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The Top Entrepreneurs in Money, Marketing, Business and Life

Listen to The Top if you want to hear from the worlds TOP entrepreneurs on how much they sold last month, how they are selling it, and what they are selling - 7 days a week in 20 minute interviews! The Top is FOR YOU IF you are: A STUDENT who wants to become the CEO of a $10m company in under 24 months (episode #4) STUCK in the CORPORATE grind and looking to create a $10k/mo side business so you can quit (episode #7) An influencer or BLOGGER who wants to make $27k/mo in monthly RECURRING revenue to have the life you want and full CONTROL (episode #1) The Software as a Service (SaaS) entrepreneur who wants to grow to a $100m+ valuation (episode #14). Your host, Nathan Latka is a 25 year old software entrepreneur who has driven over $4.5 million in revenue and built a 25 person team as he dropped out of school, raised $2.5million from a Forbes Billionaire, and attracted over 10,000 paying customers from 160+ different countries. Oprah gets 60 minutes or more to make her guests comfortable to then ask tough questions. Nathan does it all in less than 15 minutes in this daily podcast that's like an audio version of Pat Flynn's monthly income report. Join the Top Tribe at NathanLatka.com/TheTop
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Jul 31, 2017

Patrick Bosworth. They launched in 2012 with 3 co-founders and are now at 105 people. They help hotels—specifically, they help hotel locations better optimize their pricing. They raised $51 million serving over 3000 individual hotel locations paying on average 17 grand per year. They will very soon be doing about a $50 million run rate, 75% gross margin which they tripled over the recent future. This is incredible how they worked that fixed cause structure to drive more growth and bring the margin up over time. They spend about $20,000 on CAC; so there is a super healthy payback period at about 14 months. They are based in San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Crossing the Chasm
  • What CEO do you follow? – Matthew Prince
  • Favorite online tool? — Gnome
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— trying to get 8, but is getting 7 hours
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – I wish that I had believed that it was okay for me to be happy back then

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:44 – Nathan introduces Patrick Bosworth to the show
  • 01:23 – Patrick is the co-founder and CEO of Duetto Research, his focus is driving vision and growth at a company
  • 01:50 – Patrick thinks his MBA from Harvard is crucial in the building of the company; a friend of Patrick’s convinced him of the opportunity to build a tech business and introduced him to co-founder Craig Weissman, who was at Sales Force at the time
  • 02:15 – In the fundraising process, his MBA created credibility as well as his co-founder’s MBA from Cornell. Another co-founder also went to Harvard and they were all able to maximize their networks
  • 03:01 – Patrick did the two-year program and it helped him get a grounding in business terminology considering his background was in the arts and in politics
  • 03:37 – If the network is the main concern, there are short term programs, but they are expensive
  • 04:02 – Nathan says he is willing to spend money for people who enter the program to get access to the network
  • 04:23 – Duetto is a hotel software company leveraging on medium data to help hotel managers make smarter decisions on pricing optimization
  • 04:47 – Duetto gets the demand from a particular hotel and picks the price for each customer segment, channel and room type for the next 13 months
  • 04:57 – This has increased the revenue of the hotels from 6.5 to 8.5% which increases their profit from 75 to 100%
  • 05:15 – Duetto gets revenue from the subscription payment that is paid annually based on the product they are buying and number of rooms in the hotel
  • 05:42 – Patrick is surprised that companies are not taking advantage of the performance kicker
  • 06:41 – Last month, 5% of the revenue came from the flat SaaS model
  • 07:10 – The target customer varies – if it is a strong brand like the Marriott, they need to go directly to them rather than the real estate owner; in smaller brands including independent hotels, they need to go to the management company
  • 08:32 – On a per property basis, they are getting $17,000 to $18,000 per hotel per year and it varies according to the number of rooms and products they are buying
  • 08:50 – The company was founded in 2012
  • 09:17 – Patrick and Marco worked on the business idea for about a year and met with Craig in September 2011; it took them 5 months to court him
  • 09:52 – While Patrick and Marco were fundraising, they were only getting $1 - $2 million valuations but when Craig joined, it jumped up to $10 million
  • 10:49 – Craig has more equity than Patrick
  • 10:58 – They have raised four rounds of capital amounting to $58.3 million
  • 11:33 – The payback period is 14 months and they are spending around $20,000 to acquire new customers
  • 11:51 – They have literally not lost a customer in 5 years
  • 12:55 – Selling to the lodging market is difficult because it is an old school industry that does not embrace technology quickly
  • 13:17 – The company tried to spend more on additional sales reps or demand gen but the cash got spent inefficiently
  • 14:12 – Duetto can grow by expanding their reach geographically
  • 14:31 – By the end of the quarter, they are close to 3000 hotels in 98 countries
  • 15:04 – There is a lag in gross and deferred bookings, but the current run rate is a fraction of Nathan’s calculation of $50 million
  • 16:10 – The company has a larger services organization than most and they grew from 30% to 70% gross margin in the past year
  • 17:06 – They staffed up sales globally and the services organization with the platform growth margin north of 95%, but the blended gross margin including the onboarding services dips down in the 70s
  • 18:26 – They had a fixed cost structure
  • 18:41 – Patrick says they did spend a million bucks a month during the early years and it was partly due to naiveté
  • 19:56 – The investors have big expectations and they were the ones that reassured Patrick of the capital and growth
  • 20:34 – In the last round in 2015, they were able to raise $30 million
  • 21:55 – The investors changed their mindset in 2015 and in 2017
  • 22:06 – They currently have 105 people based in San Francisco and Las Vegas
  • 23:14 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. An MBA degree can give you a leg up in terms of the network it provides you.
  2. Know your market well, including all its idiosyncrasies.
  3. Study the changes in your investors’ expectations and work with them.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books

Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

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