Today is a special day at Umbrage, and a major milestone. We are excited to announce that we have closed our seed round of funding. You can read the official press release here, but I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on the journey so far.
On a personal level, I want to thank Rice Investment Group and for their faith in the vision we are striving toward. The class and integrity of RIG is only rivaled by those who took a leap of faith and joined Umbrage at its infancy. Umbrage’s technology is its people and we are humbled to have a familial team tirelessly working together to deliver digital solutions to our clients.
Define & Design
We officially started Umbrage in December, 2019. We knew a void existed in a SaaS-ladened market for the creation of a crafts-based digital studio to build customized applications for the amazing companies with a footprint in Houston.
We also knew an opportunity was available to start a company that was galvanized by its individual craft skill sets and selfless culture. The idea of Umbrage was spawned in a local Houston diner with a thought of creating a tone-on-tone business card; one where you could not distinguish between the color of the card itself and the individual name on it.
Our crafts of Product Management; Design, Development and DevOps have worked hard to hone a unique approach to industrializing digital products, that is, to ensure the solutions developed are scalable and deployable. Admittedly, the process we follow at Umbrage is not patentable, but it doesn’t mean it’s not proprietary or impactful.
The enterprise has gotten better at thinking through designs and producing product prototypes and MVPs. What we wanted to do with starting Umbrage was help clients design, develop and deliver those solutions at a global scale, a pain point we knew agnostically existed across the enterprise.
Develop & Deliver
Over the course of the previous 15 months, we have grown to nearly 40 full-time employees, executed more than 20 individual statements of work, graduated 16 people from our apprentice program and have some amazing customer announcements in the future.
All in the face of a global pandemic. Umbrage was not immune to COVID-19. Like many companies, we were affected by the shutdown, but Umbrage was never shut down. Of the many things we’re proud of, we are particularly boastful of the fact that none of Umbrage’s employees were let go, furloughed or experienced a salary reduction during this difficult time. We are equally proud that of the contracts we executed during this time period, two-thirds of those were for additional phases and/or streams of work with existing clients.
Now we are focused on scaling the Umbrage approach to delivering digital products to our global customers.
So, what is the future of Umbrage? When we visit with clients about a particular idea or potential product, we challenge them to continually contemplate the scalability lens, even when a product is young. We’ve taken the same approach when starting Umbrage. Our product is our people, our process and our methodology; therefore, how do we contemplate that product through the industrialized lens?
This introspective challenge, we believe, is the catalyst to uncovering additional market opportunities and finding exciting new projects to deliver. Will it be easy? Not. At. All. But, will it be fun? Abso-freaking-lutely!
Let’s get to work.