course, will never be complete, since our ambitions grow with our progress!
It sounds like you really enjoy your work.
I do! I feel so grateful that I was able to participate in an opportunity that I believe in, as well as for the way that the current shareholders have supported my participation. It feels good to know that both the team and the investment team are bound by trust and vision. I have both personal and professional gratitude because we have a strong belief in what we’re doing, building on a solid foundation laid down by the founders of PressPage. I also feel fortunate to work with such a great team of talented professionals at PressPage. Not only do they have the right passion for making our customers successful, they are also breathing our company culture of trust and performance. A winning combination in our scale up ambition.
Thanks Jan-Willem and we'll check back in with you to hear more about the progress following the investment.
Absolutely, thanks for the interview and let's chat again soon.
PressPage is the digital enterprise communications platform streamlining corporate communications workflows allowing enterprises to proactively build and preserve their reputations