We have some good news! Nephila AG has been born on March 11, 2015, and is a joint venture under Swiss law between Nephila Ltd and DIVIO AG. It seems that our spider is weaving its web, but not entirely. This story is one of two businesses whom have patiently built a close relationship over the past two years, and Nephila AG is the result of such a collaboration.
This story began at the 2012 DjangoCon EU conference, which was held in Zurich that year and organized by the guys at DIVIO, a renowned web company in the Django community also based in Zurich. DIVIO started and supports the development of django CMS, a Django-based application used for managing dynamic content, and is optimizing Aldryn for easy deployment of sites created with django CMS.
For the first time, Nephila arrived in Zurich as a sponsor of a major Django conference. Our own Iacopo began his career as a contributor for django CMS, and since then, we have hardly ever missed the opportunity to attend a Django or Python conference, meeting a lot of people along the way. Nevertheless, our community spirit has been at its peak in the django CMS system. To date, Iacopo has risen from being a simple contributor to becoming a core developer of the application, as well as a member of the technical board responsible for coordinating the release of version 3.1, the latest to date.
Additionally, we share the same digital environment and logic of organizational infrastructure with Divio. Using and developing the same technology, we are both active members of the Python and Django communities and are used to working remotely with the same version of the engine and source code. We also employ the same or similar kanban and collaborative platforms such as Jira, Taiga, Trello, and HipChat, which have facilitated the operational management of joint projects.
When we launched our British startup, we knew we had presented ourselves as a suitable player for mobile boundaries, open to businesses with culturally diverse partners with different operating modes. Nephila has focused on providing advanced and innovative web solutions, and is characterized by a relational approach towards customers that sometimes turns into counseling and coaching in order to achieve the digital evolution.
Nephila AG has been a challenge because it was, in a way, a complete business plan to be carried out over a very short time (a few months) and implemented in a structured way. With this company, currently embedded at the Swiss DIVIO headquarters, we have acceded to the Swiss SMEs market segment, which requires a full-service approach and constant dialogue.
We have quickly completed the takeover of existing customers, according to a pipeline agreed with the management of DIVIO, and have achieved a local management infrastructure (from the accountant to the bank). Now, we are dealing with the ongoing Swiss team setup, in a primarily relational way and composed strictly by native German-speaking people.
Lately, Iacopo and I have been constantly traveling. We plan to spend at least one week a month in Zurich to grow the newly formed Nephila AG and meet customers, as well as a week in London to upgrade our small Nephila office and draft reports. We will also spend an additional two in Florence where we will fortunately be supported by an already mature team coordinated by Matteo and Annalisa.
Swiss Air, Vueling, Ryanair and British Airways know us very well. Even the Konditorei at the end of Riedtlistrasse in Zurich know us by name (making us delicious sweets—even the butter sandwiches will drive you crazy), and in the small amount of down time we have left, we go for a stroll along the River Limmat or through the Old Town. The only problem: an espresso costs 3.80 francs; a real trouble for someone who is fond of coffee like me. On the other hand, I’m comforted by the fact that, at the office in Zurich, we have a Nespresso. In London, however, we have tried a fair number of pubs, which are ubiquitous and beer is really good (and cheap), to the delight of Iacopo, who is an avid fan of craft beers.
We’ll keep you updated on our developments in Switzerland as soon as possible on nephila.ch. Unfortunately, you’ll need a good dictionary: they will be only in German.