Getting to know you: Richie Kelly, founder and CEO, Adimo

Richie Kelly

We talk to Richie Kelly, founder and CEO of Adimo, about what motivates him and what advice he would give to someone just starting out.

What do you currently do?

I’m the founder and CEO of Adimo. Our add-to-basket tech enables customers to instantly add any product they see online, whether in display advertising, recipes, social media or video, directly to their weekly supermarket shop. My day-to-day work sees me coordinating our teams, spread between our London and Glasgow offices, whilst steering our product based on conversations with current and future clients. I love it.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

I experienced the problems Adimo solves first hand during my agency days as a digital marketer when I began working for FMCG clients. I’d send shoppers to a brand site that advertised the products, but to purchase them the customer would need to either go in store or off to Not only was it a time-consuming, unsatisfactory experience for the customer, it also meant there was no transparent link to demonstrate our work was leading to sales, and that frustrated me. I desperately wanted to insert a button onto my client’s website that would place a product into the visitor’s basket (or their favourite grocer) and add it to their weekly shop.

Fast forward a few years and we have a platform that can do that across any form of marketing, backed up by sophisticated analytics and a lot of clever people.

What defines your way of doing business?

We listen and move fast. That means listening to our clients and understanding their challenges,  then making sure our tech is deployed in the best way possible to achieve their goals. This keeps our clients happy and our tech cutting edge. Whether that’s video, social, voice or Augmented Reality, we can adapt to make it an instant checkout.

In such a fast-moving space, being best depends on being fleet of foot. FMCG ecommerce is currently facing a huge opportunity, and those companies that don’t move quickly to adapt will soon find themselves left behind.

Who do you admire?

My team. The obvious answer here would be an entrepreneur like Elon Musk; the driven genius with a bold vision who disrupts an industry. But history usually overlooks the people behind them who actually drive their vision forward. I knew what I wanted to do when I launched Adimo, but my team are the ones that have translated that into action. We wouldn’t be where we are without everyone believing in what we do and pulling together to achieve it.

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

When we initially built our first prototype and realised there were plenty of different things the tech was capable of, we instantly tried to develop all aspects. But by stretching the technology to try and solve every problem in FMCG ecommerce, we were drawn further away from our original goal, which was create a mechanism that made a customer’s life easier and a marketer’s work more transparent. Luckily we learned from that fast, and resolved to focus on doing one thing, and doing it well.

What advice would you give to anyone just starting out?

Follow process: It’s not glamorous, but time spent developing your proposition at the outset will save you lots of pain in the long term. “Disciplined Entrepreneurship” by MIT’s Bill Aulet has an excellent (and proven) methodology. It explains that entrepreneurship is not an innate skill, but a process that can be followed by anyone. The best part is that the book lays out that process for you, every step of the way, and forces you to consider lots of detail you may not otherwise in your rush to get to market.

I know how time-consuming launching a business is, so if you can’t read the whole book then at least consider a methodology for validating your product and making sure it suits your market. Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” concept is also worth watching.

You only get one chance to bring your business to market for the first time, so make it count!