Pretty Brilliant People | Andre & Andy

Our Pretty Brilliant Team wouldn’t be complete without our Founder, Andre, and our Chairman, Andy. We interviewed them both to understand what inspired them to establish Pretty Technical, the company’s vision and marketing opportunities, the challenges involved in scaling a business, and their perspective on Pretty Technical’s future. 

So firstly how did you two meet? And what made you decide to go into business together?
Andy: We first met in Spain in 2013 when I joined Mediatech as Managing Director and Andre had recently joined as CTO. Our job was to scale the platform business and create enterprise value (both of which we successfully did alongside the wider management team). I am not sure at that point we discussed going into business together, but we did have a great time in Madrid over the two years we were there (if you weren’t at Toni2 in 2014 at 2am on a Wednesday morning you weren’t really trying!), and parted ways on great terms when we finished our successive stints there.

I went on to found Rokker (and what became the Rokker Network for a few years) in 2015 and as I worked through our strategy there it was obvious we needed a solution around technology (we saw a clear gap in market for a high quality technology and product provider that worked alongside other B2B businesses as well as Operators directly), I was mulling over how we could solve this when Andre popped back up after selling the businesses he founded, and I couldn’t have wished for a better partner to plan this business with and execute our collective vision. He often says he’s technical and I’m pretty… one of those things is true!

Andre: As Andy mentioned, after our stint at Mediatech we each ventured onto different paths for a while. I decided to explore my own ventures, eventually founding and later selling several businesses. Andy went on to establish Rokker, displaying his vision to build something unique. When we reconnected Rokker had come to a point where his strategic vision and my technological background complemented each other perfectly. We both agreed that this combination could give us a unique edge in our market.

What did you have in mind when you set up Pretty Technical? What was your vision for the company and what opportunity did you see in the market?
Andy: Our Vision is simple; we want to make highly pleasing gaming technology available to everyone who needs it, alongside the knowledge and people to create, operate and extend this technology in a multitude of ways.

In the gaming sector there are a wide range of platform providers who operate in quite a similar manner both technically and commercially (some are excellent, others less so…), so we felt there wasn’t much room in there for a new start-up doing the same sort of thing. We also saw some or most of these businesses as potential customers, so we set out to do something differently from a proposition point of view which appealed at a base technology level first. 

We also saw the world was changing; from the emergence of Crypto and new/changing markets to the difficulties in the legacy of technical debt and the cost and simple employment issues of having 100s of people in the same location – we believed we could address all these. 

At the centre of what we wanted to do is build core technology that can be extended in a multitude of ways, we describe it as a chassis on which other components can be built upon. We also recognised that we (or any operator for that matter) doesn’t need to build everything in-house, therefore interoperability was key to our design and decision making. Finally we wanted to get the best teams, those who knew gaming and the coding languages / infrastructure we had chosen to future-proof the business from wherever they sat in the world, not just a particular eastern European or Indian city like other companies in our sector – this meant launching remote-first, which seems weird to even mention post-covid, but actually we designed this from the ground up, so we have never had to retro-fit processes or communications to work remotely, it’s just how we operate and this has created efficiencies and a cost base which provides savings we can pass onto our clients.

The company has now been going for 4 years this July! What are you most proud of seeing Pretty Technical achieve over those 4 years?
Andre: Reflecting on our journey of four years with Pretty Technical, it’s the resilience and adaptability of our people that makes me the proudest. We weathered many challenges, ranging from the pandemic trying to stop us before even starting to our first long term client filing for bankruptcy leaving us with a huge liability on our books. However that only strengthened our resolve and the people that came with us through this really made the difference. Whilst we are a technology company, being able to say that our people are our strongest asset really is something to be proud of.

Growing a company from scratch never comes without its challenges – what has been the most challenging aspect so far and is there anything you would have done differently?
Andy: In full disclosure ‘challenging’ is an understatement for what July 2022 to July 2023 threw at us; the wind went from the sails of a previously very bullish US market, the Global capital markets dried up, meaning innovation and growth in gaming slowed massively, subsequently resulting in our clients spending less on technology and sign-off of anything took twice (at least!) as long. To compound the macro-market conditions we also had a major client go bust on us (I believe they call this ‘sods law’), which was painful financially, and meant we had to look long and hard at our previous growth strategy, and somewhat reset the business from a timing point of view. Having said all of this, Andre and I were super confident in the business and the technology we had built, and we have always been very clear on where we saw the opportunity, and this meant we felt we needed to hold the line, financially, strategically and emotionally…I am very glad to say this proved to be the right decision as the business is absolutely flying now, and we are being paid back in spades for our belief in what we could collectively achieve; I believe the appropriate phrase is “courage in your conviction”! 

What are you most excited about for the future of Pretty Technical? How do you see the business moving forwards from here? 
Andre: There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to the future of Pretty Technical. If I had to choose I will again focus on our people and the incredible potential they hold. We made a conscious decision to start the business as a remote first business and we have been fortunate to attract top talent across all tiers as a result of that.

With our operations finally moving at full speed, our team will continue to be the difference maker when it comes to executing on our business strategy. Our recent UK launch and certification is only the first step towards an expansion into more global markets and we will continue to seek out opportunities in other jurisdictions.

Our technology choices have proven to be the right ones as we are able to adapt our core products rapidly. This gives us an opportunity to create new products that will respond to the evolving needs of the market.

If you’d like to work with Andre, Andy and our team why not take a look at our Careers page and send an email to [email protected]. If you’d like to find out more about Pretty Technical products and services please use our Contact Form.

Andre and Andy | Founder and Chairman