How it started in 2010
The story of Robin starts in Wilp, The Netherlands, in the dungeons of an old castle where Patrick Speijers, Wim Veninga and Wilco Rietberg worked together at Trinicom [acquired by Kana Software Inc. April 2012], a vendor of high end Web Customer Service solutions for large enterprises.
Patrick, an online shopping freak (he loves shoes), saw that most of the smaller online retailers have a strong will to satisfy customers, because they really need them. But tools like Outlook, Gmail or Hootsuite didn’t really help them to deliver excellent service. Tools that could help are expensive, complicated to implement and require resources to maintain them, while delivering far too much functionality for the online retailer.
So in 2010 Wilco, Wim and Patrick committed themselves to their new mission: “eliminate bad customer service at small and midsized online retailers”. Therefor they needed to create more than just a tool. Online retailers are with few people and have a lot of work on their hands, so customer service is not always on top of their mind. They thought it would be great if they could create some sort of sidekick, who joins them wherever they go. It needed to be a helpful assistant who would enable them to deliver excellent service without spending hardly any effort, time or huge budget. Inspired by Batman, they came to the idea to name the assistant was named like his sidekick: Robin. And because a Robin is also a mobile, agile, quick and funny little bird (Red Robin) they decided that the logo visual would be their own Robin. The assistant was created with the body of his friendly bird for customer interaction on the fly.
Public launch in 2012
They planned to launch the revolutionary software in April 2012, so they joined The Next Web Bizspark Startup Rally together with 300 other startups. They survived every round of this battle and made it to the finals together with 18 other startups. Patrick pitched on stage of The Next Web conference in front of hundreds of people. He was thrilled and happy to present Robin to his first class audience. Nuji won the category for best web app, but living with a runner up status is not bad at all ☺.
The Robin team
Patrick Speijers is Robin’s CEO and responsible for making Robin a huge success. He has a background of more than 15 years experience in customer interaction, e-commerce, innovative online concepts, product management and product marketing. He worked at Trinicom, Wingmate and KPN (telco) and started the companies Nandi Group & Agimso. He is, like the whole team, committed to bring excellent web customer service to the e-commerce area.
The complete team consists of 8 highly motivated professionals in The Netherlands. These champions are Henry (Dev Team Manager), Martin (Sr. Developer), Lisette (Customer Success Manager), Werner (Productmanager & Tester), Marjo (Graduatin Student for Customer Success), Michiel (Marketing Manager), Koen (UI designer) and Patrick (CEO). Our way of working is based on Agile & Lean Startup principles. The team has found of mix of those principles that fits their way of work. Robin is an assistant that suits the needs of the online retailer, is super user friendly & beautiful and is self-learning so no maintenance needed.
Wim and Wilco had a temporary role in starting up Robin. Wim helped to recruit a great team, created a superior technical base for Robin and Wilco brought creative business model input and is currently Robin’s investor.
In our mission to eliminate bad customer service it is now time to let Robin fly everywhere small and midsized online retailers want to provide excellent service to their customers and together with Robin make the customers experience better every day. Remember, the first user is always free, so start today!
In January 2013 Robin won the Dutch E-commerce Software Innovation Award 2013!