2016 was a fast paced and exciting year for everybody at Cloud Employee. Having expanded both in the Philippines and internationally, we are very happy to welcome a range of new clients from all over the globe. Companies of all sizes and types based in the US, Canada, Sweden, Holland, Germany and New Zealand among others have added to our established UK and Australia client-base.
Our goal has always been and remains to provide an innovative offshore staffing model focused on customer service, customised recruitment, and ongoing performance management. We have to date, maintained a client retention rate of 82% which is something we are extremely proud of. That being the case we are constantly looking to improve our processes delivering clients what we like to call an offshore in-house solution. Further bridging the gap we now offer fully paid trips to the Philippines for clients with teams of 3 arranging for them to stay in our partner hotel, The Manila Peninsula. In the past year, 5 client CTOs or Tech Leads have visited to work with their teams in person and we expect many more in 2017.
With 38 new businesses joining, we more than tripled our client-base whilst increasing revenues 400% year-on-year. Even with the odd economic hurdle it has been great to see many existing clients grow their businesses since joining, and in turn grow their team with Cloud Employee.
Our headcount increase saw us kickstart 2016 by moving into new offices in Tower 6789 on Ayala Avenue, a brand new building in the heart of Manila's Business District. We fully refurbished with a local interior designer ensuring the 4000 square feet space was a beautiful work environment with features including wall art, barber shop, and a fun-filled recreation area.
By June, 6789 was full and we added a second Manila location also in Makati undergoing the same signature refurbishment. Dealing with the unwieldiness of a fast-growing organisation is a challenge and rather than constantly move to larger office spaces, Philippines based CEO and co-founder Nick Hargreaves has implemented a village-community concept. Each office will not exceed 80 staff, maintaining its own identity and boutique startup environment. The idea behind the concept is to keep each office a manageable size, retain agility along with a community feel and personal touch that lies at the core of Cloud Employee's brand. Plans have begun to open our third Manila village in 2017.
On the international front, co-founder and UK based Director Seb Hall launched new offices in Berkeley Square, central London as well as offices in Stockholm, Sweden. Plans for 2017 include international office openings in Sydney, Amsterdam and New York.
In January 2015 Cloud Employee had just 8 employees including its 2 founders, we are now 150 strong and counting. None of this would have been possible without our amazing management team, support staff and hard-working group of IT professionals. Over 2016, Philippines Operations Director Nina Bromley added Simon Mathews, Daniel Allen, Lars Almerdhal to our international team of Account Managers and most recently Jason Gunn to our newly formed role as Community Director. Whilst in the UK, European Business Development Manager, Ellie Bonn, who has over 15 years in IT recruitment has recently joined the team.
We have recently setup a lead-generation department as an optional add-on which clients are starting to take advantage of. Our unique direct marketing model, only offered to clients has helped drive new business and grow clients' sales.
Among our new clients is VC-backed California based app Free Bird who has a team of 5 with Cloud Employee. As part of their requirements to secure series A funding they had to achieve a minimum number of customer sign-ups, we implemented our Lead-Gen process and helped them sign up 28 clients in the first week.
Of course there will be plenty of challenges and hard work ahead in 2017 but we are truly excited to carry on improving and delivering a service beyond offshoring. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year from everybody at Cloud Employee :)