While most experts were paying attention to the big project launches and startups in Berlin, Paris, and London, Stockholm was quietly making inroads. Now being called the "Silicon Valley of Europe," the city has become second only to Silicon Valley regarding per capita unicorns (startups valued at over $1 billion). Skype, Spotify, and Candy Crush are just a few of the many well-known examples of tech unicorns born in this city.
These days, companies that started from nothing have become renowned within as little time as a year. Even during the pandemic, when an alarming number of businesses declared bankruptcy, those operating digitally kept their engine running and even managed to accelerate their growth.
One of the startups leveraging this boom in technology and the concept of remote working is Klingit. This Sweden-based company aims to disrupt the concept of the conventional agency world with tech-enabled design. We sat down with the founders to hear more about how it all started.
Klingit - A Promising Startup
Klingit began its journey in 2020. It operates in the graphic design and marketing B2B market. Its co-founders Rikard Hegelund and Teddy Wold, are experienced digital marketing and agency professionals. Their journey from being clients to running their own agency taught them that the traditional design agency model was outdated, which presented an exciting opportunity for them.
"The high demand for top-notch creative content production, flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness is increasingly making traditional practices obsolete. We found we could disrupt the current agency model with a combination of creative-tech (a subscription-based business model) and leveraging the global talent pool of top designers and developers."
Enabled by tech and its innovative model, Klingit aims to make great design easily available. The company also wants to create attractive job opportunities for talented creatives all around the world. The founders quickly got WiT Ventures, one of the leading investment firms in Stockholm, on board with an investment. The funding enabled Klingit to accelerate its growth journey and invest further in the creative tech platform.
The co-founder of WiT Ventures, Elias Jacobson, said in a statement, "We are delighted to be part of Klingit's journey. Apart from capital, we will also contribute operational support, develop services and look at further acquisitions to grow in Europe."
Applying A Modern Approach
In addition to a global team, Klingit operates with local project managers, creative directors, a tech platform, and smart processes. This improves the creative work production process, increasing its efficiency. It also makes it easier for the clients to order, track current projects, and access assets.
"The combination of a team of talented designers worldwide and our tech platform enable Klingit to offer high-quality design and development in a faster, more cost-efficient, and more flexible way than traditional agencies," says Wold.
Klingit came into the world of digital marketing just last year. The company started as a beta version but has grown rapidly. It now has around 100 clients on their marketing and design production subscription plans.
Looking into the future, Klingit is targeting to expand its horizons. "We call it Marketing-as-a-Service," says Hegelund, "Which opens up to add other parts in, for example, social media marketing in addition to the initial offer within design-on-demand. We will also look at expanding our service to new markets."
Hegelund's vision is to make the world's companies look and perform better. He believes that the world is under-designed, which narrows down potential business opportunities. This is the reason he came up with Klingit to address this gap in the market.
Klingit's approach for developing, storing, and managing graphic designs and marketing material is new in the market, giving it a competitive edge over the other providers. It offers more than what was available to businesses before.
The platform is very organized and user-friendly. Using the Software-as-a-Service concept, Klingit offers its customers a fixed-price subscription based on the production volume. First, all orders are entered via Klingit's easy-to-use interface, allowing the customer to go through the order flow. Then, the project is delegated to the in-house or remote designers who deliver quality work and meet project deadlines.
Making the Most of Remote Working
Experts have reported higher productivity levels in remote workers, and Klingit aims to make the most of this. The company's approach to working from anywhere around the world is essential to attract the best talent. It enables Klingit to hire designers from different time zones, which also significantly reduces the turn-around time for their projects.
Wold and Hegelund believe that employees value the autonomy and flexibility that the remote work model brings. To meet the increasing demand for top creatives, looking for talent on a global level makes it easier for the company to find the right skill-sets.
Additionally, Wold believes that the traditional hiring process can result in unfair discrimination against candidates due to geographical distance and disability, and this can be avoided through remote working opportunities.
"Klingit is a company that is remote itself, meaning that we see ourselves as a company with no actual home. So Klingit is nowhere and everywhere - and doesn't follow the stereotypes of any specific country or region", says Wold.
Although Klingit has just started to tap into more markets, its goal is to become the leading design company on a global scale. Embracing the remote work model and becoming an excellent example of putting it into action, they want the world to know that it is possible to achieve all business objectives via remote working. All a business needs is a team that is open to change and ready to adapt. The more they learn, and the more quickly they learn, the better for them.