Chastin and Phil Reynolds
SBJ photo by Jessica Rosa
Chastin and Phil Reynolds

2020 Dynamic Dozen No. 2: BriteCore

Posted online

Springfield Business Journal: What was key to managing your recent growth?
Phil Reynolds: Through 2019, there are a lot of really significant moving pieces. Probably the most important is that we did a couple of funding rounds. We added $44 million of primary capital to the balance sheet. That was a big chunk in helping to fuel a lot of growth.

SBJ: Is fundraising an ongoing thing for you?
Reynolds: It was the last two years. This year, the macroeconomic climate is obviously abysmal for any kind of fundraising 
for a while. It’s likely we will eventually again in the future, but certainly not in 2020, not likely in 2021, maybe again in 2022.

SBJ: What has raising capital and your revenue growth enabled you to do?
Reynolds: The main reason we raised that is because we launched a major initiative to rebuild a majority of our platform offering. We’re two and a half years into that now. We now have a couple million lines of new source code. Ultimately, what we’re working on … opens up broader insurance markets to us. We have built the platform to expand out to things like auto insurance.

SBJ: Is there such a thing as growing too fast in your line of work?
Reynolds: It’s one of the things that is a tremendous challenge in enterprise software. You can’t just build a product and assume people will come use it. We’re not Gmail. For us, each individual insurance customer has a very unique network. If they were doing things in the same way, they would have already consolidated into one massive insurance company. Where you have individual, discrete entities operating all over the country, they are doing something unique inherently. That’s why they’re still around. That has a direct consequence downstream in a software system like ours. We are their central administration platform that runs their entire business. Every time you bring on a new customer, there’s a range of new services and new capabilities that we have to deploy in order to support that customer’s unique value position. You can only grow so fast and get that right. So absolutely, we feel very conscious about how quickly we grow.

SBJ: What’s been the impact of COVID-19 on your business?
Reynolds: Our revenue figures are going to be way down in 2020 because a bunch of our customers discontinued projects. Another issue … is that our general sales process, the process we use to go out and sell, is typically at trade shows. Obviously without the ability to travel, there are no trade shows. The inability to travel has significantly impacted our sales.

SBJ: What’s been the answer for you?
Reynolds: We completely overhauled our website. We’ve been pivoting away from an event marketing strategy toward much more of a digital-first strategy, which is not common in our industry. It’s something that’s been on our roadmap anyway. Because the insurance companies themselves have been forced to adopt remote work and digital strategies, we believe that the downstream impact will be that the tools we’re adopting and deploying right now will probably become a norm moving forward. In the extremely macro view, like long-term, 10-year view, it probably will drive a lot of really positive change in our industry. It’s just painful right now.