RiskSmart takes the drudgery out of risk management. No more labouring over a hot spreadsheet for hours. Their platform frees up time for risk and compliance managers to do their job and not spend hours building reports.
We spoke to Ryan Swann, Founder of RiskSmart
“When I was a Chief Risk Officer we wanted to have a platform that helps us manage risk and compliance in an easier way. We went out there to look for a solution and we found some great technology platforms, but they were aimed at large businesses, really complex and really, really expensive. They just wouldn't work for us.”
After years of experience in financial and fintech organisations Ryan realised they could do it better themselves.
“We started doing some more research, speaking to our colleagues and peers and other businesses who were finding the same thing. They were grappling with spreadsheets and not using platforms at all. So, we decided to build our own.”
RiskSmart was created by Ryan and former risk and compliance officers. The smart Governance, Risk and Compliance platform is aimed at small to mid-sized teams and businesses allowing them to centralise information, remove manual processes, use data to manage risk, with easy reporting, and makes everyone's life easier.
“The key part is the simplicity of the product that it's really easy to use you don't need to have a degree in risk management or compliance to understand it and it’s our mission to make sure that it is used across all organisations in our kind of sphere. It makes them more confident, it makes the business more resilient and people's lives easier and happier working in that kind of world.”
RiskSmart works by replacing the traditional admin involved in risk and compliance – it becomes the manager’s best friend. Taking away boring administration tasks that eat up time and automating processes, like building internal reports at just the click of a button.
“We have a lot of our customers say we have 70% of our time back now. We can go have a coffee with the finance director or the marketing manager and find out what's going on in the business. It obviously makes their job more interesting because people don't go into it to tick a box and to fill out forms. They go in to say how can we help drive the business forward in a sustainable way, how can we make sure that we're aware of our risks.
Customer focus and support
“We have a customer support team and that's something that we are passionate about. When we were in industry using different solutions and platforms, what we saw is that often you devote a lot of care and attention prior to signing contracts. As soon as signing the contract you would find no one answered calls, no one was bothered about what was going on. We have a big drive around supporting customers through the implementation and helping to shape our product.”
RiskSmart provides workshops and training and are building an ecosystem of other partners. This enables them to offer customers access to not only their service but also to others., such as recruitment firms or data protection specialists. They may be looking to hire, so RiskSmart has partnered with a recruitment company. It could be an issue with data protection or other issue, and they will put them in contact with someone who can help them.
Working with the Growth Company
Ryan and his colleagues took part in The Barclays Eagle Labs Accelerator in Manchester. They attended sessions that the Growth Company ran on understanding different markets and scaling a business. There they met Phillip Blair, senior adviser at GC Business Growth Hub.
“We just really liked the kind of openness that you guys had and the experience and the pragmatism. Everyone we spoke to had been in these kinds of situations and said, ‘oh right!’ have you tried this and what about that. And the ecosystem when we were speaking with Phil, if he didn't know something or wasn't too sure of it, within 24 hours he connected us with someone who did.”
Ryan says that the sessions helped validate some of their thinking because other participants were able to say how they addressed issues facing RiskSmart. This reassured Ryan that they were on the right path. Other benefits were the partnerships and the fast tracking that learning. “We could have gone and spent hours researching it on the websites or going down different paths. This saved us a lot of time.”
RiskSmart has been platform ready from the start of this year and have been building it for the last of 18 months. With it now being in the market they are able to fine tune the platform and get everything working, including the sales process. This has enabled them to get customer feedback, and as already mentioned, this is key to the development of their platform. They are now looking at scaling up the business and have already secured some household names as customers, like Octopus Energy.
“We want to build a culture where we bring people in who have expertise and they tell us how to do things. We don't want a micro-manage. I think what has helped us in the last 12 months is the team that we've brought in. We've given them the freedom to grow and express themselves and they've come up with some brilliant ideas. We want to continue to do that as we build our technology team and add new features to the product.”
Later this year should see a new product added to RiskSmart’s offering, a compliance solution. This is in response to the fact that in terms of risk and compliance, a lot of the time that those teams work hand in hand, sometimes it's the same team. They are also continuing to scale the business through sales and marketing, with advice from the Growth Company.
“One of the things that the Growth Company especially helped us with, we're in the early days but we want to expand into America into Australia and Canada. With Phil especially, saying right, think about this, even though you might not want to do it for 18 months, you've got to start thinking about it now and have thought about the different business models. That's been really helpful for us, just to have a different perspective that we didn't necessarily think about.”
To find out more about RiskSmart see their website: RiskSmart
Global Scale Up and GC Business Growth Hub were previously funded by ERDF. To find out more about our previous ERDF funded offer click here.