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Capital Efficient Entrepreneurship: Janet Kosloff, CEO of InCrowd (Part 5)

Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd 2016

Sramana Mitra: When 2012 ended, what kind of revenue level did you get to?

Janet Kosloff: At the end of 2012, we ended up with about a million dollars in sales. That was our first full year in business. At that time, we ended up raising our small venture round.

Sramana Mitra: With which firm?

Janet Kosloff: The firm is called NAUTA. They are based in Barcelona, Spain, but they have an office in Boston.

Sramana Mitra: How much did you raise in that round?

Janet Kosloff: $2.2 million.

Sramana Mitra: This was in the beginning of 2013?

Janet Kosloff: This was in September of 2012.

Sramana Mitra: What are the milestones and strategic moves of 2013?

Janet Kosloff: We were very focused on building a better application. One of the things that was significantly different than what I had anticipated was that I thought that people would be okay asking one question at  a time and keeping it very simple. It turns out that clients never only have just one question. They say, “I have to ask two or three because I have to get enough information to really complete the picture.”

We morphed the application from asking only one question at a time to asking short surveys. We have, then and now, focused on keeping those surveys very short. We’ve really pioneered the micro-survey that’s no longer than five minutes in length. We also realised that because we were working with professional market researchers, they were very much used to more functionality and more rigour in the survey process.

Even though they were very short, we needed to make sure that they had confidence in the data. We started to add features like randomizing responses and typing patterns. We started to build a more robust survey engine. That initiative continues today, but started once we got that VC money. Once we were able to add in-house developers, we continued to morph the application to be a true survey engine.

Sramana Mitra: What were the numbers at the end of 2013?

Janet Kosloff: At the end of 2013, we were up over 150%.

Sramana Mitra: Did you raise any more money that year?

Janet Kosloff: No. We started to build out our sales team in 2013. I had been the lead sales person because that’s my background. After we raised that venture money, we started to bring in some sales talent and we built up the team.

Sramana Mitra: 2014 was the build up of the sales organisation.

Janet Kosloff: Yes, 2013 and 2014.

Sramana Mitra: This was an enterprise sales force?

Janet Kosloff: It’s an outside sales team making appointments with market researchers and brand managers, doing onsite meetings, showing demos. Definitely, our sales cycle could be anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of years. In 2013, we were talking about something that was fairly radical to these people. We had to find the champions. People that were innovative and saw the future and the value, and were willing to stick their necks out a bit.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Capital Efficient Entrepreneurship: Janet Kosloff, CEO of InCrowd
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