Thanks to grants and business support from Innovate UK and its business growth and scaling service Innovate UK EDGE, Rubixx Solutions is disrupting the housing association market with an innovative software product. The company has developed a cloud-based housing management system that is significantly cheaper and more agile than the systems currently provided by the big players in the social housing sector.
Simon Reay, director at Rubixx Solutions, explains:
“Our primary customers are social housing customers in the UK and the supply of software to that market is dominated by six large players, all using legacy software. If you want to buy one of those legacy systems, you have to spend a lot of money on server infrastructure or it’s hidden in the cost of the provider. We use very modern architecture and charge significantly less – a fifth of the price in some cases.”
The software is also provided with a modern pricing structure – the costs are calculated according to the size of the customer and their property portfolio. This makes the software affordable for small organisations, as well as large ones, while still offering the same functionality.
Reay says there has been a marked lack of innovation in housing management technology the past 20 years, with the established players maintaining a monopoly on the market. In those 20 years, the needs of housing associations have changed dramatically and they now have a lot less money to spend. Reducing IT costs through cheaper software will free up funds, enabling housing association to spend more on building new properties, updating properties and providing support to people in need.
An additional benefit is that the technology is a lot greener than legacy platforms. A cloud-based platform removes the need for every client to have their own server – instead it’s one server hosting all the platforms via the cloud.
Innovate UK EDGE engages post Innovate UK grant funding
Reay says the company has come a long way in a short space of time, largely because of support from Innovate UK and the Innovate UK EDGE team. In late 2020, Rubixx received a £90,000 grant from the Innovate UK Sustainable Innovation Fund to help develop the software. In February 2021, Innovate UK EDGE came on board. Working with Innovation and Growth Specialist Alvaro Montero enabled Reay to identify growth opportunities and start scaling the business. “Alvaro had really good insights into our business. We talked about different concepts and worked on things such as how to measure success, how to build the brand, deal with cash flow and so on. He would ask me what I was struggling with and we would work on it together. He was such a good sounding board.”
Alvaro helped Rubixx apply for and obtain an IP Audit grant. This led to a full audit from a patent lawyer. “The lawyer looked at things like whether our contracts worked well for us, our clients and customers. And if our product and brand were protected. This was stuff that I’m not familiar with, so it was really useful.”
Rubixx has already secured nine clients, representing 26,400 rented properties. It also has a pipeline of over 213,000 new units across 29 prospects. The company has four new recruits and moved offices to accommodate the expansion. Innovate UK EDGE also referred Rubixx to the Department for International Trade for support with its international ambitions.