Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Henrik Johansson of Boundless Networks Talks about the Early Days

Boundless Network was recently named the second fastest growing company in Austin by Austin Business Journal and named the No 6 among “Best Places to Work” by the industry magazine The Counselor. I talked to Henrik Johansson, one of the founders and the COO of Boundless Network.

What does Boundless Network do?

We’re a technology-enabled services company that provide promotional products solutions to corporate customers.

What are you working on these days at Boundless Networks?

The first couple of years we were focused on growing almost exclusively through recruiting of industry salespeople and then helping those salespeople deliver value to their customers. We spent a lot of time and effort on developing a fully scalable back-office system that could handle our rapid expansion. Now we’ve evolved our technology platform to the point where it really delivers unique value to our customers, and that is increasingly starting to drive our growth .

What do you use on the backend?

We selected the Lombardi workflow product TeamWorks and have used it to streamline our supply chain and orders process. It is the foundation for the engine that is managing all the custom order needs and coordinating the activities in our supply chain. We also have invested heavily in as our CRM and marketing engine and customized it to our industry. I have been impressed with so far as they have really opened up their back end to external applications which have made it useful for so much more than just CRM.

Who funded you guys?

Initially we raised about a $1M from angel investors in town which converted into our Series A of $3 million from Austin Ventures and Silverton Partners. Later we raised $4M in Series B from those same firms. They have both been great partners to us. In an industry largely void of outside capital, having strong financial partners is a competitive advantage.

What did you do before Boundless Networks?

I co-founded my first startup Creditland in the Bay area in the late nineties. It was a lending marketplace and we partnered with many of the biggest banks in the US and provided them online credit approval capability. We used a heavy duty decision engine on the back end. After that I was recruited to another online financial services company in Austin called EverydayWealth. We built an online financial planning application, and grew quickly by signing up members through a network referral model.

You’re originally from Sweden. So how did you come to Austin?

I started as a management consultant with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in Stockholm, and got happily stuck here after a project in Dallas. I met my wife-to-be there and we moved to San Francisco where we stayed for about 6 years, before we decided to come back to Texas about 7 years ago, and then Austin was the only option. We love it here.

Best regards,
Hall T.

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