10 Bootstrapped SaaS Companies With $1M+ in ARR
As a founder, you dream about the day you can put out your own blog post announcing: “We’ve raised $7m in our Series A!”
TechCrunch and other press outlets that use funding round size as clickbait teach us to crave this sort of reward.
Well, you can have all the funding in the world and be broke as hell - about to be out of business.
This is the “anti-TechCrunch” article. A proud salute to the top B2B SaaS companies who have managed to grow past the $1m ARR mark without raising capital.
The energy around Aweber's office is something you can hold in your hand. When I keynoted their Ascend conference, I visited the office and enjoyed a spin down their office slide. (Note: Watch out for burns! Don't let your elbows hit the side).
Tom and team have managed to take the "slow" path to "overnight success" founded in 1999 and now doing well over $30m in ARR.
These guys help sales people find agencies and national advertisers to close more deals.
Like Aweber, founded many years ago back in 1995, Dave has slowly grown the company to over $12m in ARR.
I use Hotjar on this site to watch user sessions which helps me make quick usability edits to the interface.
Almost every Isralei entrepreneur I've interviewed for The Top Entrepreneurs podcast has impressed the hell out of me and David is no different. Real winner. He runs quick tests, doubles down on what works, and grows smart.
Investors are hungry to get in on Hotjar. On a recent trip I had to Sand Hill road, 9 out of 11 of the firms asked me about details I have on Hotjar. Being in demand is good. I hope David keeps it that way all the way to IPO :)
Nathan Barry took some pushing from Hiten Shah to turn his side hustle into a full time gig. After playing around with ConvertKit with flat growth for many years, Nathan went all in.
Andrew Warner from Mixergy jumped in and helped Nathan in early days as they tested how to figure out cash issues but Nathan resisted the urge to raise capital.
Despite high churn, today Nathan's reaping the rewards of a bootstrapped life: 100% control and $5.7m in ARR.
Competing in they hyper competitive automated lead generation space is not easy when you're funded. Its even harder when you're bootstrapped.
Well over $500m has been poured into this space with companies like Radius, FullContact, and Artesian leading the way.
Ultimately Varun has kept headcount costs low with his team being based in India, Singapore, the Philippeans, Dublin, and a small BD team in the United States.
With 300 customers and $14k annual contract value (ACV), they're playing in the low volume, high touch, high LTV game and its printing Varun cash to the tune of $6m in 2016 revenues.
Will it continue in 2017? Stay tuned for an updated interview with Varun in the coming months.
A CRM for the rest of us. Pam killing it and totally under the radar as she quietly builds up in Rhode Island.
I think Neil was probably the first ever email marketing SaaS businesses founded in 1999. With better funded competitors will he keep his lead? At 67 years old he's keeping up with you young ramen eating, San Fran living whipper-snappers :)
I also predict this company will sell in next 1-2 years for $8-10m bucks.
There's nothing I enjoy more than finding a golden gem. A company killing it that's not on most peoples radars. Usually in a far off land and growing because they aren't distracted.
Vainu is playing in highly competitive Business Intelligence space where no one has figured out how to build a true moat.
Pitchbook selling to its biggest investor, MorningStar.
Many people questioning business health of MatterMark (team size 45 down to 13), accuracy of Owler, and value of DataFox.
Go get 'em Pietari! He certainly isn't distracted by valley Hoopla being based in Helsinke.
#9 Webinar Ninja
Omar just does his thing and does it quietly. He's using his podcast and other content assets to drive incredible growth for his webinar platform, Webinar Ninja.
In fact, growing so fast he was able to steal away Tim Paige - the leader behind Leadpages highly successful webinar partner program - from a well funded Leadpages (backed by Foundry and others).
Just caught up with Sunil in NYC last week. He's figured out how to game the iPhone app rankings to show up at the top of search for anything related to mobile document signing.
This is at the same time that companies like Docusign have announced plans to go public, and when his competitors have raised over $500m to win the space.
Sunil is looking to hire a Head of Marketing. Tweet me if you're interested and I'll tee up an intro. $150k salary and equity is an option.
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