Ganttic: Estonia’s self-declared ‘cowboys’ of the software industry

Surviving as a start-up for a decade in one of the most competitive IT global markets – resource management – is no easy feat, all the more so when there is little venture capital on offer and bootstrapping – building a company from the ground up with nothing but the personal savings of founders – was the only option.

Estonian start-up Ganttic, however, a cloud-based resource management platform, has managed it.

We’ve always thought of ourselves as ‘cowboys’ of the software industry,” says co-founder and CEO Ivar Veenpere. “And we make decisions based upon what we think is right for our customers, not based on trends or what investors want.”

Launched in August 2010 by small team of like-minded friends, the web-based project scheduling app was actually conceived years earlier and went through a number of iterations. Now with more than 20 years of experience under their belts, Veenpere and CTO Rainer Kivimaa, two of the three original founders, continue to improve and develop on Ganttic’s original ethos and design.

“Sustainability and diversity are what guide us. Not only for us as an organization – one reason why we went the bootstrapped route – but also for our clients and their resources. We want to make their resources more efficient, whatever that may be, and give them the tool to do so,” adds Veenpere.

Ganttic hails from Tartu, Estonia. The Baltic country has seen a recent boom in the start-up scene and has made headlines worldwide by creating seamless digital services for citizens and boasting the highest number of “unicorns” (private companies that reach a one billion US dollar valuation) per capita.

However, when Ganttic was established, this landscape looked very different. In the time before Skype – a motor for digital entrepreneurship in the country – was a household name, “start-up” was a word companies shied away from, as it could impact their credibility. Moreover, Ganttic never ran their business like so many start-ups, choosing instead to rely on the business values of “forward thinking” and “revolutionary.” This is one reason why it’s been profitable for the past six years.

Ganttic prides itself on designing no-frills software aimed to improve project, resource, and portfolio management. Offering the flexibility of spreadsheets with the features of dedicated management software, such as heightened security, ease of use, and automated features, the tool is an affordable choice for companies of all sizes, industries, and work practices.

As Kivimaa notes: “We don’t so much create software to manage your organisation or project, but a platform and the tools with which you can create your own management system. That’s what’s clicked for so many of our clients. And one reason why our clientele has always been so diverse.”

Now with a user base located on six continents and an accumulation of thousands of clients engaged in everything from engineering, to research and development, creative industries, and more, the app has earned praise along the way. All this is even more exciting considering Ganttic’s humble origins.

The next step for Ganttic is branching out into project management techniques and embracing future technologies. Later this year, Kanban boards will be included in the planner, in addition to the pre-existing Gantt charts. And plans to roll out more options for better security are also in the works. This is all paired with the recent launch of Ganttic API, giving more options for customisation and control.

As Veenpere concludes: “We’re continuously trying to listen to our customers and find answers to the problems they have. They are the ones doing the hard work. And we’re just trying to help them get their job done. Whether that’s helping them build better life boats, develop better medical treatments, train better firefighters, or make better films. Our goal is to give them the solution for that.”

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