Bound Round: The end of an era

This update about the failure of Bound Round is all I have the energy for right now. I want to fill some of the gaps in the story that the publicly available liquidation documents don’t tell.

Not only am I sad and disappointed to see 7 years of hard work and significant cash investment from family, coworkers and friends go down the drain. But I also feel a bit battered and bruised from the stress of trying to mitigate the impact of the business failure on the lives of the people who worked with me as employees and contractors. 

Before the administrators were appointed, only 2 team members were made redundant. The others were all offered roles in different organizations. Some chose to take those opportunities. Others chose to leave. 

I documented the business history, including explaining a couple of significant, poor, strategic decisions that I’d made over the past couple of years for the liquidators. It was a cathartic, if not at times, heart wrenching process.

But what it did show me was that despite the fact that Bound Round failed, over the course of the last 7 years we did some pretty awesome things. Things that the people who were a part of making it happen should be proud of.

Since 2012 the Bound Round team:

  • Built the world’s first (and award winning) by-kids-for-kids travel app. It remains aligned to the Australian primary school curriculum and can be used for free in classrooms.
  • Worked with cutting edge technologies  to experiment with and test some super cool features like 3D globe interfaces on websites and digital stamps 
  • Developed a school excursion portal for teachers and educational experience providers
  • Sponsored Wave Warriors for 2 seasons, supporting an inclusive nipper competition around Australia
  • Created over 1,000 videos giving everyday families an opportunity to share their home town. And providing opportunities for them to experience things they may not have done otherwise tried.
  • Worked with the Direct Group to create their travel agency brand MyDiscoveries. Turning it into a thriving business unit before handing it back to them to manage in-house.
  • Created the Families of Australia web series, showcasing more than 70 cities and towns around Australia and their family-friendly attractions.
  • Injected hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Australian freelancer community, providing income and opportunities to micro and small business owners.
  • Created Family Travel as a brand with an increasing readership and subscriber base  within a competitive market
  • Designed and created a series of teacher education resources for the NSW Department of Environment & Planning
  • Helped Julie Jones launch Australia’s first accessible and inclusive travel magazine, Travel Without Limits

My decision, with the unanimous support of Bound Round’s shareholders, to appoint an administrator in July 2019 was not taken lightly. The decision was made knowing that the shareholders would lose their money. It was made knowing that there were creditors who would likely lose their money. It was made knowing that I’d done my best to minimize the impact that making the decision would have on other people. 

It was also a decision that, once the liquidation process is complete, will hopefully allow me to simplify my life and focus on my new priorities – my husband, baby, family and friends. And now I’m a mum I will be able to write from lived experiences at Family Travel.

If my personal circumstances hadn’t changed dramatically in 2018 or if I were still able (or wanted) to give the business my undivided, 24/7 attention, I might have investigated alternative options for continuing Bound Round more thoroughly. But the entrepreneur in me is burnt out and that’s not the best state to try and transform a business. Nor is it an ideal state to be bringing up a baby. 

So…

To the people I’ve disappointed by letting Bound Round fail, I’m sorry. 

To the people who genuinely supported me along the way – staff, contractors, family, friends and industry colleagues – thank you. I’ve learnt a lot and will be forever grateful for the guidance and support.

To my husband and daughter, I promise I’ve now got the time to put you guys first.