The history behind Nimbus.

Meet Tim Dunton, our founder and MD

20 years of big ideas

Sometimes you just know. It was a gut thing. An instinct thing. A great big unstoppable thing. Sometimes the best things are. And that’s the way it was for Tim. Hey Tim! Tim’s our founder, our MD, and the man who thought up Nimbus. He just knew he wanted to do something different with tech. So that’s what he did.

We’re pretty proud of Tim as it happens, because for more than 20 years he’s been doing the kind of stuff most people only daydream about. He’s built businesses, pushed tech to the limits and tackled challenges head on. He’s made us what we are today – and he’s not done yet.

Tim’s timeline in tech

1991
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1997

1992

Tim’s dad brings home an old Mac Classic and a little switch flicks on in Tim’s head. He asks for a modem and starts experimenting with online communication using bulletin board services (BBS). He’s 12 years old. He’s online. And it’s 1992.

1994

Tim starts his first bulletin board service. The precursor to the internet, BBS operates on a tiny scale, but with a strong community angle. His big idea is to charge anyone a subscription to use the service and set up email addresses. As part of it, he registers his first domain name, xnet.co.uk, for just £100.

1995

With dial-up internet quickly seeing off BBS, Tim moves on. At 15, he starts his first business, from his parents’ study, and builds a website for the University of Hertfordshire Business School, where his dad works. The local paper writes an article on him, bringing in work from other businesses, including Cintel, part of the Rank Corporation.

1996

The Times publishes an article on Tim in their online supplement, helpfully including his email address. This generates lots of new leads, including Polycell, and really kicks Global Gold off as a business. Over 20 years later, we’re still working with some of the clients it brought in!

The same year, Tim experiments with online apps, including creating an editorial Apple fan site called Always Apple, which makes money through advertising. He also launches a banner network called UK Banners, which lets small businesses display banners on their websites well before SEO or PPC. It becomes extremely popular, but not financially viable.

1997
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2020

1997

Tim sells linkexchange.co.uk, a domain name he picked up during the UK Banners venture. A subsidiary of Microsoft buys it for £5,000 and Tim is quoted in The Times Young Person Rich Kids as one to watch. He’s 16 and doing his GCSEs.

1998

 

He uses funds raised through Global Gold and domain name sales to start a portal called 2b.co.uk. It makes money through affiliate and banner advertising.

1999

Tim launches an early low-cost hosting and domain registration business called Global Gold Network Ltd (GGN). It grows rapidly, with people buying up domain names as investments, and achieves a £150k monthly turnover within 12 months. It’s still based in Tim’s parents’ study.

2000

Just months after GGN takes on new offices to cope with the boom, the dot-com bubble bursts spectacularly. Sales drop off as quickly as they’d started and the following few years are spent refocusing on hosting, corporate clients and a more premium offering.

2011

After 12 years, Tim and his business partner go their separate ways. Tim leaves GGN as a director but retains his 50% shareholding. Later that year, GGN is acquired by iomart. Meanwhile, Tim is beginning a new venture. He decides to call it Nimbus Hosting.

2012

Nimbus outgrows its first tiny office and moves its five-strong team to Harlow.

2015

With nine people on board, it’s getting to be a tight squeeze again at the Nimbus office, so Tim ups sticks for a bigger place in Hertford.

2017

Things are going well at Nimbus. Turnover exceeds £2m for the first time and Tim begins moving the company’s focus from service to product. He has a new idea – a hosting platform created for creatives. STORM is born.

2020

With its new hosting platform going from strength to strength, the Nimbus team is now 21-strong, with over 1,000 STORM servers – and counting!

100% hands on

Some bosses are just plain old bossy. They drop in, they pop out, they shout a few orders. Well, not at Nimbus. Tim might be the man behind our brand, but he’s also right here in the thick of it with our tech team.

He’s often asked for expert insights into the tech industry, so you might spot his name on some high-profile press articles. But the rest of the time he’s working out how to make Nimbus and STORM even more brilliant – and nattering to clients, just like the rest of us.

Nimbus Hosting
1 Centrus, Mead Lane Hertford Hertfordshire SG13 7GX GB 0203 005 9181 [email protected]