Thriving and enduring; a reflection on our journey to IPO
Next year marks a milestone in the hipages Group story. Eighteen years since I bought my first property in Sydney and attempted to navigate the exceptionally confusing and frustrating renovation process. An experience that sparked the idea for hipages.
Eighteen is an age that marks the start of adulthood and the first taste of real independence for most people. I remember turning 18 and I thought this was it – I was a mature adult, I knew it all – but as we all know when we look back on those years, we know very little and there is still a long journey ahead.
And as I’ve been thinking about hipages Group’s upcoming 18th birthday, I’ve also been reflecting on the past few years, which have been pivotal for our business.
Almost a year ago to the day, we rang the bell at the Australian Securities Exchange marking the moment that hipages Group became a listed public entity. You could say that this was our 18th birthday come early, a milestone of maturity, of growing up.
So with milestones in my head and one year on from listing, I wanted to take a moment to not just celebrate, but to really reflect on our IPO last year, and all the blood, sweat, tears, passion, laughter and sleepless nights that went into it.
For me personally, the past two years, building up to the IPO and the year since, have been perhaps the toughest of my career, but also far and away the most rewarding.
One of the biggest challenges for me as a founder and CEO, has been stepping away from the day-to-day and really learning to lean on the exceptional team around me.
As a founder, you tend to think that no-one knows your business like you do, has the vision that you have, or has the passion and abilities to achieve that vision. But that thinking is what holds you back.
Building businesses is where I am truly in my zone. I love the challenge, smarts, passion and resilience that it demands. It draws on both my competitive and imaginative genes – with the outcomes real and tangible. Businesses can’t hide. The results are in your face. It’s always game-on and I love the game.
As a founder, you have to instil this in your team too and loosen the reins to really be able to accelerate your growth. The key is to get the experts in the room and to let them shine. And that’s what our hipages Group team has done. They have absolutely shone, and I am incredibly proud.
The blood, sweat, tears, passion, laughter and sleepless nights that I referred to earlier, was not just from me, it was shared by the whole team. A team that genuinely shares the passion that I have for this business and how we are making a difference to how people engage with tradies, simplifying the home improvement process, and supporting tradies to grow their businesses.
And while the lead up to IPO was fast and furious, the team has not stepped off the gas in the 12 months since, in fact if anything they’ve put their foot to the floor!
In our first full year results (FY21), we delivered a strong performance across all of our key metrics, and achieved our upgraded Prospectus forecasts for revenue, EBITDA and NPAT. We were awarded #2 Best Place to Work in Australia in the 2021 Best Places to Work study. We continued to roll out enhancements across our product portfolio and continued to transition to a subscription-only model, which drives higher ARPU and recurring revenue growth. We successfully launched Tradiecore, our field service software solution, helping tradies to efficiently manage their business, while simultaneously enhancing the experience for consumers. We continued our partnership with Channel 9’s The Block and launched an exciting new creative campaign ‘Behind Every Great Home’. And earlier this month we invested in property management technology platform Bricks + Agent.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The team achieved this and so much more, all while navigating a new business environment as a listed entity.
2021 is not a year that anyone is likely to forget, but when I look back, it won’t be the pandemic that shapes my memory, but the achievement of the hipages team. So the next time you’re celebrating a success or a milestone, make sure to set aside a little time to truly reflect on the journey.
Now, where shall we host the hipages Group 18th birthday bash?!