As demanding as the past year has been, Qolo continues to demand more of ourselves and the industry, while encouraging our clients to do the same.
It’s this determination and grit that has propelled us to incredible heights in 2021 and foretells an equally exciting 2022.
How did we get here?
A mere twelve months ago, Qolo was reveling in the progress it had made in 2020 - a time of massive global disruption. With key partnerships in Telos Gifting, a convertible note raise of $3.8M and a focus on perfecting engagement with our clients, we shared that we were “just getting started.”
How right we were.
2021 was a lightning-speed year for Qolo.
We placed a high priority on hiring some of the brightest minds in fintech and payments. In addition to welcoming our CFO, Peter Bardwick, we brought on numerous senior hires in Finance, Engineering, Strategic Business Development, Marketing, Program Management, Risk, Fraud and Compliance and more. We’ve quadrupled our employee base in 2021, and will end the year with almost 80 employees. And we expect to continue adding people at this rate in 2022.
Our rapid expansion was driven by overwhelming client interest. We will end the year with about 30 clients signed and we significantly outperformed our expectations of how fast we would grow our client base this year. To put this into perspective, we realized 300% growth in just our second year. Our customer base is highly diversified, with an almost equal number of B2B and B2C clients as well as a strong representation in gift and incentive cards and wallets.
This was no surprise, considering our ongoing success advancing key payment capabilities for the industry. At the beginning of the year, we announced an industry first with our embedded processing capability and platform licensing - all powered through 100% native cloud infrastructure. Later in the year, our Qolo Accelerator launched in beta, helping fintechs fast track and maintain control over their payments programs. We remain the only processor that can supply our customers with all payment modalities on one core and with one integrated ledger.
Not surprisingly given our success in attracting new customers and proving the Qolo value proposition we found strong investor interest which culminated in a $15M Series A in August, led by The Raptor Group with additional participation from other professional investors and strategic partners. The current fintech climate is driving massive growth, and Qolo’s 100% cloud-native, omnichannel offering is perfectly positioned to meet the demand. Excitingly, we have yet to see a payments model we can’t power.
So, what’s next?
As Darren Beyer, our Chief Product and Strategy Officer, shares - we predict the following in 2022:
In the year ahead, let’s continue to demand more of the industry together.