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Five years at KYND: Behind the Scenes
2023 is a very special year for KYND. This year marks our incredible 5-year anniversary into our journey as a company. In the past year, we’ve grown faster than any of us could have imagined 5 years ago, and now we want to put the spotlight on some of the fantastic people who have made KYND what it is today, to get their perspective on this new and exciting phase of growth.
After 5 years at KYND, there have been some downright unforgettable times. We recently asked our team members to share some of their most memorable moments at KYND since joining us, and well… they really did have a lot to say. Our Head of UK and International Sales, Ben Francis, recalled, “when we received our first ever sale and payment, it was certainly a memorable one and marked the start of KYND. Even to this day, it’s always touching seeing the framed picture of that payment on our wall and seeing how far we’ve come.”
Speaking to Sérgio Areias, the Lead Data Engineer of our Porto team, an amusing culture clash stood out. He remembered, “when Melanie [Our CMO and co-founder] put milk in her tea and myself and the Portuguese team stared at each other bewildered. There was pure silence until someone shouted "That's not tea anymore!"” Tom Fry, the Head of Product and Operations, proudly boasts that his greatest memory is “winning one of our KYND quiz nights!” We hope Tom enjoyed his moment of triumph because all future quizzes have been rigged to ensure that it won’t happen again.
Our co-founder and CMO Melanie Hayes talked about the memorable achievements here at KYND. When we asked her about favourite memories, she explained that adding the Ransomware function to our KYND dashboard was something she would never forget, “because of how it happened and the impact it had on KYND. Back in 2019 we were hearing from more and more customers that ransomware was an increasing concern for them and it would be useful to see this displayed separately on KYND ON. From being identified, to it being added to our product and customers being able to use this new function took just 8 weeks. It was an incredible team effort, spanning different departments and functions where everyone worked really hard and we achieved something which is pretty unheard of. I realised just how special and incredible of a thing we had at KYND and what we are capable of doing.”
KYND has had some significant milestones in its first five years, so we asked some of our KYNDites about how they felt the company has changed since they started with us. Our Head of Product and Operations, Tom Fry explained, “we've gone from 5 employees working in an office that felt like a basement with sticky carpets, to a whopping 50 employees working in a proper office with beautiful polished floors where I can perfect my moonwalk on Thirsty Thursdays!” Ana Moura, Software Engineer in our Porto team, said, “KYND has grown quite a lot since I started. In just four years of being here, I’ve seen so many new faces joining and bringing something truly unique to the company. Every time we visit our London office it’s amazing to see the incredible changes.”
Head of Product Will Hesselmann explained his relief about changing our offices: “As a cyber risk company it’s always good to feel safe ourselves, but I’m glad to be out of the old Brixton office with bars on the windows.” As the company has grown he’s seen a huge growth not just in the product capabilities, but also its employees. He says, “it's a very special place to be, we genuinely care about each other and helping our customers.”
Our CTO Paulo Ferreira started off at KYND as Head of Engineering; however, with his leadership skills, extensive expertise in the SaaS industry, and passion for technology, he quickly became our CTO which he described as one of the biggest yet most rewarding challenges of his career. He explained how proud he is of helping create some of the different types of advanced cyber risk scanning from a very intense 6 months of hard work: “Before that, being able to advance the product and being able to accomplish so much and delivering important releases within the estimates was definitely challenging but something I’m really proud of.”
Here at KYND, we pride ourselves on our KYND values, primarily “Being KYND.” We don’t just go above and beyond for our customers, but we fully support each other along the way. We believe that keeping your employees happy is the best way to keep your customers happy. Ben Duffy, our VP, Head of North America Sales reflected, “it’s an organisation that highly invests in and values its employees. Everyone is welcome, no question is a wrong question, and seeing so many people join and thrive in their roles is a wonderful thing to be a part of. It's also something I believe has naturally seeped into the way we do business here, and the amount care we put in for our clients. KYND's reputation is something I'm very proud of.”
Elena Tatarenkova, Head of Marketing, started with us 3 years ago when there was little to no marketing budget, and has seen the company flourish into what it is today. She noted that despite the company growing, “what hasn't changed is our mission to deliver excellence, quality and value in everything that we do. Our dedication to helping our clients, and our aim to maintain its strong internal culture aligns and unifies the whole of KYND together. And this is exactly why I am proud to be working at KYND.”
Our Business Operations Manager Kat Haylett had a rather unique start to the company, joining us in the unpredictable year that was 2020, during a harsh winter lockdown when we were 100% remote. Kat explained, “when I started in November 2020, it was lockdown and I couldn't meet any of my colleagues in person.” After finally coming to the office, she instantly felt like one of us. “I'm proud that we've created a place that people feel at home, and that we are able to share with the world our love of Craig David.”
Our London based Customer Success Manager Pedro Fernandes explained how being part of KYND is special for him due to the impact it’s making on our clients’ businesses across various industries. He explained, “it feels good to know that what I do has a real impact on my clients' lives and helps make the digital world a safer place. Also, I feel grateful to be part of a company that is consistently recognised for its exceptional quality and services. It's the proof of the hard work and dedication from everyone involved in making our clients feel secure and protected.”
Investing in our employees doesn’t just mean a fully stocked kitchen and beer cupboard! We really take the time to discover our employees’ strengths and support them fully in their career development. Sakhawat Hussain, who started with KYND as a cyber security apprentice, found that “working at KYND has been such a transformative experience for my career; starting as an apprentice cyber security risk analyst, I had much to learn but I was dedicated. It was scary at first but after meeting my fantastic team, I was able to complete my apprenticeship with a distinction and later progressed to a more senior role. Fast forward to today, I'm now the cybersecurity manager, and have the privilege of leading a talented team of professionals in helping to shape the direction of the company. I’m grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had to grow and thrive here.”
Our team members aren’t the only ones to grow and see the full growth of KYND. Our CEO and founder Andy Thomas explained the enormous change he’s seen here at KYND and how his vision of what KYND can do for the cyber risk world has come to life. “When I started this journey,” he explained, “I wanted to create an environment which would nurture and develop everyone who chose to come and work with us. A company that I would be proud to be CEO of, a place that others would be proud to tell the world they are part of and one where customers are proud to tell anyone who asks that they use KYND. I am nowhere near done with this yet.”
Explaining the growth of the company from a London based company to a globally recognised brand, he said, “from the Brixton office back in 2018, all the way to March 2023 with 45 employees, teams in Porto, Austin and London and amazing customers in the US, UK, Europe and all the way to Japan. The KYND brand has quickly gone from "Who?" to "Oh yeah, I have heard of you guys, and I hear you are doing some really good things.” It’s all because of sticking to our core values, and our amazing team made up of the best, brightest and warmest people I have had the privilege to work with.”
A different KYND of company
KYND isn’t just made up of great people and the cutest office dogs you’ve ever seen. We’re also proud to have a very diverse workforce that includes a full size cardboard cutout of Craig David and David Hasselhoff, as well as a various bundle of mascots including Barry the KYNDosaur and Blåhaj the IKEA Cyber Shark. Speaking to Craig David’s cardboard cutout, he mused, “if we rewind back, it’s been a very interesting time here at KYND. I started out as an inside joke, and soon transformed to corporeal form when I was unfolded as a cardboard cutout.”
Somehow continuing, he reminisced, “I’ve seen KYND move offices from Brixton to London Bridge, where I was shoved into a box next to a pile of expired Diet Coke cans for weeks. This year, I was promoted and I'm now proud to manage the whole team of eclectic mascots. To have seen so many fresh faces join us, then look confused and immediately rethink their decision when they see me standing in a meeting room is one of my highlights here at KYND. One thing I can say for sure, I won’t be walking away anytime soon.”
Celebrating this fantastic milestone with our team members has given us an opportunity to share the best moments and reflect on our experiences throughout the past five years. We are incredibly grateful for each of our employees and their dedication to both our and our clients’ success – and there is so much more to achieve together.
If you would like to become a part of KYND’s next chapter, sign up to our blog to be notified about our new vacancies!
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