Welcome to issue #34 of our recently launched Q&A series, Startup Spotlight.

This series is all about diving into the world-class technological innovation conducted by exciting UK startups. Getting to grips with the technology, the mission, and even the stories behind them.

In each edition, we sit down with a different startup founder, leader, or operator in an easily digestible conversational style Q&A format.

Today we interviewed Ian Pruden, CEO of EMMa3D, to find out how they’re using 3D modelling to make complex working processes easier to comprehend.

Highlights

  • 👀 Turning an entire business into something visually understandable
  • 🤑 Why having an easily navigable '3D view' of an organisation is valuable
  • 💡 The challenge of introducing something new and unique to the marketplace

When companies grow beyond the understanding of a single person, it can be difficult to grasp just what’s going on within the entire operation.

This department is doing this, it’s led by this person, who’s in charge of 20 others. They all have their tasks, and those tasks were given by another department, who are related to this department. It becomes a gigantic maze that becomes difficult to navigate, for yourself, and for your employees. 

This is the problem that EMMa3D has come to solve. By using Unity, a platform primarily aimed at creating video games, EMMa3D have made it so you can view your entire organization’s makeup in an easy-to-visualise way. 

Using the software you can track just how you’ve scaled... including visualising how every department, process, or function, relates to other areas of the business.

You can even use it as a sales tool to convert sales prospects, by intuitively demonstrating how an enterprise-grade solution will slot into any given target customer's infastructure. In short, it has a ton of use cases!

Today, we spoke to the CEO of EMMa3D, Ian Pruden, to understand their goals, how they’ve developed, and what's next. Here we go. 👇

Pleasure to meet you! So, what is the mission of your company?

We make enterprise more understandable and more transparent. We’ve essentially taken 3D computer gaming visualisation technology and plugged it into an enterprise.

For example, if you take a bank, there's not much you can really understand about those organisations these days. Everything material about them is essentially invisible. You’ll walk around one of their HQ’s, and most people won't be available in them because everyone’s working from home.

All of a sudden, with EMMa3D, you can see a visualization of your bank, or your company, that you work in. You can actually explore these relationship and see everything that is material about them. 

From your people, to your teams, to your technology, to your data, to your processes, how things currently are, how it was last month, or even how it might be in the future.

Amazing. In terms of the problem it solves, what sort of outcomes are there? What's the reward for your customers?

There's a few use cases.

The first benefit of using EMMa3D is that they can sell more, and they can sell it faster. You can essentially reduce the sales cycle associated with complex technology deals because you can get everybody involved in that deal. All the decision makers gain clarity faster. That's the main benefit on the sales use case.

The other use cases help customers change and transform their businesses. Essentially, it's a reduction in risk pay because, traditionally, if you're trying to deliver complex transformations across a big organisation, most of them will fail to deliver the benefits that are expected.

But, with EMMa3D visualisation is very effective at helping all the stakeholders involved with questions like “Where the heck are we now? Where are we going? How are we going to get there?” Those are the main benefits.

Amazing. Can you talk more about the technology you mentioned using gaming technology? 

EMMa3D uses the Unity platform, which is a gaming engine. We then open it up to the enterprise. It's essentially a middleware layer, which you can import data from anywhere. You can essentially configure your data scheme, which then becomes a 3D visual.

How does your solution compare to what's available in the marketplace now? What's your unique selling point?

Our USP is that you can create a genuinely systemic perspective. 

If you go into any complex business now, and try to understand it, you're going to have to go to at least four to five different sources of information. 

So, Emma can say, well, here's your people. But overlaid and interspersed among that org chart, is your technology architecture. You can see what those people, and that technology, are doing at any moment. You can see processes being brought to life. 

There's nothing out there presently that does this. You're always essentially being pointed at one perspective, and as soon as you look at that one perspective, you lose the context of the other perspectives. This is how EMMa3D helps. 

What is your ideal customer profile?

We're talking to CEOs, we're talking to heads of sales, heads of solution consulting, all in large technology companies. 

If you're selling something complicated to a complex customer, an EMMa3D can really help you explain not only what you're selling, but how that thing is going to deliver value to that customer.

What have your greatest challenges been so far?

Our greatest challenge has been selling something entirely unique. 

We're not actually describing a faster horse at any stage here, we're genuinely saying is that this is entirely different. Nobody's using this type of tech in this industry at the moment. 

So, there's a challenge associated with getting people to take such a big leap because it's not really an incremental step. Asking people to make that jump is non-trivial, and remains our biggest challenge.

What milestones have you achieved and what's next?

We're about three years old and we've already hit a million in ARR.

Our pipeline is quite long, so in the next six months, it's relatively predictable - we'll get to 2 million ARR. That will be a big milestone for us. 

Ultimately, Siemens was the big deal that put us on the map. Before, we were flipping out, thinking that this thing could fail, and that 'we'll all be looking for jobs' soon. And then October of last year, we signed the Siemens contract properly around March or so. That’s been our biggest achievement to date.

Thanks, Ian!

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