5 August 2019
iProov’s first permanent location was a cupboard-esque room at 39 York Road. Kindly described as ‘cosy’ by longstanding iProov team members. Unsurprisingly, very quickly we were bursting at the seams.
So we knocked down the wall and filled the new space with more desks. However, we had the luxurious problem of becoming a successful business. We found ourselves in a cycle of winning deals, expanding our team and running out of space. In total, we knocked down the wall four times.
39 York Road was a loving DIY project. We ripped up the stained blue carpets, replaced the orange filament lights with sparkling LEDs and built two new meeting rooms. ‘IKEA desk construction’ sessions became a Friday afternoon ritual when we had a fresh wave of recruits starting on Monday.
Although, the situation was still far from perfect. The iProov Amazon account was flooded with orders of electric heaters in the winter and desk fans in the summer. One corner of the office was renowned for leaking during particularly heavy rain. While this was ‘resolved’ with a succession of carefully placed buckets, there was nothing we could do about the steady and immensely annoying ‘drip….drip…….drip’ noise.
Actually getting to the office was also an ordeal. The building lifts were in a constant state of ‘Out of order. Sorry for any inconvenience.’ It was considered an in-house miracle if two lifts happened to be working simultaneously. Breathless climbs of 8 flights of stairs were more often than not, the quickest way up. Although far from dazzling, the office was sentimental. The place where we won our first customer, secured the first-ever overseas contract with the DHS, where we built iProov Palm Verifier and grew from fewer than eight employees to almost forty.
These achievements kept morale high and our team strong. Nothing knits people together like power drilling desks and mutual heatwave empathy in a building with no AC. Everyone at iProov believed in our mission, we were so focused on building and delivering the best product possible, we often forgot the ceiling leaked on us. There was a mutual understanding that this was a temporary ‘rough patch.’ The collective belief that iProov would ‘make it big’ was steadfast.
As if to reaffirm this faith, the construction of the shiny new WeWork headquarters began directly opposite 39 York Road. We secured a private space almost immediately, fully equipped with 5x the desk space, many meeting rooms and complimentary London skyline view. 2018 onwards was spent longingly gazing out of the window into the glamorous glass walls of our future office across the road. It was a gruelling 12-month countdown.
We left 39 York Road empty on the morning of the 22nd of July 2019. While the thought of never building another IKEA desk again is somewhat bittersweet, we are excited.
The iProov offices are now state of the art. We are a globally successful business, a reality that has been cemented by free barista coffee, beer on tap and lunchtime ‘puppy therapy’ sessions. Even the desks came pre-built and we are pleased to say the ceiling looks very robust!
There is now a renewed atmosphere of excitement (and not just because we’re feeling invigorated by our 8 am yoga class and cucumber water.) For us, this office move is a very real reminder of how far we have come.
This is a new era for iProov. We will continue to research, innovate, build and preach the iProov philosophy with even more vigour. We are better equipped to tackle the market head-on.
Like the sound of it?
(And now we won’t have to knock down any walls.)
A huge shoutout to Axel and Martin, the two team members who saw iProov through the move.