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Bootstrapping to $15 Million in Three Years: Connatix CEO David Kashak (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Dec 6th 2016

Sramana Mitra: What form factor would that be in? If you could provide something, you must have had a hypothesis of what that must look like?

David Kashak: Basically, I thought about developing a platform for them. Using that platform, they can easily create native units for their mobile sites. It’s going to be something that’s going to be engaging and non-intrusive for the user. It will also help the publishers make money.

Sramana Mitra: You left Conduit with this idea. How did you get this business off the ground? Did you bootstrap? Did you raise money?

David Kashak: I started it with some money that I invested myself. I worked with a developer who’s now the CTO of the company. I gave him some equity in the company.

Sramana Mitra: Is this a developer that you had a prior relationship with because it’s extremely difficult to get good developers for founders to get them to work for equity. Who was this person? How did you know him? How did you convince this person to work with you for equity?

David Kashak: It was a developer that I had worked with in the past on a different outsourcing project. We’re friends. He was consulting with me about other customers that they have. He’s based in Romania. Over there, he built his own outsourcing shop. We have a very good relationship outside of business. When I went to him with this idea, I said, “Help me out with this. I do have some money for this project. It’s not a lot. Let’s build a prototype together.”

He agreed. I just came back from Romania. It was November when I went there for the first time. We were laughing thinking that it’s going to be this big today. We started working on the MVP. We designed a very simple and basic product that allowed publishers to go and create ads for them.

Sramana Mitra: Going into this company, you had relationships with a lot of publishers due to your previous job working with them?

David Kashak: Yes.

Sramana Mitra: When you had the MVP ready, finding a group of publishers to talk to and start to get them to use it was not that difficult.

David Kashak: It wasn’t. I had relationships with many different publishers, from big ones to smaller ones. I didn’t want to go to the big publishers. I picked a handful of the small publishers with not a lot of traffic. Back in March 2014, we launched the product and started with a very small group. Then we started rolling it out to small publishers.

In parallel, I started to go over a site list and started reaching out. These are sites that have 10,000 to 100,000 visitors – small sizes. I got demand coming in through simple integration. These are companies that provide us with the type of campaigns that are based on success. These are what we call direct response companies who pay you if you actually get a conversion. They pretty much give you an unlimited budget. That’s how we started.

The more publishers that we were able to sign up, the better the product was and the more automatic we were able to make things. It was also at that point that we were able to generate some money. About three months after launch, I was able to pay myself a small pay check.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Bootstrapping to $15 Million in Three Years: Connatix CEO David Kashak
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