I hadn’t heard from one of my companies in over a year. I was starting to get worried. Turns out, they were busy.
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When I heard from the founder yesterday, I was stunned. The little seed stage SaaS company I backed in the summer of 2021 was now doing $10 million a year in revenue.
When you see one of your companies go from a fledgling startup to a significant business, it’s an incredible feeling. Here are a few things I learned along the way:
Have a Clear Value Prop
I can’t get into specifics on what the company does. But its value proposition to customers was very clear.
Customer after customer dramatically increased revenue with their software. It pays for itself many times over.
When you have a clear value proposition, sales gets a lot easier. And as that sales team cranks, your company grows fast.
On any conceivable SaaS metric, these guys were crushing it when I invested. Revenue was growing 25% month over month, LTV was 50 times CAC, and the company was already at breakeven.
The companies that were most successful before you invested continue to be the most successful afterward.
Don’t let anyone tell you the numbers don’t matter. They matter a lot.
Did I Help?
Honestly, I’ve probably added less value to this company than practically any other in my portfolio.
Why? Because they never need any help!
I introduced them to a few engineers early on. But by and large, I’ve just sat tight.
My most successful companies usually have few if any asks for investors. That said, I’m there for them if things ever turn tough.
I’ve never seen this founder on Twitter. He has yet to turn up at a networking event.
Sometimes the most vocal people aren’t the ones who are really crushing it.
The team also never got distracted.
They built a relatively simple but very useful product. Then they relentlessly scaled it.
They didn’t have a metaverse strategy. They never released an NFT.
They just stuck to their knitting and signed up more customers.
This is Repeatable
What struck me more than anything is how repeatable this investment is. I wish I could tell you I had a “Eureka!” moment and saw the future clearly.
I just reviewed the product, looked at the traction, and met with the founder. The product seemed very useful, traction was great, and the founder impressed me.
So I gave them some money. Simple as that.
I don’t see any reason why I or another investor couldn’t find 3 more of these. In fact, I intend to!
What have you seen in highly successful startups? Leave a comment and let us know!
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