Norkon Year in Review 2019
2019 has been an incredible year for Norkon and our products. We’ve launched a number of new and exciting sites in collaboration with our customers and continued investing in our powerful platforms.
In this blog post I’ll look back on 2019 and share some insights and highlights on Pulse and Live Center, as well as how we’re evolving as a company.
Live Center, our live blogging solution, is actively used by hundreds of publishers and thousands of journalists across the world. From New Zealand to the Philippines to the EU to California, Live Center engages tens of millions of readers. A few weeks ago, we broke our all-time-high concurrent record and hit over 150,000 WebSocket user connections to our systems at the same moment, and we easily scale beyond that as we’re building our solutions cloud-first on Microsoft Azure.
We’re always excited to see Live Center in action, and this year we’ve had a lot of fun following the content being produced across the globe. We’ve seen reporting ranging from the official EU election coverage (in over 20 languages) to elections in Greenland, Norway, as well as the UK, to numerous Brexit updates.
Live Center has also kept readers up to date on events such as Apple’s iPhone unveilings, ongoing soccer transfer window coverage, live-steaming of classical music performances, live beer-tasting, reality TV conventions, VM in handball, and more. It’s even powering the blog you’re reading right now!
This fall we launched our new Live Center design language to make the user experience even better and easier for journalists and administrators. We built many out-of-the-box skins and extensions throughout 2019, and we are continuing to develop them to minimize customization efforts required by our users who want the solution to feel like a part of their brand, and even integrate it into their classic CMS.
This year was a magnificent year for Pulse, our investing and financial news platform, starting with the launching of Børsen Investor in collaboration with Dagbladet Børsen in Denmark. We received very positive feedback on the platform, and alongside Børsen we have continued to build out the offering throughout the year. This month, for instance, we launched PSD2 functionality provided by Atlaz to gather readers’ actual holdings and display them in Børsens Pulse-universe, paired with real-time data.
We also launched Tradewinds Markets, which includes steaming share and index data as well as shipping-specific metrics, bundled with editorial content, all presented in a modern look-and-feel.
The Pulse platform received a lot of love in 2019, with additions such as editorial tools for journalists. 2019 also marked the year we brought Pulse back to its roots by starting the process of packaging it as a financial services product, marking the beginning of our venture into a new sector alongside media and publishers. We even have some unannounced projects we expect to reveal in 2020 – stay tuned!
In terms of adoption and traffic of our live Pulse implementations, we’ve seen solid traffic growth across all sites. Some page views more than doubled in year-over-year comparisons, yielding traffic as much as five times the amounts the legacy pages Pulse replaced.
Since our inception as a research project in 2013, this year has been the one in which we’ve seen our platforms shine the most, scaling the way in which we set out from the beginning. We’re very proud of what we’ve built, and we will further strengthen and broaden our SaaS offerings going forward.
We started the year with a hiring process in which we intended to hire one more front-end developer. The response this time around was massive – over 100 applications received! In the end, we were left with three fantastic candidates that made the choice difficult. Thinking outside the box, as we always strive to do, we changed the premise and hired all three. Nicolas, Maryle, and Jakub have all been great additions to our team – in terms of both competence and diversity – and it’s great to have them with us in our Oslo headquarters. As another addition to the front-end team, we also got digital design prodigy Therese on board full time, after having worked with her since 2015. In addition to expanding the front-end team, we also hired Magnus to strengthen our back-end team, mainly on R&D.
In terms of financials, we’re continuing to experience solid growth; 2019 will be our strongest year to date with close to doubling our revenue from 2018. This year we continue our profitability, and while we’re seeing record earnings, our focus is to continue investing heavily in our core platforms, in the scalability of our products, and in further strengthening our recurring revenue.
Furthermore, Sverre Munck joined the Norkon board, bringing decades of experience with startups and the media industry to the table. We’re very excited to have him on board!
To sum up – 2019 has been amazing. Great product adoption and traffic, great additions to the team and board, and now we’re truly seeing return on the investments we’ve made in our technology since 2013.
2020 is set out to be even better. We’re excited to share more announcements as early as the beginning of the year.
Happy holidays, and a happy new year!
CEO and Chairman of the Board