Our founder's DNA- how René Dines created Esoft

Our Founder’s DNA

René Dines
Written by René Dines

How my ideas became the Esoft we know today

The year was 1999. I was a 25-year-old Computer Science student who got an idea. I saw an Olympus digital camera with a built-in panorama function and wondered why it wasn’t being used commercially. I soon found out that it was an old technology and that it only worked with a plug-in installation. At that time, I was already into building a company that sold new constructed villas with 3D visualizations as the differentiating tech-factor leading to more trust and faster decisions.

I was, however, still completing my bachelor’s degree in computer science. I didn’t have my diploma yet, nor did I have any experience prior to venturing into the role of an IT entrepreneur. But this didn’t stop me. I was convinced that getting out of my comfort zone by trying something new would be life-changing for me and my family – and I was right. These were the early beginnings of Esoft.

I started investigating how panorama photos could work without the plug-in. With the help of a tech friend at the university, we found a way. Before we knew it, it was sold to the first real-estate agent, and I started taking photos for the realtor. I tried linking the panorama function with the fisheye lens to capture the entire room in one photo—a concept no one had yet tried. This panorama photography concept became the beginning of the Esoft journey, and that same year, 2000, I founded the company. I finished university in 2001. My idea with Esoft was to make real estate agents stand out by using technology to improve property presentations. At that time, there was significant demand and potential for growth.

With Esoft, we were first movers within the industry, making it necessary for us to create innovative solutions to stay on top. I knew this, and in 2002, we launched Esoft System, one of the world’s first online advertising systems. Esoft won the market and became the benchmark within the industry. After this great success, we decided to build a platform with tools and solutions that would make the life of a real estate agent even easier.

The opening of the Vietnam office

Our journey continued. In 2006, we opened an office in Hanoi, Vietnam. Why Vietnam, you may ask? Opening an office more than 5,000 miles from Denmark gave us a huge advantage due to the time difference, cutting down the delivery time[1]  by several days. This created an opportunity to add more value to the already rich content produced across Europe. Was this just BPO (i.e., business process outsourcing) or motivated by low cost? No, it was and is much more than that. Today, we have proven that no other company can compete with us due to this unique setup, platform, and knowledge about the entire value chain of realtors.

In Vietnam, we had to find new ways to be better in every single way. To increase the allegiance of our staff, we started to educate all staff members. Furthermore, we decided to help the local community by hiring people with disabilities. This decision also gave us loyalty in return. Esoft continued to incorporate care into everyday work life, and by 2019, disabled people accounted for 12% of the staff in Vietnam.

A wide variety of projects have been developed in Vietnam ever since the opening of the office in 2006. I am very proud of these initiatives in Vietnam, and the CSR program is a true worldwide magnet for new talent.

Esoft Today

Today, Esoft serves clients on four continents and delivers more than 40,000 pictures per day. We strive to be entrepreneurial in everything we do, and are still living my original idea: to make it easier to market real estate through technology.

With almost 900 employees worldwide, and revenue of approximately $25M and counting, we are still growing, and we have so much more to give. We are full of new ideas and strong values, and always guarantee the best team.

Right now, we are planning to invest more than $15M over the next five years and move heavily into AI as part of our business, both internally and externally, in our platform, solutions, and services.

Watch out, because we’re just getting started…

– Rene