It’s been a long road for BookingBug, a software platform originally conceived because its founder had trouble coordinating dates for a squash match.
Born out of the evergreen problem companies have in scheduling staff, since 2008 it’s gradually become a full-blown SaaS solution for a variety of customer journeys, of which scheduling is only one part.
And as founder and CEO Glenn Shoosmith admits to me, he gradually learned that the name BookingBug just didn’t fit the company anymore.
“For many years I’ve known that in enterprise, you cannot be standard. It’s not about being a social media management tool or a scheduling tool or whatever tool. Customer engagement is different. You need a flexible, platform-based approach. Long ago we stepped out of the SME/consumer space and we are now in B2B and we’ve become all about the customer journey. It became clear we had to change our name because our story had changed,” he says.
Which is why today BookingBug rebrands as JRNI (pronounced ‘journey’), and they even got the four-letter domain name.
The startup is also shifting gears in management, with a new CEO based out of Boston. JRNI’s new CEO, John Federman, a SaaS veteran with deep roots in the retail and financial services industries, joined from Webcollage, a cloud-based content management platform for the publishing of rich product information, and syndication across retail sites globally, through its acquisition into the Syndigo platform. He also serves as an advisor to Boston-based Salsify and sits on the Board of New York’s T-Ink.
“Companies strive to leverage every customer interaction for maximum conversion,” says Federman. “With so much research and purchase activity starting online, JRNI’s ability to guide prospects and customers from the Web to a physical location or across any channel throughout their full journey is an exciting prospect. I’m thrilled to be joining such a dynamic company at this time.”
Shoosmith is now stepping into the role of Chief Architect, but he emphasized to me that this does not mean he’s taking a back seat. The role means Shoosmith will focus on what he calls his “passion”: building stuff.
The new JRNI will continue to offer its appointments, events, and queuing applications, along with products designed to help organizations drive online traffic in-store/in-branch through conversion.
The idea behind its platform is to enable companies to interact with customers, online to offline, and across lines of business, while providing a 360-degree view of the full customer journey.
With $20M raised to date, and with largely US investors, Shoosmith says JRNI will be able to serve US customers better, and this adds to its story as a global company with offices no in Boston, London and Sydney.
“US companies like to buy from companies in the US, so this helps us enormously when as we tackle the US market. We also deliberately raised our Series C in the US for this reason, and in Boston, not San Francisco. UK startups can become too obsessed with Silicon Valley, when in practice is it far easier to run a company with a US base on the East Coast, as we have done,” said Shoosmith.
“We have the ambition to build a far bigger platform – something closer to the kind of thing Salesforce or Oracle does,” he added.