iXport Ltd was founded in 2016 and landed on British soil in 2018. It has a team of 5 working on its SaaS, Supply Chain Management tool/ Export trading portal.

Answering 10 questions for us about iXport is Lyle de Groot, Founder and Director of iXport.

1. In your own words – what do you do?

iXport is a global SaaS trading platform empowering exporters to participate in secure and efficient trading with importers on a global scale. Through the iXport platform, which combines the required services such as e-commerce with freight, foreign exchange and export documentation with real-time quotes in one simplified online solution, the time and cost savings are significant for all. Our process reduces the export sales cycle from days into seconds.

2. What’s the most exciting thing about what you’re doing?

As a technical focused founder, bringing innovation and solutions to customers is just as exciting to me as making a sale. I love taking a really complex problem and finding a solution to the problem using my previous start-up experience and previous corporate IT skills. It’s a real thrill when you have the “Aha” moment. I can only imagine it might have been what Tesla or Edison must have felt all those years ago.

3. What are you most proud of so far?

Since moving to the UK late last year, we have been able to achieve a great deal in a matter of five short months. I guess just having the recognition from many of the global brand partners and organisations we have affiliations with that we have a product and the abilities to take this very far. That makes me very proud to know we have achieved all of this with limited resources, yet highly skilled individuals.

4. What have you found most difficult about being a start-up?

Some days you do question whether all the sacrifice without initial reward is worth it, but then after a period of reflection whether that is through spending some time away from the computer with my family or fishing, you reset and manage to find the mental strength to carry on.

5. What would you do differently if you started now?

I think a bit better planning in certain areas would not go amiss. Overall, I believe we have executed the project well, but there are some staff hires which when looking back, I would not do again. I would also rethink certain strategic decisions I made in the past.

6. Where do you think you’ll be in 12 months?

In 12 months’ time, we hope to be flourishing with a good seed investment behind us and a solution which is working on a global scale. Although the UK is a strong focus for us right now, the Asia Pacific area is never far from our thoughts. We are having discussions with various stakeholders to see how we make that a reality.

7. What tools/people/services/organisations from the cluster have helped you most?

First and foremost is SetSquared Bristol. The warm acceptance into the program and the amount of resources we have managed to gain access to, whether it is a coffee with a like-minded founder or an email introduction to an Angel investor or VC fund has been instrumental in our progress to date. Further to that is the acceptance into the Oracle and Natwest accelerator programs which we look forward to exploring in further detail as we progress.

8. What’s the best thing about the Bristol & Bath tech cluster?

The community. Having worked in the start-up scene in Singapore and Australia prior to experiencing the UK environment, I must say that the community here is a lot more giving of their time and resources… and mostly for free. I don’t think many realise how lucky the UK is to have such strong support not only from the government but from investors and startups alike. Our successes to date can largely be attributed to the sense of community we have felt since arriving back on these shores.

9. Who will you be nominating for a SPARKie next year?

iXport of course! Jokes aside, there are so many amazing startups sprouting up every day/week/month it will be a wait and see what is happening then. For now, we hope we can get nominated again and this time win an award… Man, that would be such a good feeling!

10. Where can we find out more about you?

Anyone is free to email me on lyle@ixport.com or check out out our website at iXport.

Thanks to Lyle for taking the time to talk to us about iXport!

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