Sramana Mitra: How much money have you raised?
Camilla Ley Valentin: Original funding from the seed/incubator ended up around $500,000 to $600,000 depending on the currency rate. We bought those shares back from the fund and then we actually turned around and sold them to a number of business angels here. Then we’ve added a little bit of funding from additional individuals on top of that.
Sramana Mitra: How much? Like $5,000,000 or under $5,000,000 in total funding?
Camilla Ley Valentin: No, that’s it. It’s what I just said. We have revenue.
Sramana Mitra: No. I’m asking funding. What was the external funding amount?
Camilla Ley Valentin: Between $500,000 and $600,000.
Sramana Mitra: That’s it. So that’s the only funding you’ve raised?
Camilla Ley Valentin: That’s all. I know it’s unusual.
Sramana Mitra: No, I love it! I told you right at the beginning. We have more than 400 bootstrapped case studies. I love bootstrapped startups. I’m thrilled to hear your story, don’t get me wrong at all. I’m just trying to pinpoint what you’re saying, whether I heard it right or not.
Camilla Ley Valentin: I understand, but a lot of people are like, “No! Surely that’s not it!”
Sramana Mitra: I’m not a lot of people.
Camilla Ley Valentin: That’s it.
Sramana Mitra: Besides your inside sales strategy, is there anything else that you’re doing strategic that is interesting and is worth discussing in this interview?
Camilla Ley Valentin: What other startups could benefit from thinking about when they design the product is that there’s a way to fill mechanism into the product itself which is what we’ve done. If there’s a way that you can enable the viral effect of your product itself – being an enabler of spreading the message about what you do, which is not typical for set solutions and B2B solutions.
That’s a nice thing to do and it’s something you need to think about early on. It would be super hard to implement later on. That is my most important recommendation. The other stuff is fairly mainstream with marketing. We follow the same pattern that a lot of other startups do and what to prioritize on that.
Sramana Mitra: Do you encounter competition in the market? Where is that competition coming from?
Camilla Ley Valentin: Yes, we do. Web performances are a very competitive space in general. We have competition in the shape of all the big players in that space that end up co-existing with Queue-it. Most IT operational managers and e-commerce directors will end up having a mix of these different tools and solutions in their stack.
If you look at specific competition that copied what we do, we have a couple of small players in the UK that have duplicated the user experience that we offer. Other than that, it’s fairly clear that we’re the main player in that part of the space, but there are very big companies that are in the web performance space.
Sramana Mitra: Thank you for your time.
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