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Best of Bootstrapping: Bootstrapping a Marketplace to Over $10 Million

Posted on Friday, Dec 6th 2019

Home Alliance CEO Sardor Umrdinov has bootstrapped a marketplace of home appliance technicians to over $10 million in revenue. Great story.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Sardor Umrdinov: I was born and raised in Uzbekistan. I went to Russian kindergarten and school. When independence came, my parents moved me to a national school. I was there for one year. After that, they moved me to the Lyceum for boys. I studied there for another six or seven years.

Then I tried to enter the university in Tashkent. At first, I failed. I tried again the next year and was able to get in. Then I transferred to the European class to improve my English and Russian.

After the first year, I came as an F1 student in the USA to improve my English. I didn’t want to finish university, because I didn’t know what was going to happen in Uzbekistan. I studied in the US for six months. When I stepped out of LAX, my whole vision changed. I saw so many opportunities in the US. I felt like I came from the past to the future. I wanted to stay here.

For the next few years, I was studying. At the same time, I was working in restaurants, construction, plumbing until I got my green card. I founded my first company in 2008. It was a B2B washer and dryer repair company. I was running the business myself. I was the technician.

Sramana Mitra: The business model was contract work?

Sardor Umrdinov: Yes, I would repair the machines. It was just word of mouth. It was impossible to scale. I saw an opportunity to do residential work. I was doing advertising at that time.

I decided to try appliance repairs. I started hiring more technicians. It was a huge opportunity because the customer service was not good in the industry. It was like the taxi industry before Uber came in. Then we added a few other services like air conditioning and plumbing. I didn’t do the repair jobs myself. I was doing behind the scenes operations like advertising and helping train them. That’s how we started growing.

We first got into the LA market. Then we started getting into the San Diego market. Then we needed a CRM platform. We had to build one because there was no other CRM that could support what we were doing. Most of the CRMs are built for one location, but our business had satellite locations and servicing customers at their place. Most of the CRMs are not designed that way.

Sramana Mitra: What are the different types of technician work that you were providing?

Sardor Umrdinov: We were doing appliance repair work for washers and dryers. We took up air conditioning repairs, air duct cleaning, plumbing, and electrical work too. We have an office in the Philippines and Ukraine. Our developers are in Uzbekistan, India, Ukraine, Slovenia, and Cuba.

Our discussion continues here.

This segment is a part in the series : Best of Bootstrapping

. Bootstrapping to an Exit
. Why is Bootstrapping Important?
. How Can You Play this Low-Probability Game Intelligently?
. Do NOT Go to VCs as Beggars - Go as Kings
. Excess is NOT Required for Success
. Bootstrap First and Raise Money Later
. Some Bootstrapping to Exit Case Studies
. The Buy Side of Bootstrapping to an Exit
. Blitzscaling vs. Bootstrapping
. Bootstrapping to Unicorns
. Cinedigm Acquires Bootstrapped 1Mby1M Company Future Today for $60 Million
. Mailchimp Bootstraps to $600M Revenue
. Bootstrapping from Arizona to $10 Million
. Bootstrapped Basecamp Executes a No Nonsense Strategy
. How Under30Experiences Bootstrapped to $5 Million
. Bootstrapping with a Paycheck
. How CEO Amjad Hussain Bootstrapped using Services from Michigan
. Seed Investors Who Like Bootstrapped Businesses
. How iHeartRaves CEO Bootstrapped a Niche e-Commerce Company to $20 Million
. Bootstrapping with Services
. How The Intern Group CEO David Lloyd Bootstrapped to $13 Million
. How Passageways CEO Paroon Chadha Bootstrapped from Indiana
. How SmartBuyGlasses CEO David Menning Bootstrapped to $50 Million
. Death by Overfunding
. How RainmakerForce CEO Mack Sundaram Bootstrapped Decisively to $5 Million+
. How FormAssembly CEO Bootstrapped a Virtual Company with a Paycheck
. TimeSlips CEO Mitch Russo Bootstrapped to Exit with Sage
. The VC-Entrepreneur Compensation Disbalance
. BioConnect CEO Bootstraps with Sophisticated Strategic Maneuvering
. Tremend CEO Marius Hanganu Bootstraps from Romania
. Gesture CEO Jim Alvarez Bootstraps to $10 Million
. SproutLoud CEO Bootstraps to $30 Million from Florida
. Tuft & Needle CEO Bootstraps to Over $100 Million
. Co-founders Bootstrap Linguamatics to Over $10M from the UK
. Ownership Matters
. Vainu Co-founder Mikko Honkanen Bootstraps from Finland
. Entrepreneur Couple Bootstraps to $10M from Colorado
. Power2Motivate CEO Bootstraps to $80M from Canada
. Financial DNA CEO Bootstraps to $10M+ from Australia
. Big Barker CEO Bootstraps a Niche E-commerce Brand
. PrecisionLender CEO Bootstraps to Over $10M from North Carolina
. Master Bootstrappers with Over $1B in Exits
. Ultra Mobile Founder Bootstraps to Over $100 Million
. Bootstrapping a Two-Sided Marketplace to $10M
. Can You Bootstrap a Virtual Company to Over $5 Million?
. Capital Efficient Entrepreneurs Turn $1M into $80M
. Discussing the Journey Through Failure to Success
. From a Small Town to $12 Million
. Bootstrapping to Y Combinator and $10 Million Series A
. Bootstrapping a Marketplace to Over $10 Million
. Freightwise Bootstraps to $33 Million
. Bootstraps First to $5M ARR, Raises $10M Later
. Bootstraps in Europe, Raises Money and Goes Global in the US
. English Major Bootstraps a Tech Company
. Bootstraps with a Paycheck to $15M from Tennessee
. Queue-It Bootstraps from Denmark to the US
. Bootstrapping A Virtual Company To $25M
. ActiveCampaign CEO Bootstraps Using Services to $40M
. Alteryx Bootstrapped with Services to a Public Unicorn
. Inspyrus Bootstraps Using Services to an Awesome Business Model
. CEO Bootstraps Using Services to Millions from Russia
. Wiredrive CEO Bootstraps Using Services to $10M
. Scaling to Over $10M by Bootstrapping Using Services
. Bootstraps Using Services from Poland to a US SaaS Company
. ButcherBox CEO Bootstraps a Perishable Meat Business to Significant Scale
. Waveform CEO Bootstraps to $8M
. Bootstrapped Entrepreneurship from Estonia
. From Laid-off Engineer to Successful Startup CEO
. Imagine Easy Solutions CEO Bootstraps to Exit
. BannerBuzz CEO Bootstraps to $35M
. Bootstrapping a Virtual Company to Scale
. Bootstrapping Using Services from Wisconsin
. Best Tactic for B2B Startups
. Bootstrapping by Piggybacking from Romania
. Bootstrap First, Then Scale with VC Funds
. Bootstrap to +$10M First, Raise Money Later
. Madwire CEO Bootstrapped First, Raised Money Later to $120M
. Bootstrap Using Services First, Raise Money Later
. Wonderful Bootstrap with a Paycheck Story
. RushOrderTees CEO Bootstraps to $23M
. Bootstrapping with Freemium and Free Trials to $13M
. Bootstrapping, Pivoting, Gaining Liquidity, Scaling to $100M+
. Bootstrapping with Affiliate Marketing
. Bootstrap to Exit, Bootstrap Again, Then Raise VC Money

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