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Bootstrapping a Cloud Startup with Services on Force.com from London: Alex Fuller, Co-Founder and CTO of CloudSense (Part 6)

Posted on Monday, Sep 1st 2014

Sramana: What is your geographical scope in terms of the markets served?

Alex Fuller: In terms of product software license sales, our focus is led partly by our regional presence. The US, UK, and Europe are our primary areas. We are also engaged in Australia. Additionally, we have system integrators who have partnered with us all over the world.

Sramana: How has CloudSense ramped in terms of revenue?

Alex Fuller: We hit the million dollar mark quite early; I believe it was during our first year. We have had fast growth since. We had about $5 million in revenues at the two-year point. We are now approaching our five-year mark and have crossed $15 million dollars in revenue. We are now targeting high revenues.

Sramana: What about financing? Is the company still self-financed?

Alex Fuller: We closed an investment round last year and will continue to look at options going forward. We are planning on aggressive growth and invest in the business heavily. Our three-year plan is based around that.

Sramana: How much revenue did you achieve before you raised your first round of institutional financing?

Alex Fuller: We were approaching $5 million in revenue by that point.

Sramana: Are you working with London investors?

Alex Fuller: One of our investors is based in the UK; however, Salesforce is also an investor.

Sramana: One of our philosophies is to tell entrepreneurs to bootstrap early and raise funds later as the terms will be more equitable. To the extent that you can, can you relate your experiences in this aspect?

Alex Fuller: I could not agree more with that strategy. One of the things to consider is how to build value in the business. One of the key things for us is that we sell SaaS in the cloud, which is a recurring revenue business model. That is very beneficial in dealing with company valuations. The product side of the house made valuations interesting. A consulting company is not going to attract the same kind of valuation, if any at all.

Sramana: Between that first round of financing and now, there has been a substantial revenue growth. What are the strategic levers that have been moved? What are the marketing and communications strategies that CloudSense has put in place that has helped with this strong growth?

Alex Fuller: We have consistently grown our revenue year by year because of the quality of our product and what our customers have been able to achieve as a result of our product. Prior to external investment, the growth of the business was built on reinvesting profits both into R&D, to keep the product ahead of the competition, and into Sales & Marketing. As a business, CloudSense had customers using our software in 26 countries and we had built up a good number of well-known brands as customers, especially in Telecom and Media. However, we also knew that the size of the market was such that there was much more room to grow and that now is the time to maximize the opportunity.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Bootstrapping a Cloud Startup with Services on Force.com from London: Alex Fuller, Co-Founder and CTO of CloudSense
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