2023 – what a year it has been! A roller coaster ride per definition. The year started with a tough, but necessary, reconstruction process. The outcome has been very positive and enabled us to make some necessary and long overdue decisions on the technical side. Fundamental improvements in the SW were made to make it more stable and scalable. But most daring and dramatic, was to push for a reiteration of the hardware. Costly, time consuming, and risky, it was still the right move since the previous concept did not reach full functionality.
The speed from the decision in early Q2 to be able to present a fully functional platform before the end of the year is impressive. New SW functionality has been added in parallel so that we can now present both our customer and service development partners with a great platform for scaling and full market launch in 2024. The feeling when we could close the year by taking the first ride in a car, assisted by Enzo working out of the Consenz unit, was nothing short of extraordinary.
A fantastic team effort and a crucial milestone reached! I want to express my personal thanks to Vivek Madhusudhan, Maleesha Nanayakkara, and Ashen Jayawardena that have been working relentlessly to get us here and to Bahareh Khosrownejad, who joined a bit later, but has also been pivotal in our development. You have all stayed extremely loyal and focused throughout these challenging times.
The reconstruction also brought our extremely valued and experienced Board of Directors closer to the operation, which has been a great support throughout this turbulent year. Lars Wrebo and Paul Welander are with us since the start, whereas Björn Sällström and Paul Gustavsson joined the board only this year. Apart from their important contribution at the Board, they all also manifested their commitment to Consenz’s vision with necessary investments to reach this point.
We are now in a really good position to move ahead. It does not mean that challenges are over. Our runway is short and raising money in the present global market climate is not an easy task. On the other hand, we can present:
• A scalable solution to a real problem,
• A functioning HW & SW product platform, ready to host new services and features developed both by Consenz and third-party partners,
• Many strong development partnerships to leverage this platform opportunity,
• As a selected Google Cloud for Startup partner, we access tools, infrastructure, and competence to leverage Google’s AI solutions to build a truly intelligent driver assistant – Enzo,
• A creative, dedicated, and diverse team,
• A capable Board of Directors with relevant international C-suite experience,
• A tremendous market opportunity,
• A sound business model to drive long-term profitability,
• A solid Go-to-Market strategy
So, despite the axiomatic nature of the venture capital market and their anxiety to go the unbeaten track (which is somewhat surprising given their fundamental mission to support innovation outside the box), I am convinced that we will find the right investors that want to participate in building a solid growth company with a higher purpose and potential global impact. Also, many of them say founder grit is the most important investment criteria. If they stand by their word, I can honestly say that Consenz tick that box.
Several other milestones have been reached, such as deepened cooperation with HERE Technologies, Business Sweden, and Tele2. We were present at our first international exhibition, IFA Berlin, and nominated the best employer by Virtual Internships among 15 000 companies. We also made a thorough update of our website. Just to mention a few.
Finally, a potential late co-founder, Carola Edenhill, and I am currently “test-working” together. I strongly believe that Carola can become a strong contributing factor to reach the next level. Learning from experience, however, we have both agreed to take a period to really try each other out before we carve anything in stone. So, I will be back with more info in the coming months.
So, in summary, the professional year has been filled with challenges. But we have overcome them and stand stronger than ever to take on 2024. A tremendous amount of work lays ahead of us, and we are ready to take it on. 2024 will be the year where we can focus fully on customers, and SW development to make our solution work in their favour, regardless of if they are business or private users.
Let us make it a year of success together!