5 min read

Year Two: Our top 11 Moments

Laura Watkins

11:FS turns two this week! As we hit the terrible twos but before we dig into our birthday cake, we’re feeling all reflective and so we thought it was a good time to look back over our last year and see how far we’ve come from year 1 to 2.

We’ve compiled a top 11 (of course we did!) list of our greatest achievements from our second year of being, what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve learned.

1. Growing our Team

The biggest achievement in our first to second year is definitely the rapid growth of our team. We’ve said it many times but our people make 11:FS what it is. We have made up an epic team of high flyers from some of the biggest companies in the business and beyond. But it’s not just about where our people have come from but also about their passion and positivity to excel, to do more and to push the boundaries in research, in consulting, in media and more. Not just that but we have a fantastic international culture of hard working individuals who can also bring the fun. When we turned one, we had 12 people, as we turn two we now have over 80! Our growth has been astronomic, so much so that we’ve changed office twice! We moved out of Level 39 in May last year, moving to WeWork Aldgate, and by December we had to move again, growing out of our 25 person office to a much bigger space on a different floor. We’ve made some fantastic key hires from across the world of fintech and beyond including Jeff Tijssen, Sarah Kocianski, Sam Maule (more on him later), Doug Bobenhouse, Barbara Somlai, Ewan Silver, Jamie Hill and Ross Gallagher and so many other superstars across the team in all departments. We’ve also hired someone to help us with our hiring! Sophie Theen joined us from Revolut to help us scale up and hire the best people for all our available roles from UX designers to social media writers to consultants and with her help new people pop up in the office every single day. If you want to be the next new face in our office, check out our careers page now!

2. International Expansion

In our second year we opened an American office, are inching closer to an Asian one and hired some fantastic talent to join us on our quest for world domination. Top of that list is the hugely talented Sam Maule, MD of Americas. Formerly of NTT Data, Sam joined us in August last year which was a fantastic hire for us, Sam brings bucketloads of knowledge, enthusiasm and contacts across the US and a huge willingness to change the face of US banking. He’s also assisting us in expanding our US podcast audience, hosting Fintech Insider, launching a spin off show State of the Union and a brand new podcast, Connection Interrupted where he interviews people from all walks of life that have had their lives unexpectedly influenced, changed or completely re-written by technology. With Sam’s help we’re hosting our first ever transAtlantic After Dark in San Francisco next week, get your tickets now!

3. Winning Work

We are continuing to win huge pieces of work with Top Tier banks worldwide - some we can talk about, some we can’t but watch this space, we’re definitely running with the big boys now and our consultancy offering is going from strength to strength. We came into being to disrupt the way the financial services industry was being served, and it’s clear that our small team sport approach is working. We’re winning pitches from the traditional players with our cost effective methods, our small team, agile ways of working and our Jobs to be Done approach. We give clients real world research and results in a tight 12 week plan to make sure the jobs to be done and the market research is there. We do not work with guesses or hypothesis, we work to real world customer problems and and solve them with truly digital solutions. But it’s not just our consultancy team that are winning work, we are also taking on bespoke Research reports from global clients with fantastic feedback to the credit of our Research team. Even our media team got in on the action, running bespoke media projects for top clients. In the year to come we will take on bigger and bigger projects from clients around the world across all of our departments. Watch this space! Want to find out how we can help you? Visit our website or contact us today!

4. Taking the industry’s Pulse

Our competitor insights platform, 11:FS Pulse, affectionately known as “the Netflix of Fintech”, continues to go from strength to strength. We have built up an international client base,from top tier banks to startups around the world. 11:FS Pulse allows you to view real life customer journeys on all kinds of banking apps and services to see behind the secure login of competitor products for inspiration or insight. We have over 1000 journeys available to view from global banks, fintechs and financial services providers from all over the world, with more added everyday, showcasing the latest releases to keep you ahead of the curve. If that weren’t enough, we’re launched a 2.0 version of the site very soon with improved UX and layout, allowing you to find your favourite companies and journeys with ease. To find out more or to ask for a demo if you’re not an existing Pulse user, visit 11fspulse.com.

5. Launching our media network

When we started the year we had one podcast, Fintech Insider. Simon affectionately calls it “the little podcast that could” and in the last year it’s grown its audience exponentially. We have quadrupled our listenership in the last year, along with our international reach. We now have just as many listeners in the US as in the UK and a good reach across Europe and the rest of the world. In addition to that we have launched 3 brand new sister shows: Blockchain Insider, Insurtech Insider and Connection Interrupted to widen our portfolio and showcase our knowledge in areas beyond fintech. With all these additional shows, we have created the number one independent business podcast network, 11Media. We are consistently at the top of the business podcast charts in the UK and creeping closer to the top 10 in the US. Hosted by Simon Taylor and Colin Platt, Blockchain Insider is a weekly podcast dedicated to all things bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency. Insurtech Insider, hosted by David Brear, Sarah Kocianski and Nigel Walsh takes a look at the latest insights and trends in the industry to bring you right up to date on all things insurtech. Finally, Connection Interrupted, hosted by the inimitable interviewer Sam Maule, showcases those people who have been unexpectedly influenced, changed or completely re-written by technology. We are relaunching season 2 of Connection Interrupted this week, and our first guest is Gary Vaynerchuk! Subscribe now so you don’t miss out! [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https://11fs.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/CI2-ep01.mp4"][/video]

6. Fintech Insider on the road

Along with our podcast growth, we’ve also literally been taking our show on the road. We have launched Fintech Insider: LIVE - a version of the podcast surprisingly in front of a live audience at events around the world. Debuting at Money20/20 Europe in Copenhagen last June we have been growing at scale with events around the world signing us up to put on a live show for their delegates from business schools to full scale corporate events. We even braved freezing temperatures in Helsinki to put on Fintech Insider: LIVE at OP’s Slush after party, at an indoor beach, complete with frozen pina coladas served in coconuts. Check out the highlights on YouTube and stay tuned to see where we’re off to next!

7. Spreading the word

When we started the company, our mantra was and still is, “digital banking is 1% finished” - by which we mean there’s still 99% to go and all the myriad exciting opportunities for companies and their customers that can come from that. We have been lucky enough to be invited to speak and events around the world to spread that message, to open banks’ eyes to the virtues of digital and grow our thought leadership. In the last year we have given 80 talks, in 25 countries, raising awareness of 11:FS as we go, and creating a global network. We have covered all corners of the globe from Spain to South Korea, and Iceland to Rwanda. If you’d like to book any of our team for a speaking gig, email speaking@11fs.com or visit our website.

8. Global Community

In addition to the podcasting and speaking we have also grown an international community. We launched fintechinsidernews.com, or FIN as we call it, in July 2017, to act as a dedicated forum for submission and discussion of the latest news and stories within the fintech, banking, tech and financial services sectors. We have a user base that spreads across the sector from CEOs to students, sharing their thoughts, their favourite stories, their predictions and asking questions about all things fintech and banking. To sign up and join the conversation check it out here. In addition to chatting online, we also offer our community and our listeners the chance to meet face to face with our Fintech Insider: After Dark events. From our offices in WeWork, London we put on our news show for a live audience of listeners with added audience participation, beers and networking after the show. It has been described as one of the best fintech networking events out there. This month we’re putting on our first transAtlantic show, with After Darks lined up in both London and San Francisco. Click here to book your tickets or check out the trailer.

9. Growing up

We are growing up. We are not the company we were a year ago, we have matured. We still want to move fast but we might not want to break things anymore. In deference to this, we have hired a SWAT team to help us professionalise and grow from the initial start up phase into a rapidly scaling international company. We have put in processes and disciplines that were alien to us at the start but now we cannot live without. We measure ourselves on OKRs just like Google and with the help of Sophie, hiring the right people into the right roles to help us on our way. If you want to join us, check out our careers page now.

10. Cultivating culture

While we may be growing older and growing up, our culture and sense of fun remains youthful. We have a keen work hard play hard culture as we mentioned earlier, but the work hard we expect, the play hard is the bit we’re keen to cultivate. From Thursday pizza nights, to WeWork beers, to birthday cakes, quiz nights and pub crawls we want 11:FS to remain the fun place to work it always has been since we first started. There is nothing corporate about us and that’s the way we plan to keep it, no matter how big we get. We also have a wellness programme, a coffee club, a running club, a football team and a Tough Mudder team who are currently raising money for Kidney Research UK as they train to take part in the London West Tough Mudder on 5th May. For more information check out our fundraising page. There’s something for everyone and we’re always taking on more suggestions for new activities and cool things for the team to do. We also take the time to invest in our people and give something back. We recognise commitment and reward the individuals or teams that are going the extra mile every month with our peer-nominated Super Hero of the Month award. We also have monthly team celebrations, giving us the chance to reflect as a group everything we’ve achieved in the last 30 days - and at the pace we work at, it’s usually a lot and we surprise ourselves!

11. Watch this space

Stay tuned for some very big announcements coming soon! Some of our team have been working on some secret projects that we can’t quite tell you about yet over the last few months - but they’re getting ready to launch in the next few weeks and we can’t wait to share them with the world! Suffice to say it’s the biggest project we have been working on and we’re looking forward to showing it off. Keep a close eye on all our social feeds and sign up for our newsletter to stay fully up to date. Find us @11FSTeam on Twitter or search 11:FS on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube - you can be sure we’ll be making some noise! .................................................................................................................................................................................... Finally, the biggest thing from the last year that we’re most grateful for is the continued support of our clients, our network and our listeners. We couldn’t have achieved half of what we have without you. Thank you for working with us, for listening to our shows, to attending our live shows, to supporting us, for buying swag, for wearing swag, for joining the team and for spreading the word. Here’s to the next 11 years and beyond! It's our #b11rthday! Keep up with what we're doing to celebrate here by clicking here and don't forget to use the hashtag #b11rthday when you get in touch!

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 Laura Watkins
About the author

Laura Watkins

Laura is Head of Content Creation for 11:FS. At 11:FS she writes and produces the content for the Fintech Insider, Insurtech Insider and Blockchain Insider podcasts, as well as live events, video content and sponsored content for global clients including Microsoft, RBS and many more.

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