June 10, 2024
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We founded Atticus six years ago with a vision to set a new standard for the verification of regulated documents. The founding team was driven by a desire to solve difficult problems and an obsession with building a product that people would love. Since then, we’ve bootstrapped our way to a team of 30 who share this unwavering commitment to product quality. Atticus is now trusted by legal, financial, sustainability, corporate governance, and investor relations teams around the world to verify their critical documents.

Today, we are thrilled to announce that Atticus has raised A$10.84 million in funding, led by Skip Capital and joined by Blackbird Ventures. This investment marks a significant milestone and validates the company and product we’ve built, as well as the remarkable growth we’ve achieved. We’re excited to have such strong partners as we embark on the next stage of our journey.

Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

We started building Atticus from our living rooms with a simple goal in mind: to create a company that made us look forward to coming to work every day. Our ambitions were modest. If we could earn the same salary with a similar quality of life that we’d had in our previous jobs, then we’d consider the whole endeavour a success. We were confident we could do this by prioritising the development of both a great product and culture over rapid scaling, but we couldn’t see how our ambitions and ‘slow is smooth and smooth is fast’ approach would work for investors. Raising money—and shouldering the expectations that come with it—felt incompatible with our goal. With this mindset, we set out to build a tool for a niche problem that we knew well.

Our initial focus was on streamlining the verification of IPO prospectuses for capital markets lawyers. To our surprise, these teams quickly started using Atticus for a wide range of other documents, revealing a broader need and significantly bigger market. This trend continued when the clients of our law firm customers began coming to us directly, asking if they could use Atticus to verify their annual reporting suite, investor presentations, ESG reports, and more. We knew we were onto something more impactful than we had initially anticipated and found our ambition quietly scaling with our success.

We onboarded our first UK-based subscription customers in 2020, which forced us to adapt to working across multiple geographies much earlier than we had planned. Still just the three founders, it was clear that to continue delivering at the quality standard to which we held ourselves, it was time to start building out our team. We hired first into growth, then product, and in 2022 we asked Thom to join and become our CEO. Thom had been an advisor to Atticus since day one, first informally, then as a member of our advisory board, and as a trusted counsel when we faced difficult strategic decisions. With Thom taking on the CEO role, we’ve been able to strike a balance between the founders’ close attention to the product and customers, and the need for strategic leadership as we scale. In the past two years, we’ve grown from six to 30 people distributed around the globe, and are still being pulled by our customers into new problem spaces beyond pure verification faster than we can keep up.

What’s next

As Atticus has grown, we’ve only become increasingly convinced that our success isn’t dependent on raising funds. However, as we contemplate the challenges that lie ahead, we recognise that our long-term vision is more achievable with the right partners by our side. We can see the benefits of carefully selecting investors who share our values and can provide strategic guidance and support, enabling us to accelerate our growth and better navigate the complexities of scaling our business while staying true to our core principles. In Skip and Blackbird, we’ve found these partners. 

Day to day, very little is going to change about how we do things. The same management team is still at the helm, and our commitment to building a company that we love coming to work to remains steadfast. We’re still going to rely on the discipline that is a necessity when bootstrapped—it’s in our DNA. Culturally, we’re still a product-first company: we build things of immense value to our users rather than chasing vanity metrics or prioritising short-term gains. What has changed is that we now have more expertise and capital in our corner, allowing us to take some bigger swings at the opportunities that we can see, as well as those that are just over the horizon.

Thanks

Lastly, a thank you to those who have helped us get here. To our team, your dedication and creativity is the driving force behind our success. To our customers, who have trusted us with their most critical documents and processes: your feedback, support, and partnership have been invaluable. You’ve helped us shape Atticus into the product it is today and challenged us to tackle more and greater problems for you. To our advisors and mentors: your deep industry knowledge and hands-on support have saved us much consternation and many sleepless nights. Finally, to our investors, thank you for believing in our vision and joining us on this journey.

 

Misha Wakerman
Co-founder