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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: Page 1
Jan 22, 2017

Glen Coates. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Handshake. It focuses on putting the right product on every shelf in every store. He goes between Sydney, San Diego and New York City.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
  • What CEO do you follow? – Dave Yarnold
  • Favorite online tool? — Boomerang for Gmail
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Glen wished he knew how intense running this company was going to be and to spend a lot more time making music and going surfing.

 

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:37 – Nathan introduces Glen to the show
  • 02:15 – Handshake is about getting the right product on every shelf, in the world
    • 03:30 – Handshake brings the Amazon-like buying and selling platform to businesses
    • 03:55 – Handshake Rep is the mobile app used by sales reps who work for the brand
    • 04:21 – Handshake Direct is the mobile and web-based ecommerce for B2B
  • 05:00 – Handshake is a SaaS business and they sell to manufacturers and distributors
  • 05:10 – Handshake’s customers are the manufacturers, distributors, and their customers who log into Handshake
  • 05:22 – Handshake has a similar model to Salesforce
  • 05:40 – Glen started working with Handshake in 2010 and got their first customer in 2011
  • 05:51 – First year revenue
  • 06:16 – Average number of customers at the moment
  • 06:51 – The pricing model is per seat per year for Handshake Rep, Handshake Direct is made-to-order
  • 07:37 – Average customer pay per month
  • 08:24 – December 2016: total average revenue range
  • 09:35 – Handshake used to have monthly contracts
    • 09:59 – Most of the contracts now are annual contracts
  • 10:07 – Total capital raised is around $24M inclusive of Series B
    • 10:29 – Series B closed in February 2016
  • 10:40 – Handshake isn’t in any acquisition talk
  • 12:03 – What Glen and his team is building is grand in scale and requires a lot of hard work
  • 12:44 – Team size and location
    • 13:05 – Glen shares the number of people per team
  • 14:10 – LTV
    • 14:15 – “I don’t think much about lifetime value”
    • 16:51 – “I care about delivering 100% growth with a better payback period than I care about delivering 200% growth with like a terrible payback period”
    • 17:05 – Handshake growth is 100% annual
  • 17:30 – Glen shares the flagged payback period in VC communities
  • 18:48 – Glen is currently burning close to $500K a month
  • 18:56 – Glen thinks that it should take at least 6 months before having to raise again
  • 19:50 – Glen usually raises for a couple of years and each time he raises gives them 2 years of runway
  • 20:15 – Gross annual customer churn
    • 20:30 – Churn has come down when they shifted their market
    • 21:25 – Glen shares what they did to combat high monthly churn
    • 22:38 Handshake always has a negative revenue churn
  • 23:30 – Glen wouldn’t sell Handshake for Nathan’s sample offer
  • 25:10 – The Famous Five

 

3 Key Points:

  • It’s difficult to create a SaaS that is web-based and mobile-based – it takes hard work.
  • Delivering 100% growth with a better payback period is better than delivering 200% growth with a terrible payback period.
  • Raising usually takes 6 months and it is the CEO’s responsibility to decide how he can leverage each raise.

 

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan keep his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it in the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives
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