Every year since 1995, Børsen, the leading business newspaper in Denmark, has selected growing businesses to receive their Gazelle price. And this year, Shape A/S is among their chosen ones.
“ The great thing about the Gazelle price is the fact that it is based on the financial results you have achieved. Winning a Gazelle is definitely a milestone for us since it is given to companies that show potential, as well as growth and have proved that they can do business. ”The Gazelle price reflects the great work that has been conducted by the Shape team members since Shape was founded in 2010. And it proves that it is possible to build a growing and successful business without any external financing, but through hard work and an immensely strong focus on crafting quality products and what you in Danish would call “godt købmandsskab”: To work with financial and operational matters in ways that most likely will ensure a positive outcome.
Five years ago four guys sat in a bar in Copenhagen and decided to start a business together. Despite of the beers on the table, the talk among the four was serious and their ambitions were high from the beginning, as Christian Risom explains:
“ We wanted to be known for creating great products. Both in terms of design, technology and user experience AND at the same time run a solid business. That has been our ambition right from the beginning. ”The focus on “godt købmandskab” allowed the business to grow without any external investment. In this way, the partners have been able to make the best decisions for the customers and the employees - not the bank or an investor. And to Christian Risom, the Gazelle price proves that Shape has been succeeding in meeting the ambitions it was born with, not only in terms of developing great products, but certainly also in building a healthy business. The latter is, according to Risom, an underestimated factor in a market with a lot of young technology businesses that focuses very little on “købmandskab”, but a great deal on what he calls vanity metrics:
“ I don’t care how many users you’ve got. To me, if you aren’t making any money, you’re not a real business yet. ”
For Shape, 2015 has been quite a year. Shape A/S turned five years, which is quite a milestone business wise. Furthermore the company managed to get placed in the top five of Denmark’s most well run digital agencies, and now it’s even been awarded with the Gazelle. Heading into 2016, we are confident that our best work is still ahead of us.