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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: November, 2017
Nov 5, 2017

Oscar Nelson. He’s the CEO of Musqot, the marketing technology and SaaS company he co-founded after spending 12 years in various marketing roles in small and large companies. Industry-wise, he’s had a mixed background from consulting, media, telecommunications and enterprise software. He considers himself a business generalist more than a specialist.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jason Lemkin
  • Favorite online tool? — DocuSign
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – It is more important to focus on your cofounder than your business idea

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:52 – Nathan introduces Oscar to the show
  • 02:18 – Musqot is a marketing performance management app
  • 02:24 – Musqot helps their customers increase their marketing effectiveness and efficiency, enabling their marketing ROI
  • 02:44 – ACV is around $25K annually
  • 02:55 – Some customers pay 6 figures
  • 03:04 – Musqot was founded in 2014
  • 03:16 – On their second year, Musqot launched their beta product and just a year ago, they launched their real product
  • 03:40 – Musqot was bootstrapped. They were able to sustain their first year without revenue through personal financial support and savings
  • 04:05 – Oscar and his co-founder have initially put in around $100K for the company
  • 04:47 – First year revenue
  • 05:37 – 2017 target is $3M in ARR runway
  • 06:12 – Musqot just recently passed their $100K MRR mark
  • 07:06 – Musqot currently has 60 customers
  • 08:14 – Musqot’s expansion is due to their support and onboarding efforts
  • 09:13 – Team size is 25 with 20 full-time employees and 5 consultants
    • 09:30 – 5 are in sales, 2 are in presales and onboarding, 1 in marketing and the rest are in development
  • 10:45 – Musqot gets customers from different sources
  • 12:14 – Full weighted CAC
  • 13:31 – Payback period is roughly a year or more
  • 14:10 – Paid ads spend is around $20K monthly
  • 14:50 – The bigger customers are happy and tend to stay longer than the smaller customers
  • 15:32 – Logo churn is around 2% and revenue churn is negative
  • 16:27 – Musqot has raised $1.2M
  • 16:44 – Musqot’s HQ is in Stockholm, Sweden and Bangalore, India
  • 17:40 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. A startup can thrive through personal savings and financial support if need be.
  2. Share your business ideas with your business partner and make sure that your thoughts and visions for the company are aligned.
  3. Plan carefully where you will place your paid ads.

 

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
Nov 4, 2017

Tim Sae Koo. He’s a 26-year old, LA-based native residing currently in San Francisco, California. He’s dreamed to become the first Asian American president of the United States to solve impactful problems with a purpose. He found his legacy rules to be inefficient. He studied entrepreneurship at University of Southern California and graduated early to naively start a company and fulfill his original life mission. His company is TINT.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Delivering Happiness
  • What CEO do you follow? – Mark Cuban
  • Favorite online tool? — Wunderlist
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “It’s okay to make mistakes because that’s how you’re going to learn”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:53 – Nathan introduces Tim to the show
  • 02:26 – TINT is a marketing software platform that works with B2C brands
    • 02:37 – They help source the best customer content on social media
  • 03:11 – TINT is SaaS based
  • 03:19 – ACV is from $1K to 5K a month or $12K to $60K a year
  • 03:31 – The variations in price depend on different options including the number of hashtags to track
    • 03:58 – They have a high base price
  • 04:14 – The moderation feature can also be included using manual moderation or machine-learning
  • 04:41 – TINT was launched in 2013
  • 04:48 – TINT is completely bootstrapped
  • 05:00 – Tim raised $370K for the previous company before pivoting to TINT
  • 05:18 – The initial product was a consumer application and the market was quite saturated—this led to the pivot to TINT
  • 05:55 – The initial company was getting zero revenue with 5K users and 3 team members
    • 06:35 – Tim and the founders were paying themselves $36K a year
    • 06:54 – Tim worked while he was still in college
    • 07:35 – Keep your expenses low
  • 07:44 – TINT’s team size is around 30
  • 07:52 – TINT currently has 700 customers
  • 08:23 – Average MRR is around $700K
  • 08:50 – 2017 goal is to get around $7.5M in revenue
  • 09:15 – 2016 ARR is around $5M and cash basis is around $6M
  • 10:08 – Current ARR is around $5.5M
  • 10:30 – Tim hasn’t raised capital yet because he thinks he won’t be a good CEO if he does that
  • 10:36 – Tim identifies himself more as a founder than a CEO
  • 11:32 – TINT has always been profitable
  • 12:16 – CAC is around $2K
    • 13:00 – TINT is still figuring out the best channel for them to invest more
    • 13:38 – Paid ads is $10-15K a month
  • 14:10 – In the beginning, Tim used to acquire more customers by offering to draw any animal
    • 15:20 – The main idea is to make something that can bring a smile to someone’s face and that will help them remember Tim
  • 15:35 – Team members are based in different states and other countries like Dubai, Brazil and London
    • 15:50 – There’s now a big push for a technology investment in Dubai
  • 16:23 – Tim is now paying himself something modest, but nothing too grand
  • 16:39 – Tim has two co-founders and half of the company is owned by the team; the other half for investors
  • 17:35 – Tim shared how he started entrepreneurship and his plans for the future
  • 18:20 – Tim might consider a $30M acquisition at the moment
  • 20:10 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. The most successful in the entrepreneurial world are not the ones who know how to expand their revenue; they are the ones who know how to reduce their expenses.
  2. Think about how you can make people happy—this will make you memorable.
  3. Be the leader, not the boss.

 

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
Nov 3, 2017

Victor Szczerba. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Yeti Data, solving big data problems for customers. Prior experience includes running product strategy at the data division at SAP. He was a McKinsey consultant and sales VP for Tadpole Computer and Utopy.

Famous Five:

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:44 – Nathan introduces Victor to the show
  • 02:14 – Yeti Data makes virtual data warehouses
  • 02:30 – Yeti Data’s model is an enterprise SaaS model
  • 02:45 – An average customer pays Yeti Data $250-500K a year
  • 03:02 – “We love universal usage of our data with inside of the customer”
  • 03:19 – Clients get data from their customers’ behavior
  • 04:24 – AI is a blanket term and machine learning is something very specific
  • 05:08 – Victor shares how machine learning works and they put in details manually
  • 05:52 – In digital marketing, there are ways to understand the customer and their purchasing behavior, but it still can be tricky
  • 06:47 – Yeti Data currently has around 5 customers
  • 07:07 – Yeti Data is close to reaching an $800K, ARR mark
  • 07:31 – Yeti Data was launched 3-4 years ago and was in development mode for the first few years
  • 07:50 – Yeti Data raised capital for RND and they’ve been really lean
    • 08:07 – It was a convertible note
    • 08:31 – 4% interest and 10% discount with a teaser for the second round
  • 09:18 – On pre-revenue, Yeti Data has 3 core people and some consultants
  • 10:03 – Amazon and Walmart have a software that is similar to Yeti Data
  • 10:39 – Some companies that are in competition with Yeti Data are IBM and HP
  • 11:08 – Yeti Data created a way to virtualize their data connections
  • 12:00 – It is still too early for Yeti Data to have their metrics
  • 13:00 – A good ARR of a million bucks can get Yeti Data to a good series A
  • 14:30 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Regardless of how congested your market is, you can still find a way to stand out.
  2. Use your competition as motivation to push harder.
  3. Focus in on what you’re good at.

 

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
Nov 2, 2017

Garrett Gunderson. He’s the chief wealth architect at Wealth Factory and author of the New York Times’ bestseller, Killing Sacred Cows. Wealth Factory helps entrepreneurs optimize cash flow, streamline their finances and keep more of their hard-earned money so they can make more powerful investments in their best wealth sector—their business.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Scaling Up and The War of Art
  • What CEO do you follow? – Rich Christiansen
  • Favorite online tool? — OmniFocus
  • 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? – “It will be okay and I don’t mean to stress as much as I did”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:40 – Nathan introduces Garrett to the show
  • 02:10 – It took Garrett two years of contemplating before writing Killing Sacred Cows
    • 03:26 – Garrett worked with a publisher and the promotion firm Green Leaf
    • 04:30 – Garrett is earning higher royalties for his book deal than the usual
    • 05:00 – The possibility for bigger redistribution impacted the book deal
    • 05:35 – Garrett was able to sell copies of the book even before it came out
    • 06:10 – Garrett decided to have a publisher because it was more relevant than to self-publish
    • 07:10 – Garrett self-published The Rockefellers last year
    • 08:22 – Garrett co-published New Rules to Get Rich with Nightingale
    • 08:45 – Garrett has self-published a few books which are more profitable than the one he made with the publisher
  • 09:30 – Just because you’re starting a business doesn’t mean you know about investing
  • 10:00 – For investing, investor DNA needs to be considered
    • 10:04 – The core values, drivers and diversification
  • 10:43 – There’s no magic product or magic investment
  • 11:40 – Nathan shares how he deals with his real estate investments
  • 12:10 – People think they need to invest because the money is there
  • 12:40 – It is more important to invest in the RIGHT opportunity and something that we KNOW
  • 13:50 – There are good, bad and lucky investors—but don’t rely on luck
  • 14:37 – In terms of taxes:
    • 14:42 – Never confuse deferral with deductions
    • 16:00 – Garrett shares his stance on deferrals
    • 16:54 – Tax should be a secondary consideration
  • 18:00 – Garrett shares how he makes money
    • 18:14 – Garrett works with entrepreneurs with $1-10M in ARR
  • 19:10 – Garrett doesn’t offer asset management, they’re more on financial and cash flow management side
  • 19:40 – Garrett’s co-founder passed away in 2006 from a plane crash
  • 20:20 – Wealth Factory’s income is steady and they’ve raised their fees substantially
    • 21:20 – “We’re the very best people”
  • 21:31 – 2017 revenue goal
  • 22:27 – Wealth Factory has 10 new customers monthly
  • 22:37 – Team size is 20
  • 24:04 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Investing and starting a business are two very different things.
  2. Deferrals are different than deductions.
  3. Billionaires don’t have the best financial advice.

 

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
Nov 1, 2017

Josh March. He’s the founder and CEO of Conversocial, a customer engagement solution that helps businesses increase their customer loyalty by enabling effortless, in-the-moment, customer service to social and mobile channels. The largest global firms including Google, Sprint, Hertz and Hyatt Hotels turn to his platform to deliver an amazing, social, first, customer service experience at a large scale. He previously founded the leading social application platform, iPlatform, one of the world’s first Facebook preferred developer which was acquired in 2012.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Four Steps to the Epiphany
  • What CEO do you follow? – Ben Horowitz
  • Favorite online tool? — Twitter
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6.5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Be more self-aware and your own thinking can become your bias

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:40 – Nathan introduces Josh to the show
  • 02:51 – iPlatform was sold to Betapond in 2012
    • 03:28 – The acquisition was a mix of cash and equity
  • 03:53 – Conversocial is an enterprise SaaS product
  • 04:20 – Conversocial follows up on customers through social media sites
  • 04:38 – Conversocial collects messages from different social media channels and analyzes them
  • 05:04 – Conversocial has raised $20M of venture capital
  • 05:33 – Conversocial started from iPlatform
  • 06:00 – Josh saw that they needed to move quickly with Conversocial, so they raised funds
  • 06:29 – The first round was $2.5M and was a priced equity round
  • 07:24 – Some of Conversocial’s customers were an upsell from iPlatform
  • 07:34 – Team size is around 100
  • 08:00 – Josh was initially involved with the product development of Conversocial and as they grew and hired great people, he began shifting more of his time to customer acquisition
  • 09:33 – Their biggest customer pays around a million dollars annually
  • 09:50 – Conversocial also has customers who pay from $25K to $200K
  • 11:00 – Conversocial focuses on customer care
  • 12:00 – The need for a customer contact center is greatly increasing
  • 12:28 – Conversocial currently has 200 clients
  • 13:30 – Conversocial has passed their $10M ARR mark
  • 14:12 – Conversocial has a higher logo churn with small companies
  • 14:47 – Conversocial’s net churn is around 120%
  • 16:21 – Josh flies a lot just to meet customers
  • 17:48 – Fully weighted CAC varies dramatically depending on the deals
  • 18:24 – Payback period is around 18 months
  • 18:43 – Josh won’t sell to Sprinklr
    • 19:10 – Josh thinks Sprinklr’s vision is far off of Conversocial’s vision
  • 20:30 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Focus on the needs of the customers and figure out how you can solve their problems.
  2. Social media is being used not only for marketing, but for customer service as well.
  3. An entrepreneur should go the “extra mile” just to get a client.

 

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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