What A Difference A Year Makes
This time last year AirShr was an idea with a rough proof of concept. We had just returned from Dubai where we demonstrated AirShr to the Arabian Radio Network and to China, where we confirmed the selection of our hardware manufacturer. We were still self funding and were in the process of securing our first seed round. Nonetheless we sent an email to everyone who had supported us that year, including family, friends, people who had signed up to our newsletter and prospective investors. Our message was simple: We’ve learned a lot and 2015 is the ‘Year of Delivery’.
One year on we are proud to have lived up to that expectation and here’s why:
- February: Closed a $320,000 funding round
- March: Finalised partnership with national broadcaster, Grant Broadcasters, to launch AirShr in Wollongong
- June: Secured a $200,000 Accelerating Commercialisation Grant from the Federal Government and AirShr nominated as a Top10 startup in Asia at the Echelon Summit in Singapore
- July: Finalised the launch versions of our software — iPhone and Android apps, cloud infrastructure and radio station content portal. We also took delivery of first shipment of 10,000 AirShr Bluetooth Remotes and submitted patent applications to protect AirShr’s core technology.
- September: Received a request from Nova Entertainment to launch AirShr in Brisbane, AirShr’s first metropolitan market (scheduled launch date is 28 February 2016)
- October: AirShr was used for the first time on commercial radio as it was launched in Wollongong with 96.5 WaveFM, a Grant Broadcasters station, and AirShr had its first 1,000 users three weeks after launch
- November: Closed a $450,000 funding round
Two additional points of pride this year were seeing two incredible humans in Gordon Childs and Dollah Singh move permanently into our team and having design expert Tony Bolcina help create AirShr’s listener experience. It’s a humbling experience to work with such talented engineers and designers who are dedicated to doing their life’s best work with us.
We have also been fortunate to assemble a powerful investor team, each of whom have delivered on their strategic commitment to open doors, promote AirShr’s vision and quickly engage in ‘sounding board’ conversations. It’s an immense pleasure working with each member of this team.
The precious value of life also provided important context for us this year. In addition to our children growing up, baby Abigail was welcomed into the Hayes-St Clair family in February. A short time later in June the unexpected passing of Matt Kappler, an Australian Army Commando, Soldier On supporter and close friend of Phil reminded us just how quickly an important part of life can come to an end.
Armed with this important context and a year of rich learnings, we have turned our focus to 2016 which will be the ‘Year of Scale’ for AirShr. We have the exciting opportunity to introduce AirShr to hundreds of thousands of radio listeners in Australia and overseas and help broadcasters usher in a new era of value and realtime interactivity for their programs and marketing clients.
So on behalf of the AirShr team, thanks so much for your support and curiosity in our journey, it means the world to us. And from our families to yours, have a safe, happy and relaxing holiday. See you in 2016!
Phil and Opher
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