By @SimonCocking

Describe the company

Stepping Stone are a Financial Business Partnering firm, who offer Services, Advisory and Investment support focused on what we call “global small businesses”, which nowadays often means software and tech companies.

How are you different?

We’re a ‘One Stop Shop’ for the above segments, unlike traditional service, advisory and investment firms.

Why will the company do well?

We were founded in Singapore and Asia remains a key focus for us. The region has the largest and fastest growing middle class on the planet, and Asian consumers are incredibly tech savvy and hungry. With Brexit, Irish companies need to look further afield than traditional markets like the UK (and the US).

Where are you based?

We started in Singapore, and have quickly moved into Dubai, Hong Kong, Manila and now Dublin. We see Dublin as our entry point to Europe, with its strong position as a regional tech hub for the region. Along with our other markets we now cover the main regional tech hubs for Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

When was the company launched?

Stepping Stone was launched in Singapore in 2014 after seeing a need in the market for quality advisory, investment and corporate services without the hefty price tag of the larger international firms.

What have been your biggest wins to date?

The speed with which we’ve managed to expand our footprint and work with companies across multiple markets. We are relatively new to Ireland, but we are pretty excited about Bamboo (www.bambooapp.ie), a company we invested in and have been working closely with from the start. They’re a highly ambitious team making great traction in Dublin. We are working with Enterprise Ireland on taking them into South East Asia in 2018. Moving quickly is essential in this day and age.

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

We tend to focus on “Scales Ups” rather than early stage “Start Ups”. While many entrepreneurs have great ideas and product knowledge, some struggle with key aspects involved in running a business. That’s where our business partnering model help fills the void.

What tips would you give to others looking to build their business?

Look outside your immediate market to see what others are doing in your space. In many cases, there are similar products or services already built that you can learn or leverage from. In addition, make the most of support that organisations like Enterprise Ireland and the IDA provide.

Tell us about your team?

We’re a bunch of brow beaten ex Corporate individuals (e.g. PWC, World Bank, JPMorgan, KPMG, HSBC) who’ve worked across a multitude of industries (Banking, Accounting, Tech, Investment, Corporate Finance) and locations (Singapore, Hong Kong, Dublin, Dubai, Australia, UK). We utilise our experience and networks to help less resourced businesses grow smart and accelerate their new market expansion.

What are your long-term plans for your product/company?

Right now, we are actively looking at Australia and the UK as our next markets. The US is naturally also on our radar in due course. On the investment side, at present we invest directly, although down the line a fund may make sense.

What are your favourite tech gadgets?

Am travelling a fair bit, so my SurfacePro has been a great addition. Software wise, would have to be Xero, the accounting software, which we and many clients favour. Their vision for small businesses aligns nicely with our strategy, and their integrated marketplace of 500+ apps makes it more of an ecosystem than just an accounting platform.

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

Leveraging IBM Watson to make the world an even smaller place.

How do people get in touch with you?

[email protected] or alternatively check out our website www.steppingstone.io

In addition you can follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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