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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: Category: Business
Jan 21, 2023

AI-driven growth for Shopify merchants.

Jan 14, 2023

Task Management Tools for Events & Restaurants.

Jan 12, 2023

Help companies forecast, manage, & grow revenue.

Nov 21, 2017

Max Percherskyi. He’s a passionate SaaS entrepreneur whose mission is to connect professional SaaS companies and startup hubs to help them form long-term relationships and good, win-win partnerships. Currently, he’s connecting angel institutional investors, cofounders, exceptional talent and partner companies across three different countries to make the PromoRepublic ventures succeed at a global scale. Prior to cofounding PromoRepublic, he worked in marketing agencies for ten years and was responsible for business development, digital marketing and sales.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Top 101 Growth Hacks
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jason Lemkin
  • Favorite online tool? — WorkFlowly
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Max would tell himself that not all people will love him

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:37 – Nathan introduces Max to the show
  • 02:22 – PromoRepublic is a social media content automation tool that helps SMBs create their social media presence
  • 02:38 – PromoRepublic is a SaaS business
  • 02:45 – Pricing starts at $15 a month for an annual package
  • 02:55 – ACV is $20 a month
  • 03:00 – Max was in Episode 403
  • 03:27 – PromoRepublic will soon have a $100 plan
  • 03:53 – CAC is now $150-170
  • 04:18 – Paid channels spend varies every month
  • 04:33 – Affiliate network is the one that is working now
  • 05:28 – PromoRepublic has raised $1.85M in total
  • 06:12 – Team size is 22
  • 06:26 – PromoRepublic has 3 offices
  • 07:30 – PromoRepublic hired a sales guy to sell their high value plans
    • 08:29 – There’s commission for every plan sold
  • 10:00 – PromoRepublic has around 5,500 customers, 3000 are from AppSumo
  • 10:32 – Most of the customers from AppSumo just bought the product; some are active, some aren’t
  • 12:33 – Last month’s MRR was $20K
  • 12;54 – Logo churn is around 5.8%
  • 14:07 – 2016 revenue was €110K
  • 14:33 – 2017 total revenue will be around $300K
  • 15:08 – PromoRepublic is going to receive a grant and will take an additional loan
  • 17:25 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Your team size must align with your profitability.
  2. Paid advertising takes time—test to see which ads will work the best.
  3. Use your capital wisely.

 

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 20, 2017

Sravish Sridhar. He’s the VP and General Manager at Kinvey Progress and was previously the CEO and founder of Kinvey before it was acquired by Progress. He’s also an angel investor in multiple startups with successful exits.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Crossing the Chasm
  • What CEO do you follow? – Matt Barbey
  • Favorite online tool? — If This Then That
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I would never become a movie actor”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:50 – Nathan introduces Sravish to the show
  • 02:18 – Kinvey’s acquisition closed on June 1st and was announced on June 28th
  • 02:30 – Kinvey does “backend as a service”, which is a term that they coined
  • 02:58 – Schneider Electric has a lot of apps that are used to interact with its hardware, employees and customers
    • 03:13 – Kinvey is in charge of the backend features that an app needs
  • 03:44 – “We make every frontend developer become a backend developer”
    • 03:55 – Developers don’t have to learn the backend processes, they can simply drag and drop
  • 04:07 – Kinvey has three types of customers:
    • 04:10 – First, those who are building apps as a hobby or trial and pay nothing up to $200 a month
    • 04:22 – Second, business edition customers who pay an average of $24K a year per application
    • 04:44 – Lastly, enterprise edition customers who pay around 6 figures a year
    • 05:03 – ACV is around $80K to $90K
  • 05:24 – When Sravish came up with the idea for Kinvey, he knew it should be a venture-backed company
    • 05:46 – Sravish funded the initial capital of $150K
    • 06:06 – Kinvey has raised over $15M before the acquisition
  • 06:30 – It took Kinvey 15 month to launch their product
    • 06:43 – In the second year, they started to build their revenue
    • 07:10 – In 2013, they were doing high 6-figures in revenue
    • 07:24 – They broke their million dollar mark in 2014
  • 07:54 – Sravish invested in startups to learn strategies and build his financial portfolio
  • 09:20 – Sravish has three things he looks for when investing in a startup:
    • 09:22 – The team’s relationship with each other
    • 09:39 – The space of the startup
    • 09:55 – The potential he has to help the startup to grow
  • 10:40 – Kinvey has over 50 enterprise customers
  • 12:54 – The acquisition of Kinvey by Progress was for $50M
  • 13:13 – Sravish shares how the board and himself decided on the acquisition
  • 14:40 – Sravish’s discussion with Progress
  • 15:43 – Team size prior to acquisition was 44 and everyone stayed after the acquisition, current team size is 65-70
  • 16:00 – Kinvey had multiple offers and it took them 2-3 months to decide
  • 16:40 – Progress matched the best offer
  • 17:00 – Kinvey and Progress are both based in Boston
  • 17:58 – Kinvey had direct sales models and enterprise sales reps
  • 18:10 – CAC is $95K to $100K and LTV is $2.1-2.2M
  • 18:33 – Payback period is 13-14 months
  • 19:04 – Kinvey has 98% retention rate
  • 20:40 – Progress has been thoughtful with their employees’ restricted stock units (RSU)
  • 23:40 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Choose the deal that will be a great fit for the long-term.
  2. Always consider the company and, most importantly, your team’s future when making decisions.
  3. Investing isn’t just about the financial gains, it’s about your ability to believe in and help a company grow and succeed.

 

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 19, 2017

Chris Savage. He’s the CEO and cofounder of Wistia, a leading video platform that enables business teams to harness the connective power of video. They help over 400K businesses connect better with their customers using video as the medium.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Masters of Doom
  • What CEO do you follow? – Ben Chestnut
  • Favorite online tool? — Quip
  • 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? – “Persistence is the difference between success and failure”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:51 – Nathan introduces Chris to the show
  • 02:17 – Wistia is a SaaS business
  • 02:20 – Wistia is a platform where you can upload your videos and customize them for your site
  • 02:49 – Wistia charges based on the number of videos
  • 02:55 – ACV is $100 a month and it’s 25 cents per video
  • 03:38 – Wistia is already 11 years old
  • 04:09 – Wistia didn’t make money their first year
  • 05:08 – Chris and his cofounder needed at least 15K a month to live
  • 05:55 – Wistia made a mistake when they weren’t charging based on the storage
  • 06:35 – Chris explains their decision to change their pricing
  • 07:04 – Gross margin is in the 70s
  • 07:43 – Total number of customers
  • 08:00 – Wistia still has a free trial for 3 videos
    • 08:05 – There are a few hundred thousand free users
  • 09:21 – One the best things Wistia offers is inspirational and useful content for free accounts
  • 10:05 – Wistia gets 15% of direct, attributable conversion from free accounts
  • 10:30 – Wistia has raised two rounds with a total of $1M
  • 11:09 – “We are very focused on long-term”
  • 11:29 – Chris wants Wistia to be less complex for users
  • 12:27 – Customer churn is 1.6% a month
  • 12:47 – On a unit economic basis, Wistia is consistently expanding
  • 13:11 – LTV is approaching $5K
  • 13:20 – CAC
  • 16:00 – Stretch goal in December of 2017
    • 16:09 – Wistia is focused on profitability
  • 17:06 – Wistia is doing a more than million dollars a month in revenue
  • 17:22 – Wistia has raised less than what they’re making monthly
  • 18:50 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Changing the price of your product won’t necessarily equate to profitability—balance is the key.
  2. Converting customers from free to paid takes a lot of testing and patience.
  3. Persistency is the difference between success and failure.

 

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 18, 2017

Roy Mann. He’s a career entrepreneur, artist and 3D printing enthusiast. His experience is in the field of product development and marketing and before co-founding dapulse, Roy was part of Wix’s senior management team, which is a big, runway success. Prior to joining Wix, he founded the online social game, Save an Alien.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • What CEO do you follow? – Avishai Abrahami
  • Favorite online tool? — FullStory
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 7-8
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Whatever you learn, you learn—and in the end, we all die”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:50 – Nathan introduces Roy to the show
  • 02:27 – dapulse is a tool for managing operations for teams
  • 02:38 – dapulse is a SaaS product
  • 02:40 – dapulse has a free trial of 14 days
  • 02:52 – ACV
  • 04:00 – Roy was in Episode 404 of The Top
  • 04:06 – Team size is 70
    • 04:14 – 1/3 is in engineering and they’re expecting to grow to 100 this year
    • 04:40 – Most of the team are in Israel and some are in the USA
  • 05:00 – dapulse currently has 15K customers
  • 05:15 – dapulse raised $25M at the start of 2017
    • 05:34 – They’ve raised a total of $34M
  • 06:13 – MRR is over $1M and $13M ARR
  • 06:33 – dapulse is a B2B company, but their approach is like a B2C
    • 07:06 – dapulse aims at individuals who will potentially purchase the product for their team
  • 07:16 – dapulse has spent $1.5M just last month on online ads
  • 07:45 – CAC
  • 08:24 – Payback period
  • 09:37 – dapulse’s campaign can attract a high number of customers
  • 10:27 – Roy wants to build a product that fits everyone
  • 10:42 – dapulse has a negative net revenue churn
  • 11:18 – Monthly logo churn is between 1.5% to 2%
    • 12:13 – Churn is calculated on the top line
  • 13:48 – dapulse has -.05 net revenue churn
  • 14:20 – dapulse sells to large companies through their Instagram ads
  • 15:40 – dapulse doesn’t give an incentive for those who post about their user experience
  • 16:47 – 2017 ARR goal is $17M
  • 17:21 – December 2016 ARR is $6.5M
  • 18:10 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. A B2C approach can still get you customers, even if you’re B2B company.
  2. If people gain value from your product and enjoy it, they will share about it.
  3. We all make mistakes, just make sure you learn and move on.

 

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 17, 2017

Mark Organ. He’s the founder and CEO of Influitive, helping companies mobilize their advocates to produce massive increases in referral leads, reference calls, social media participation and more. He revolutionized B2B marketing and the founding CEO of Eloqua, the world leader in marketing automation software, which was acquired by Oracle for $871M. In between, he was the go-to marketing consultant for SaaS companies in North America and Asia. 

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Getting to Yes
  • What CEO do you follow? – Dara Khosrowshahi
  • Favorite online tool? — LinkedIn
  • 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? – “How important it was to build new relationships with people”

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:40 – Nathan introduces Mark to the show
  • 02:17 – Mark left Eloqua even before the acquisition
    • 03:25 – It was the VCs that pushed Mark to leave
    • 03:54 – Mark still had a great exit from the company
  • 04:10 – Influitive helps companies grow by getting more value out of their happy customers
  • 04:46 – Mark saw the importance of mobilized customers when he was still in Eloqua
  • 05:13 – Influitive created communities where companies invite their customer advocates
  • 05:51 – ACV is $50K annually
  • 06:10 – Influitive currently has 270 customers
  • 06:33 – ARR is close to $10M
  • 06:51 – it would take 4-5 years for Influitive to reach their $100M ARR mark
  • 07:02 – Influitive was founded in 2010
  • 07:21 – Influitive has raised $50M
    • 08:09 – Mark shares why he had to raise
  • 09:13 – Influitive’s growth is faster than Eloqua’s
  • 09:40 – 2016 revenue
  • 10:05 – Influitive is averaging more than 50%, year-over-year growth
  • 10:50 – Influitive is cash flow positive on some months
  • 11:08 – Team size is 125 with 8 people in sales
  • 11:22 – “I want all the sales guys to make money”
    • 12:03 – Increased quotas make it impossible for salespeople to hit their numbers
  • 12:55 – CAC is around $40K
  • 14:10 – Payback period is a year to 15 months
  • 17:01 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  1. VCs are there for a reason, trust them.
  2. Reaching one’s quotas takes a much longer time than it did a decade ago.
  3. Networking and relationships are crucial to your personal and business life.

 

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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