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Bootstrapping with a Paycheck: Axosoft CEO Hamid Shojaee (Part 6)

Posted on Tuesday, Jun 3rd 2014

Sramana Mitra: This whole phenomenon of having employees do intrapreneurship is a big trend that we’re looking at a lot. In our incubation program, we do a lot of corporate incubation. We have this Incubator-in-a-Box program that a bunch of corporations are using to layer their own incubation programs. We run, for example, a large program at Oracle where Oracle does this Oracle-1M/1M intrapreneurship challenge where employees are encourage to compete for 1M/1M scholarship. We’re very familiar of what you’re talking about. It’s a smart way to both keep employees motivated as well as fish for ideas that could become sizeable businesses.

Hamid Shojaee: Right, that’s exactly what the intent is.

Sramana Mitra: Obviously, you have a developer community that you cater to. What is the size of that developer community?

Hamid Shojaee: We have over 11,000 customers worldwide in 150 different countries – over 11,000 teams that have purchased the Axosoft tools.

Sramana Mitra: What percentage of that are small companies versus larger companies?

Hamid Shojaee: It definitely falls more towards the small, but revenue-wise, it’s probably fairly even because larger companies pay a lot more for the tool. In terms of how many teams there are out there, that number is probably in the hundreds of thousands. There’re over 12 million software developers worldwide. That number itself is several years old. I had heard that number from a Microsoft study with respect to visual studio tools. The market is massive. It’s definitely a multi-billion dollar opportunity.

Sramana Mitra: There’s plenty of TAM in the desk tools space. Our audience is largely startups, so we work almost exclusively with startups. We also work with some larger corporations but their intent is also innovation, intrapreneurship, and entrepreneurship in their developer platform ecosystem. We swim in this technology-enabled services and entrepreneurship world. What is the distribution of your customer base?

Hamid Shojaee: Between being a small company versus larger companies?

Sramana Mitra: Yes.

Hamid Shojaee: If the purchaser of our products is not necessarily a software company or if it’s a development team within a different kind of a company, that team might be small but the company itself might be very large. If you’re Nike, you have tens of thousands of employees, but you might only have a couple of hundred software developers. That ratio is much skewed. We sell to a lot of teams that are just small teams but in these much larger companies. If we sell a software tool to a 10-person team, we only see the 10-person team, but the company might be 250 to 500 people.

Sramana Mitra: You mentioned something about $1 contribution towards the startup ground. Do you have a sense of how many companies in your target customer base is under a million dollar in revenue?

Hamid Shojaee: No, we don’t have any sense of that. The $1 bug tracker is something that we just launched in April of 2014. The idea there is to basically make the bug tracker product, which we used to sell at $7 per user per month, free if you do $1 contribution to our startup grant which is a fund that we’re putting together where we’re going to give away in $10,000 chunks to new software startups. We haven’t done one yet, but we expect to do one later this year.

Sramana Mitra: How many people do you have today? You’re just coming back to your $5 million run rate. What is the size of this organization?

Hamid Shojaee: We’re now hovering around 40 people. We do have more than $5 million in revenues. We hit the $5 million mark in 2010. The growth has been relatively flat since then.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Bootstrapping with a Paycheck: Axosoft CEO Hamid Shojaee
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