For a decade Ryedale has studiously avoided the hype of London's FinTech scene, preferring a renovated Victorian warehouse in King’s Cross to develop its sophisticated investment software.
Even the name is the antithesis of boastful or futuristic-sounding names that abound in FinTech, conjuring instead a feeling of rural serenity. “I wanted a name that wouldn’t even suggest technology,” says founding partner Sean Kelly. “When we hit on Ryedale, because it was a district of Yorkshire where both co-founders grew up, it immediately felt right.”
The two founders spent the years prior to Ryedale developing software for some of the world’s most respected investment firms. They became frustrated at how poor and how expensive this category of software is. In the early days of cloud computing, they decided to implement what they knew better and cheaper by starting from scratch in the cloud.
“It takes years for investment software to mature and win the trust of clients,” says founding partner Jon Rushman. “We are the opposite of fake-it-until-you-make-it. Instead, we earn that trust. Our philosophy is to earn as you go, spend only what you earn, and to stay focused on the task of developing great software.”
Ryedale has never sought or received funding from outside investors. Sustainable revenue from early adopters has funded their unwavering focus on software engineering. “It means we don’t take shortcuts to meet investor deadlines,” says Sean, “and it means that our management team is not thinking about funding rounds when it should be thinking about the product.”
The isolation is paying off as financial giants select Ryedale for its expert handling of index funds and ETFs. Ryedale counts California's public pension fund - the biggest institutional fund in North America - amongst their loyal clients, alongside a growing number of commercial asset managers.
What of the next 10 years? “Inevitably we will devote more time and energy to increasing adoption of our platform and maintaining a high level of customer service,” says Jon, “but we’re never going to lose that obsession with developing the best software for the task.”