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SaaS Interviews with CEOs, Startups, Founders

What if you knew data behind the fastest growing SaaS companies today? Each morning join Nathan Latka as he spends 15 minutes interviewing SaaS founders. You'll learn how SaaS CEO's launched their startup and grew it into a business. SaaS Founders range from bootstrapped to funded, MVP to 10,000 customers, pre revenue to pre IPO.
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Now displaying: September, 2017
Sep 5, 2017

Venkat Nagaswamy. He’s the CEO of Mariana IQ. He brings a long and diverse background in high technology to apply artificial intelligence and deep learning to help marketers make account-based marketing at scale a reality. "Big Kat," as he was nicknamed by friends and colleagues, has led teams in creating analytics, technology and business development solutions at McKinsey, Juniper Networks and GE Plastics, among others. He's worked in enterprise and digital consumer hardware, SaaS, corporate and business unit strategy, market entry strategy, and product development. He's a proud graduate of the University of Michigan and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He holds an MBA and a Master's in Aerospace Engineering.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Good to Great
  • What CEO do you follow? – Marc Benioff and Mark Zuckerberg
  • Favorite online tool? — Calendly and Feedly
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Being diligent and hard-working counts for a lot more than being smart and clever”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:54 – Nathan introduces Venkat to the show
  • 02:54 – Venkat was in Juniper trying to implement account-based marketing
  • 03:14 – Venkat is trying to solve the problems in account-based marketing
  • 03:27 – People buy a monthly subscription to Mariana IQ which will allow them to run campaigns targeting the same audience across different platforms
  • 03:37 – Mariana IQ is a SaaS business
  • 03:43 – Average pay is $4K a month per customer
  • 03:55 – Venkat started Mariana IQ three years ago with his three co-founders
  • 04:02 – Venkat also uses their technology
  • 04:16 – Venkat and his co-founders felt that marketers need more tools to be successful in the field
  • 04:36 – First year revenue was zero
  • 04:45 – Late 2015, Mariana IQ made $155K and $550K in 2016
  • 04:59 – Venkat is expecting to get 5x more in annual revenue this year
  • 05:17 – MRR in June was $70-80K
  • 05:45 – Mariana IQ has around 20 customers
  • 06:00 – Zendesk is one of Mariana IQ’s clients
    • 06:13 – Zendesk wanted to target larger companies and so they gave Mariana IQ their data
    • 06:30 – Mariana IQ used their API to find the targeted companies for Zendesk
  • 06:54 – Venkat shares their success rate at Mariana IQ
    • 07:27 – “We got better quality, 4x the volume while keeping the cost the same”
  • 07:36 – Mariana IQ has raised capital
    • 07:39 – First seed round was in 2014 which was led by Blumberg Capital
    • 07:58 – David Blumberg owns Blumberg Capital and Bruce Taragin is who is on Mariana IQ’s board
    • 08:05 – Blumberg Capital has been around for 34 years
    • 08:19 – The first round was a convertible note round with $6M capital
    • 08:47 – Mariana IQ did another round in 2016 which was a priced round
    • 09:10 – Mariana IQ has raised a total of $4M
  • 09:48 – Venkat doesn’t worry about growing into their valuation
  • 12:00 – In Mariana IQ’s first year, they were only getting beta customers
  • 12:41 – Venkat shares the unconventional way he attracted more customers; a video of him in the shower, singing
    • 13:05 –The video was posted on Twitter and got a million views
    • 13:38 – “I’m the worst singer on the planet”
  • 13:57 – Gross margin is around 80%
  • 14:10 – Gross customer churn is quite high, at 3%
  • 14:22 – Revenue churn
  • 14:55 – Full weighted CAC is $22K per customer
  • 15:06 – Customer LTV is $200-250K
  • 15:40 – Venkat is looking at increasing their CAC by spending more on sales and marketing to increase their volume
    • 15:54 – They will add two more salespeople
  • 16:23 – Last month, they spent $2k on marketing alone
  • 17:20 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Marketers are constantly looking for alternative ways to become more effective and successful in their industry.
  2. A business shouldn’t worry about its valuation—as long as their confident with their product and continue to add value to their customers; it will work out in the end.
  3. It’s necessary for companies today to invest in their sales and marketing to increase that engagement with their audience.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • 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
  • GetLatka - Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • 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

Sep 4, 2017

Jeremy Haynes whose company is Megalodon Marketing. He’s building all kinds of personal brands for celebrities and entrepreneurs alike.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – 48 Laws of Power
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Infusionsoft, ClickFunnels and Stripe
  • How many hours of sleep do you get? — 5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Speed is power, but power is nothing without control”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:55 – Nathan introduces Jeremy to the show
  • 02:28 – “Real results in real life”
  • 02:33 – Jeremy’s real life experiences have driven millions of dollars in infoproducts
  • 02:43 – Jeremy only gives actionable advice
  • 03:00 – Armando Montelongo is one of Jeremy’s clients
    • 03:02 – Armando had a show that ran from 2006-2009 which was called Flip This House, by A&E
  • 03:10 – Jeremy brands himself as the largest go-to personality in digital agency
  • 03:20 – 16 months after Megalodon’s launch, Jeremy met Armando
    • 03:28 – Armando explained to Jeremy how his TV show led to a business with $200M annual revenue in 2017
    • 03:57 – $200M doesn’t include any online revenue
    • 04:05 – The entirety of its revenue came from selling event tickets to people over the phone and up-selling them
    • 04:18 – There were 22K customers between 2006-2009 and the majority of customers have an average transaction value of $20K or more
    • 05:18 – At first, Jeremy couldn’t believe Armando’s story because 2017 is the year of online advertising
    • 05:35 – Armando paid Jeremy $5K per day to come in for 3 days in total
    • 05:48 – Armando’s business was built up on traditional media
    • 06:05 – Jeremy did an assessment on Armando‘s business during his visit
    • 06:15 – The business made 6-figures the first month of the launch after spending a mid 5-figures
    • 06:30 – Armando is making a 7-figure revenue in the succeeding months
  • 06:40 – Jeremy made 3 deals with Armando
  • 08:38 – 33% of the social media activities is on Instagram as it’s a powerful platform
    • 09:00 – An account with 60K views in an hour can have 2% of that traffic go to the product
    • 10:20 – There’s a chrome plugin that helps you filter all Facebook posts
  • 11:11 – Grant Cardone is the Number 1 sales trainer in the world
    • 11:30 – Jeremy became a part of Grant’s business as an email marketing manager; he trained 50 of his people to use Infusionsoft
    • 11:46 – Jeremy ended up as a digital marketing specialist
    • 11:50 – By Jeremy’s sixth month, Grant’s business was making a million dollars in digital revenue
    • 12:28 – Jeremy started with $50K a year to $60K a year with a bonus
  • 13:54 – Jeremy created an omnipresent advertising model for marketing automation
    • 14:05 – Jeremy categorizes Grant’s buyers
    • 14:50 – Jeremy shows the buyers the ads they would want to see depending on their behavior and interests
    • 15:21 – Jeremy shares an actual example using lead forms
    • 15:43 – Jeremy tracks the leads from their customized URL and ads
    • 16:29 – PlusThis is an Infusionsoft plugin where you can connect Facebook to Infusionsoft and generate an http post
    • 16:47 – When a lead fills out a form, it will be generated to a campaign
    • 16:51 – The first step in an marketing automation sequence will be an http post pushing the lead’s data to the target audience where the lead should be
    • 17:03 – Then, the audience will be connected to the ad that is made for them
    • 17:10 – The sequence won’t always be perfect
  • 19:00 – Jeremy shares why people like him are needed to do this job
  • 19:17 – People can hire from com
  • 19:35 – Jeremy stayed with Grant for 13 months, then left to start his own agency
  • 21:40 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Digital marketing is one of best ways to grow your revenue as a business.
  2. Know your worth and show people why you’re worth it.
  3. Leave when you think it is the best time and/or option you have; then, continue to pursue your dreams.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • 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
  • GetLatka - Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • 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
Sep 3, 2017

Moshe Vaknin. He’s been dreaming about his company YouAPPi since he bought his first iPhone 3. After a long and successful career working in a variety of positions, Moshe founded 3 successful startups before finally starting YouAPPi. As the CEO of the company, he brings vast experience in the fields of advertising, publishing and affiliate marketing, making him adept at identify opportunities that can be transformed into profitable realities. 

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – My Journey to Justice by Moshe Vankin
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jeff Bezos
  • Favorite online tool? — Whatsapp
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 4
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Never give up”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 02:41 – YouAPPi is a platform that enables users, publishers and developers to solve growing challenges related to mobile app development
  • 03:19 – As an example, King, the maker of Candy Crush, is always looking for high-quality users for candy crush
    • 03:30 – High-quality users are the ones who play and purchase virtual items
    • 03:45 – YouAPPi will find these high-quality users
    • 03:53 – The process of finding high-quality users is complicated
    • 04:12 – King will have a better ROI to optimize their investment by partnering with a company like YouAPPi
  • 04:47 – YouAPPi has an agreement with 4500 developers and publishers
  • 05:13 – YouAPPi knows users behavior better than anyone else
    • 05:21 – Moshe explains how YouAPPi learns the shopping behavior of each user
    • 05:44 – By learning what to recommend to certain users, YouAPPI can better drive sales
  • 06:50 – YouAPPi can’t track the users and other private data
  • 07:30 – As long as the user is within YouAPPi’s publishers’ network they can identify your device ID and recommend apps
  • 07:56 – YouAPPi is getting paid per app installation and usage
  • 10:52 – YouAPPi pays 70% of their revenue to their publishers
    • 10:56 – From $20, the publisher gets $14 and YouAPPi gets $6
  • 11:05 – YouAPPi was launched in 2011
  • 11:15 – First year revenue was $250K which is the total cut from $1M
    • 11:44 – 2016 total cut was $80M
  • 12:05 – YouAPPi has raised closed to $20M
    • 12:17 – “We have to invest building the platform”
  • 12:19 – Total number of employees is around 130 with 10 offices globally
  • 13:05 – YouAPPi’s platform is for their own consumption
    • 13:24 – “Our business model is our platform”
  • 13:44 – YouAPPi is currently running hot on momentum and Moshe won’t probably sell YouAPPi before 2019
    • 14:10 – IPO recommendations
  • 15:04 – HQ is in the Bay Area and Moshe is currently in Israel
  • 15:33 – Top 2 competitors are Aerosource and AppLovin
  • 17:07 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. As long as you’re on the right path, you can reach your dream.
  2. A good relationship the people in your network can exponentially expand your business.
  3. Never sell too early—if you’ve got a furnace full of momentum, to cash in.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • 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
  • GetLatka - Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • 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
Sep 2, 2017

Sergey Sholom. As a teenager, he was a championship-level gamer and created the first large gamer group called S-port Tournaments in Russia for Quake. After getting his PhD in mathematical modeling, Sergey founded Datcroft Games LTD in 2004. Over the past 13 years, the company has developed multiple worldwide popular games with millions of users. He continues to oversee a company with over a hundred employees and continues to bring new cutting edge games to the market. Their latest game called Pixel Wars which will be released in the summer of 2017, has already received critical acclaim and will become the game changer in mobile eSport.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Richard Branson’s
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — N/A
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 4-5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Push more”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 04:03 – The company was launched in 2004
  • 04:29 – The make free games that sell virtual items—that’s where the company gets it’s revenue
    • 04:43 – Around 5% of players buy virtual items
    • 05:20 – Sergey had no revenue for the first 2 years of his company
    • 05:58 – Sergey supported himself from other businesses
  • 06:01 – His newest game has been in development for more than 2 years
  • 06:13 – The team has 150 people with offices in 4 countries
    • 07:34 – Datcroft Games had an 8-digit revenue in 2016
  • 09:00 – Cryptocurrency helped Gamecredits to monetize their audience
    • 09:20 – Sergey wants to prove game developers that more revenue can come from crypto
  • 10:05 – Gamecredits is preparing to enter the Indian market
  • 10:46 – Sergey believes that Apple promoting your game is just an extra advantage
  • 11:35 – The number of followers that the Gamecredits store has
  • 12:05 – Gamecredits is using its existing coin which has been on the market for 3 years already
    • 12:34 – Gamecredits has been running the most successful crowd sale in the market
    • 13:19 – Gamecredits will put 26.5 M crypto in marketing
  • 14:17 – Sergey will have a way to exchange their coin in dollars
  • 14:43 – Different cryptocurrencies are being put in Gamecredits
  • 15:11 – Sergey is proud that they’re able to run a real crowd sale with almost 10K crypto investors
    • 15:23 – Not all ICOs are able to do that
  • 15:34 – Gamecredits was able to raise capital from 4 tokens including bitcoin, ethereum, waves and gamecredits
  • 16:05 – Gamecredits current tokens are mobilego tokens and their own gamecredits token
  • 16:51 – The market is tremendous and the future community will be much bigger
    • 17:46 – Apple and Google are for profit companies and Gamecredits is a non-profit
  • 20:00 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. It’s possible for a gaming platform to penetrate the cryptocurrency market.
  2. The cryptocurrency market has been growing significantly, increasing opportunities for different investments.
  3. As a non-profit business, your focus needs to be on the change you can create, not the contributions you can earn.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • 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
  • GetLatka - Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • 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

Sep 1, 2017

Tran Hung. He’s one of the founders of Uquid which is the world’s first service offering debit card solutions for cryptocurrency holders. They currently support 79 of the biggest digi-coins including bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, ripple, etc. They also offer worldwide mobile recharge support, bills payment services, grocery and pharmacy vouchers, ticketing services, and many other benefits.

Famous Five:

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 03:00 – Uquid is a debit card for 79 cryptocurrencies
    • 03:10 – Customers can get the physical card with a Visa logo that they can use to withdraw money
    • 03:28 – The card can be loaded with cryptocurrencies
  • 03:43 – Before getting the card, you need to have cryptocurrency
    • 03:49 – Signup at Uquid’s website to get a card
    • 04:04 – There’s a fee of $1 for 1 virtual card but you need the physical card to use in ATMs which is $16
    • 04:20 – After getting the card, you can reload it anytime you want with cryptocurrency
  • 05:10 – Uquid is using the market price of cryptocurrency
  • 05:42 – Uquid takes 0.5% of everything spent using the card
    • 05:53 – If Nathan spent $100 on groceries using the card Uquid will take .50₵
  • 07:34 – Last year, customers spent $1.6M in total transaction volume
  • 08:09 – Uquid is growing fast in 2017
    • 08:30 – In July, Uquid processed $900K in total transaction volume
    • 08:50 – Uquid has already passed $3M total transaction volume on the first half of 2017
  • 10:45 – The process of exchanging bitcoin to other currencies was complicated
    • 11:19 – Uquid is doing $5K a month in service charges
    • 11:30 – Uquid also offers other services where they charge 10-15%
    • 12:05 – Uquid charges 3% from the vouchers
  • 12:20 – In May, Tran thinks they’ll make around $50K in total transaction charges
  • 12:58 – Team size is 5 and they’re based in UK
  • 13;15 – Uquid is planning to release their own token
  • 13:29 – Tran is looking to raise $4-5M
    • 13:44 – Tran is thinking of selling 15% of Uquid to be able to raise $4M
  • 14:35 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. The market for cryptocurrencies is rapidly expanding.
  2. People are now finding more and more ways to mine coins.
  3. No matter what service you use, the charges can differ drastically depending on the type of transaction you’re engaging in.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • 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
  • GetLatka - Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • 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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