CEO did $17Million in 2015 but ARPU is Unknown


Today’s guest is Ryan Urban the co-founder & CEO Bounce Exchange. Per Ryan, Bounce Exchange is “behavioral marketing software that is reacting to people’s digital body language.” This is a very cool way of describing user acquisition software for online businesses, like e-tailers and publishers, which optimizes customer retention.

Formerly, Ryan was the Head of Customer Acquisitions at Bonobos, the Director of Acquisitions at Brickhouse Security, a finalist in 2015 of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Ryan is also a major foodie and his top recommendations in the tri-state area are Tabata, which is a ramen restaurant and Alidora Sandwiches.

Ryan left Bonobos in 2013 to start Bounce Exchange and walked away from a “roughly $300k plus” offer to stay on. He left for a $0.00 paycheck. Ryan co-founded BounceX in 2010 with Namik Abdulzade, Andreas Spartalis & Cole Sharp however it officially launched in 2012.

Ryan, Namik, Andreas & Cole bootstrapped Bounce Exchange for over two years. Ryan worked as a consultant to help self-fund BounceX.

In the first full year at Bounce Exchange, Ryan made “a little over $30k” in salary. Now with around 140 full-time employees and $17million in revenue in 2015, his $0.00 paycheck is a thing of his past.

In 2015, BounceX received $6.5million in Series A-1 funding, with participation from New York Yankees’ All-Star Alex Rodriguez. Ryan hesitates as I ask him about pre-valuation. Ryan stammers, “Since we’re private, I can’t give you that.” After a bit of prodding, he agrees to the pre-money valuation range of $80-$160million.

Ryan continued, “Your MRR; that’s the important number for an immature SaaS business like us. But yes, our goal is finish with the run-rate $40 million this year (2016).”

The 2016 run-rate is definitely on target with Ryan confirming, “We are probably on something like 700 something websites but paying clients is somewhere between 250-300.”

As I asked about average customer revenue, Ryan debated why this is a bad question. After several minutes, ARPU did not get fully confirmed however Ryan did confirm it’s “$15-$20k (a month) for larger clients and we’ll typically have 15-20 people from our team working on their accounts at all times.”

Ryan is definitely bashful and as I continue with MRR and specifically ask for Jan’16 figures he quickly replies, “I can’t give that exactly away!” He continues, “I’ll put it this way, we’re not at $30million yet but we will get there.”

Based on what Ryan has given me, I am guessing he did somewhere between $1.5-$2million in Jan’16. Ryan shyly confirms with an, “Um, yeah.” I get it, he wants to be private but he is crushing it!

As for churn rates, Ryan said, “The number that is most important to us is net revenue churn.”

He continued, “2014 it was negative, so we actually, it was growing. Last year (2015) it was about to break even at slightly negative. And negative is good for us! That means if we didn’t close any new clients, our company would still grow. And we are closing a lot of new clients.”

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