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How To Build An Award-Winning Global Software Company From Malta

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You might not have heard of Altaro – a Maltese-founded software company with a global network of customers and an award-winning team – but you should have. They sell software products to over 30,000 business customers in 113 countries, and they just won the EY Rising Star Award!

We figured their’s are definitely the brains we need to pick to find out how to run a blindingly successful business. So we went over and spoke to the four co-founders – David Vella, Simon Attard, Julian Pace Ross and Stephen Chetcuti Bonavita, about what it takes to get to Altaro’s level. 

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“Altaro started eight years ago when the four of us met by accident and realised that we had a shared dream about launching our own start-up,” CEO David Vella told Lovin Malta. “We spent the first three years in a basement working on second hand desks, getting a tan from our monitors – we’re now a team of 50, with our headquarters in Malta and teams in the US, UK, Germany and France.”

So how did Altaro get so far, so fast? Chiefly – by having an awesome product.  It’s a software solution that allows any company in the world to back up data and recover it if something goes wrong. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s not the only one out there. But it’s definitely pulling its own weight on the market.

“We’re competing globally against billion dollar companies with our own advanced technology developed by our team in Malta. This, combined with our expertise in digital marketing and the solid relationships built by our sales team is what we believe gives us the edge”

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“We’ve been very focused on selling our products to an international audience,” Vella tells us. “We have over 30,000 customers using our software around the world – Microsoft, Amazon, Harvard University, the New Zealand Defence Force and many more.”

The Altaro team credit their success to setting their eyes on a global goal from day one. They attribute their recent win at the EY Entrepreneur Awards to that vision, buttressed by strategic marketing goals, and more importantly – a specific approach to dealing with clients.

“The high level of customer service we provide has played a major role in our success. The fact that we have a home-grown company, consisting of local talent, competing with massive global companies and earning the trust of big corporations with their data, all played an important role in earning us this award.”

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Despite their widespread success, the team are grounded by their roots. They acknowledge their humble beginnings as the key to building their successful work ethic. In short – they were never afraid to get their hands dirty. 

“One time in the early days our drainage system blocked up and David, our CEO, rolled up his sleeves and cleaned the blockage himself, saving us about €150 which we spent on online advertising instead.”

As Altaro continues to grow, the company founders’ focus revolves around hiring the right people – “we wouldn’t be where we are today without the fantastic team so recruiting the right passionate people is our biggest priority.”

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So with a shiny, new award in one hand and a shit-tonne of clients in the other – what are Altaro’s immediate future plans? 

“Over the next few years we are due to continue our expansion plans; we recently moved to new offices which will allow us to double the size of the team. Our goal is to become the global number one backup solution for small and medium sized businesses.”

“We hope to achieve this goal by investing in our team and by providing a great and flexible work environment. Our aim has always been and will always be to get people on board who are better than us in their areas, to help us grow, and to grow with us on this journey.”

Right. So that’s how they do it. 

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