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Building a Pre-IPO SaaS Company: Chris Cabrera, CEO of Xactly (Part 4)

Posted on Sunday, May 19th 2013

Sramana: Did you build the product around the five companies who indicated they would purchase your solution?

Chris Cabrera: We took all of that into consideration. Of the five companies that we showed to the VCs we ultimately ended up closing four of those companies. It worked out very well and that is what allowed us to get our Series A round of 4 million dollars.

Sramana: From a timing perspective it was perfect. VCs were in a frenzy to fund SaaS deals, you had great domain knowledge, you were moving successful enterprise software to a SaaS model, and you had strong target customers. That gave you good credibility with the VCs.

Chris Cabrera: You are aboslultely right. They all wanted to get into SaaS and they loved the domain knowledge. They love giant markets where you can sell horizontally on a global level, especially if it is an untapped market. We had all the characteristics of an ideal investment and I think we have shown that over time.

Sramana: After you got Xactly off the ground and had your Series A, what were the next key milestones?

Chris Cabrera: The first step is to raise enough money to hire engineers to build the actual product. I would lay awake at night hoping our engineers could actually build the product and get it to work. Then you stress about your ability to sell it. Yes, we have sold it five times, but can we sell it 15 times? Each of these milestones coincided with us needing to raise more money.

Then there is the next stage. We have proven there is a market and we have proven people will buy it but will they actually renew? You don’t know that until the end of the first year. Once we passed that milestone we knew that we were on to something. It was then all about execution. We did a 40 million dollar round which allowed us to scale. We developed the channel, we hire a sizeable sales force, and did everything we needed to get on the right glidepath.

Sramana: Was your Series B 40 million dollars?

Chris Cabrera: Our Series B was 8 million, followed by a Series C a year later for 12 million. A year after our C round we had our big 40 million dollar round. Each round was based on us proving out a new aspect and then accelerating our growth based on that.

Sramana: So you have raised 68 million dollars?

Chris Cabrera: More than that, we have raised 72.5 million total.

Sramana: We are sitting here 8 years later, what is your current revenue?

Chris Cabrera: We are within the 12 month timeframe of looking at the IPO market. It is now a question of when.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Building a Pre-IPO SaaS Company: Chris Cabrera, CEO of Xactly
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