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A Start-Up Rollercoaster: How We Won, Lost, and Regained our First Customer

Written by Thomas Vose, CEO & Co-Founder HireAra.

23rd May 2023

Just over a year ago, we launched HireAra, a platform designed to automate the horrible CV formatting process for recruiters. As with all product launches, our Version 1 product was far from perfect – it was immature, lacked essential features, and dare I say it quite buggy. But we managed to get our first customer onboard: Morpheus Group.

Winning your first customer is one of those incredible moments in the life of a start-up, something that you need to mark and celebrate, and trust me, we did.

However, so often in the life of an early-stage start up it can feel like for every one step forwards, it’s another two steps back. It didn't take long for us to realise that the product had some holes in, and we had a lot to do if we were to keep Morpheus onboard with us. This time a year ago we had no template function, no text format options and our output was actually an image saved as a PDF – not exactly the most professional look! We're massive advocates of the MVP approach to building a product, so we launched as quickly and early as possible.

The highs and lows of the start-up life are unique, and we were in full swing here. The high of winning our first customer to the low of realising that we needed to build a ton of features very quickly to have any chance of keeping them. That's the startup life, we knew what we were getting in for.

Needless to say, unfortunately, our first paying customer wasn't a paying customer for very long!

We stayed in touch with the team at Morpheus, and they were kind enough over the past year to provide feedback and ideas on what we needed to improve. We took their feedback to heart and have spent the past year working tirelessly to enhance the product, adding a multitude of new features that not only sorted their issues but made HireAra better for all our users.

159 deployments we’ve made to production since Morpheus first joined us as a customer 12 months ago... That's a new update or feature on the platform every 2 days. That’s how much the product has matured.

We've added so many new capabilities to the platform in the past year:

  • Built a multi-parsing AI model which delivers the best CV parsing results on the market

  • Built our own AI writing assistant that can automatically write content for you

  • Added the ability to export CVs in Word and as a landing page

  • Built a templating system for designing documents

  • Integrated with Bullhorn and multiple other CRMs

  • Added many features to improve the text editing user experience

  • And many many more features, too many to list.

Therefore, it gives me great pleasure today to share that we've come full circle. Morpheus are back online with us, rejoining as customer 100!

To prove the newfound maturity of the platform, we've been running a joint pilot since the beginning of the year, and the pilot has so far had a huge impact on their business:

  • We've sped up their CV send lead time by 10x

  • We've cut their sales admin by 50% per candidate

  • We've guaranteed that every CV out of the door is beautiful, stands out, and has the highest chance of placement

Ivor Stratford, Co-Founder & Director of Morpheus, had this to say about our renewed partnership:

"Working with HireAra has been a game-changer for us. Their commitment to improving their platform and their responsiveness to our feedback have made a world of difference. We're excited to continue our partnership and see how HireAra can help us grow even further."

This journey has shown us that even when the chips are down, there's always room for improvement and a chance to bounce back stronger. We're incredibly grateful to Morpheus for their faith and willingness to give us a second chance. They first joined us as customer number 1, today they join us as customer 100.

100 customers since losing them and 159 new product features later.

So here's to winning, losing, going full circle, launching early, persevering and maturing!

Curious about how HireAra can transform your candidate presentation process? Book a demo to see the product live.


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