Not just another anonymous startup

We've evolved, to become Grizzlyware

© Jason Bonfield Photography

Where it started

Starting out as a host, we developed our own software to improve efficiency. This took off and launched us into the path of selling addon modules for third party software and freelancing our development skills.

Where we are now

We're now a limited company with UK employees and clients all over the globe. We primarily write code for ISPs and keep their machines well oiled, including their automation, finance, support and access control systems.

Where we're going

We plan to increase our open source commitments, hire more pixel pushers, launch our first SaaS app and find more customers with challenging problems to test and improve our capabilities.

The long version…

Sitting in a customers boardroom

The long version…

2005 Like most tech companies, we started out with an itch for making and breaking things. Josh started out hosting websites he'd built with a popular German provider, soon growing into a dedicated server in Maidenhead, UK. Customers used to be billed with perforated, manually printed remittance advice slips attached to their invoices. This looked great, but a mail merge just wasn't cutting it.

There had to be a better solution. After discovering ClientExec and WHMCS and jumping with joy at the idea of invoice automation, Josh settled on using WHMCS to manage repeat billing going forward. It was great, but… it needed to do more.

Clients were going over their bandwidth and disk space limits, being notified by cPanel's unbranded emails sent by root, and no record of the email in their client area. That just wasn't good enough and had to change. In 2009, with no previous knowledge of PHP, there began Josh's obsession of improving UX, smoothly automating tasks and bending existing applications to do what they needed to do.

Shortly after, that small change for his clients evolved into the Bandwidth Mailer module for WHMCS.

2012 Josh went onto work remotely for a popular web host in Australia, called PANTHUR (ask him to do his Aussie accent). He fielded support requests via tickets, live chat and telephone while also developing full time for the company. Working on the frontline, but having the ability to code reactively to automate his support tasks gave him the insight into working smarter and solving problems that web hosts had to deal with.

After a few years, Josh really wanted to push back into the WHMCS addon modules market and focus all of his time on development, and sadly parted ways with PANTHUR, whom he had so much to thank for. A dedicated brand and website was launched for the modules, while still also focussing on freelance web development for the majority of the time. Multiple clients came and went, but a couple stuck around until present day. Attention was drawn away from WHMCS modules as demand from freelance clients increased exponentially.

2019 The vision has always been something bigger than one person freelancing, it just hadn't been realised… yet. In early 2019, the decision was taken to build that into something, and take the risk while able to do so. Weeks went past trying to determine a brand name. Ideas such as Clockwork Compass, implying smooth workings and determined direction, to Flame's Edge for its mesmerising and ever-changing qualities.

We settled on Grizzlyware, due to its powerful, majestic nature and care for what it has created. And who doesn't love a pun? A week after deciding on the name, Grizzlyware Ltd was incorporated at Companies House. We instructed our new accountants to register us for payroll and VAT in the EU. We secured the .io, and shortly after, the .com domain. The website took shape. The legal documents were drafted. We started writing open source code on GitHub. We took out a £10 million professional indemnity insurance policy. We created our social media accounts, setup a new Slack account, all the things a startup would do.

During changeover into a limited company, we converted our hosting clients (they've stuck around from the beginning!) onto monthly billing via card, upgraded them onto a new hosting platform and consolidated our network, signed new contracts with existing development clients and opened a shiny new bank account.

2020 We're incredibly excited for the future. We love building (and breaking) things into the form they're meant to be. And while the company itself is young, the driving force behind it is well seasoned in making things happen the way they should. We're built on the attention to detail that others might not notice and we're committed to delivering quality products and services to our customers, using established and emerging technologies alike, we don't sit still.

We also plan to make public all of our internal policies and guidelines in the coming months (published August 2019), giving an insight into how we're run and removing the closed doors companies often hide behind.

Keep an eye out for us at tech events throughout the UK too, we'll be in our Grizzlyware polo shirts, and might even have some merchandise to give away!