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Bootstrapping to $10 Million: Coalition Technologies Co-Founder Jordan Brannon (Part 5)

Posted on Saturday, Oct 10th 2020

Sramana Mitra: Your primary business has been the e-commerce services business. You sunsetted the call tracking business. Then the rest of the product portfolio supported your services business. There was no other product that really took off, but you have more products that you have introduced to the market.

Jordan Brannon: Yes. We have a couple of smaller paid recurring apps. We have automated backup solutions for both Shopify and BigCommerce stores. Then we also have the LMS platform. We also have that recruiting software, which is now being used by about 800 companies. 

Sramana Mitra: What are the revenues of each of these products?

Jordan Brannon: Annually, it’s well into the six figures. We’re looking at a quarter million for the recruiting software solution.

Sramana Mitra: The other one?

Jordan Brannon: That’s smaller. We’ve been recently marketing that more aggressively. We have a free service plan that we’re making available to merchants. That’s less than $50,000 annually.

Sramana Mitra: How big is the company in terms of employees?

Jordan Brannon: We have 165 full-time employees. 

Sramana Mitra: You said this is a virtual company.

Jordan Brannon: We are 100% remote today.

Sramana Mitra: Tell me a bit about how the workforce is spread out. How do you recruit?

Jordan Brannon: It is one of significant advantages that we’ve been able to hold in the market since we started shifting more towards a remote company. LA became a tech hub beginning mid-2010. We started to see bigger competitors moving into the area and the pricing for talent getting out of reach for us.

We recognized that it wasn’t going to be sustainable for us to be headquartered in LA. We began to move remote. The recruiting software we had allows us to publish job advertisements in major recruiting and job-seeking websites.

We also integrate to larger job-seeking and recruiting solutions in India and Philippines. We source around 8,000 candidates on a monthly basis across job openings.

That recruiting software feeds directly into an automated skills testing solution. Before we have our first interaction with the person, we have a fairly good idea of what they are capable of for the position we’re considering them for.

Sramana Mitra: How is the workforce spread?

Jordan Brannon: We still have 15% to 20% of our workforce in California, but most of them are working remotely. We do have a smaller LA office that’s predominantly for more sensitive job roles like accounting and things of that nature. About 30% of our workforce is based in India. We have a company there that is a Coalition subsidiary. That’s where most of our technical talent is based.

Then we have a range of team members from creatives to certain outbound marketing activities in the Philippines. That’s about 25% to 30%. Then the remaining 25% are distributed across the globe in different countries.

Sramana Mitra: It’s all bootstrapped right?

Jordan Brannon: Correct. We’ve been profitable from day one. We were able to operate from zero to where we are today. This year, we’ll be a little under $10 million without having to take outside financing.

Sramana Mitra: You must be seeing some acceleration building e-commerce sites now. 

Jordan Brannon: It is accelerating. It’s been exciting. Many of them do still have COVID exposure if you’re doing fashion and things like that. There was more significant impact in March and April, but this year was accelerating already. That acceleration doubled. 

Sramana Mitra: The numbers are stunning. Shopify beat their quarterly number by $200 million.

Jordan Brannon: Shopify is a similar model that we’ve adopted in some ways with our service and our software layer. They were cognizant of the fact that if they pursued positioning as an e-commerce shopping cart software, they had a limited market cap.

They’ve expanded into complementary expense categories for merchants where it allows them to increase the percentage of operating cost that a merchant is paying for e-commerce to Shopify without increasing the cost to the merchant. It’s been really smart for them.

Sramana Mitra: They’ve done a superb PaaS strategy. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Bootstrapping to $10 Million: Coalition Technologies Co-Founder Jordan Brannon
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