Discussing CB Insights Revenue and Customers with CEO, Anand Sanwal

CB Insights CEO, Anand Sanwal

In Episode #437, Nathan talks to Anand Sanwal, CEO and co-founder of CB Insights, a company that provides predictive intelligence for emerging technology trends, startups, and corporate. Their customers include Cisco, Marketo, and Red Hat, just to name a few. Prior to CB Insights, Anand managed the $50 million Chairman’s Innovation Fund at American Express.

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CB Insights Revenue: SaaS $10m Raised, $8m+ 2015 Revenue

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jeff Bezos
  • Favorite online tool? — Gmail
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— “I wish”
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? – “Be patient”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:42 – Nathan introduces Anand to the show
  • 02:45 – “If you buy something for 2 and sell it for 1, you will not make it up in volume”
  • 03:12 – He was in-charge of spending money
    • 03:25 – Sent to London for Cosmo Europe
    • 03:40 – Overspent
  • 04:00 – Rationalizing the expenses
  • 04:45 – Worked in American Express after Cosmo
  • 06:25 – Salary in American Express
    • 06:55 – “Decided to take the plunge”
  • 07:30 – CB Insights
    • 07:46 – Every industry is under attack by technology
    • 08:09 – Monthly customer pay
    • 08:34 – “Use our data to create a sense of urgency”
    • 09:20 – Tracking the competitors
    • 10:00 – Using algorithm on the data
  • 10:30 – Number of paying customers
    • 10:45 – Average of pricing
  • 11:25 – Total MRR last August
  • 11:40 – Hoping for 8-figure revenue this year
  • 12:12 – Team size
    • 12:25 – Some are based in New York
  • 13:05 – Exact MRR last month
  • 13:30 – “Everybody pays upfront”
  • 14:14 – Individual customer acquisition
    • 14:40 – Gross revenue churn
  • 15:20 – Lifetime value
    • 15:29 – 20% churn just to be conservative
    • 15:49 – $200,000 lifetime value
  • 16:16 – Funds raised
  • 16:46 – Most customers are VCs
  • 18:18 – Jon Sherry is the other founder
  • 19:18 – No current acquisition talks
  • 19:32 – Connect with Anand through his website and Twitter
  • 21:05 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Do not be afraid to take the plunge—there are risks but just do it.
  2. Things happen for a reason and believe in your life plan.
  3. There’s no absolute certainties in life—only right places and right times.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to quality of Toptal  developers.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • CBInsights.com – Anand’s website
  • @cbinsights – Anand’s business’ Twitter handle
  • @asanwal – Anand’s Twitter handle
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives