It’s official – we’ve reached double digits! Over the last 10 years we’ve grown from a bedroom start-up to a multi-million pound business with customers all over the world. As we celebrate our 10th birthday, it’s time to look back at some of the key milestones from the last decade that have helped us get where we are today…
In the beginning…
Our founder Alastair Shortland built the very first version of Messenger in his bedroom, after being inspired by a text received from a local nightclub. Messenger was envisioned as a platform that made mobile messaging accessible to any company or group, regardless of their size.
Building a company without any bank loans or marketing experience isn’t easy, so Alastair turned to an “angel investor”. He met Darren Daws over lunch at a Harvester, and thanks to Darren’s marketing expertise and generous redundancy package from B&Q, a week later they were in business.
29th September 2005 Txtlocal Ltd is officially born
In the beginning, the business was run from Al & Darren’s respective homes, with Al handling the technical side and Darren the marketing. As the company began to grow, Darren moved from Southampton to Chester, and offices were set up in both Chester and Great Malvern, Al’s home town.
By 2010, Txtlocal (as it was then known) was gaining momentum and starting to attract attention from numerous industry bodies. We were awarded ‘Best Telecommunications Website’ in the Internet Business Awards, which was followed by a host of awards in 2011, including the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards, 160 Characters, and North West Digital and Media Entrepreneur of the Year.
2011 saw a shake-up in the company, as we shed our old Txtlocal skin and rebranded as Textlocal, complete with a whole new look for the business and website.
Now with a whole team of talented technical staff working for the company, we were able to develop and launch an updated version of the platform, complete with a wealth of shiny new features for our customers to use. Messenger 2.0 was praised for its ease of use and quickly became very popular, setting the stage for the addition of some exciting new innovations…
With Messenger 2.0 up and running, the innovations came thick and fast from the technical team. In 2013, a tool was created that allowed users to attach documents to text messages for the very first time. This was followed later that year by the development of our mobile-optimised data capture forms, allowing our users to gather customer information without the hassle of back-and-forth SMS surveys. 2014 added mobile vouchers, tickets and loyalty cards – one of our proudest achievements, enabling the creation of unique, trackable mobile vouchers that could be sent via SMS, opening up a new world of marketing opportunities to our users.
In October 2014, we had some exciting changes in the team as we were acquired by international mobile communication giant IMImobile in a deal worth around £13 million. Our customers might not have noticed any change, as we retained our small business focus on customer service and innovation, but we certainly did. With the backing of a global mobile engagement company like IMImobile, we’ve been able to enhance key areas of our business and invest in our team, which means that the service our customers receive will only improve.
2015 saw the launch of the newest iteration of the Messenger platform, adding greater usability and slicker performance to the high-performing cloud-based service. Tech wise, the changes were small but many, adding a number of little extras that helped our customers to run their mobile messaging that little bit smoother.
Textlocal has its official 10th birthday on Tuesday 29th September 2015, and with all our growth and development it’s hard to recognise it as the same company that started in a bedroom all those years ago. Despite the success that our founders Alastair & Darren have earned over the last decade, Textlocal’s mission and ethos remain exactly the same: to enable organisations of any size or budget to harness the power of mobile messaging.