Top UK start-up credits Harper James for early success

Top UK start-up credits Harper James for early success

With many companies planning to keep working from home policies in place post-lockdown, one issue is becoming increasingly important. How do you ensure a remote workforce really knows what people think of them?

HR tech start-up Howamigoing has firmly established itself as the leading light in how to answer this question, by creating HR systems which ensure employees get the best feedback possible. And now Howamigoing has received some feedback of their own - after being named in the top 25 UK start-ups. Their rank of 21 out of 100 in the annual Startups 100 means the HR specialists, who only formed in 2018, have rocketed 40 places on the index in the space of 12 months. 

Howamigoing is reporting back on the 'outstanding service' we have delivered as their legal service provider. Our team of experts have been working with the London-based firm from its first day in business. Founder Julian Cook says this partnership has been a key ingredient in his firm’s success: 'Harper James has been with us from the beginning. And I couldn’t ask for a better legal service provider to have in our corner.'

We’ve provided a range of services to Howamigoing. As well as advising on funding rounds, we’ve guided the start-up through issues relating to GDPR, share options and consultancy agreements. We’ve also helped ensure the terms and conditions they use on their award-winning website comply with regulations and meet their business needs.

Like many of our clients, Howamigoing turned to us for one service but quickly realised there were other ways we could support them too, without breaking the bank. Julian, a former J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs investment banker, adds: 'The range of services is really impressive. Harper James has helped to provide clear and effective advice and support whenever the business has needed it. Knowing you have that level of legal support enables any new business to be able to move forward with more confidence. With Harper James we have that - and more.'

IP, commercial and technology associate solicitor Ed Kilner, has regularly worked with Howamigoing, to provide them with expert compliance advice. 'It's fantastic to see the speed at which Howamigoing has grown,' he said. 'We look forward to helping them in the next stage of their journey.'

As has been the case for all businesses, the pandemic presented challenges for Howamigoing. But Julian Cook says his firm remains in a strong position as they enter the final quarter of 2020. They’ve recently secured additional funding which means they have now raised more than £1m since forming. 

This investment will help them to continue building what they believe is the 'easiest to use, most effective employee feedback tool’ in the market. The firm also has ambitious plans to grow into more global markets, having already forged links with companies in the UK, US, Hong Kong and Australia.

At the heart of the start-up’s business model is the lack of nurturing ‘feedback culture’ in business. To combat this, just before lockdown in March, the company launched its innovative freemium platform. The service allows clients who sign up to provide feedback to employees transparently and confidently.  It helps to manage their year-round feedback and performance plans. 

A recent survey indicated the service provided by Howamigoing could not have come at a better time. A poll of 1,000 employees commissioned by Staffcircle with OnePoll, revealed that only half of employees' appraisals took place since lockdown began – suggesting most businesses are still in fact ill-equipped for remote working.

Those surveyed have remained in full-time employment during lockdown across a range of sectors including accounting, engineering, marketing and IT. 54% of employees reported that ‘management had not enforced’ appraisals during lockdown. By skipping appraisals, team members are more likely to lack morale and direction and therefore be less productive in their day to day work. 

And, with many companies hinting employees will work from home permanently, the service provided by Howamigoing - and supported by us here at Harper James Solicitors - has never been more timely.  

Our intellectual property expert

Edward Kilner

Edward Kilner

IP, Commercial & Technology Associate
Ed Kilner specialises in IT, IP and general technology-related contracts, but he also advises more broadly on commercial matters.  After completing his studies at the University of Birmingham, Ed trained at Harrison Clark Rickerbys, qualifying into the IP and technology team in 2017.  He joined the commercial team at Harper James in 2019.

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