$13M in Funding, Grow.com Hits $300k MRR, Helping 600 Customers w/ Better Dashboards with Rob Nelson CEO

rob-nelson

In Episode #491, Nathan interviews Rob Nelson, founder and CEO of Grow – a business intelligence platform. Nathan came across Rob when he was doing research in the intelligence space and Grow provided a lot of good feedback. Rob is a listener of The Top and happily accepted Nathan’s invitation to be a guest on The Top.

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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – The ONE Thing
  • What CEO do you follow? – Aaron Skonnard
  • Favorite online tool? — Calendly
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Don’t ever quit”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:25 – Nathan introduces Rob to the show
  • 02:00 – Grow is a powerful business intelligence platform and made specifically for SMBs
  • 02:13 – Rob founded Grow in 2014
  • 02:25 – Rob had a software company which was bootstrapped
    • 02:34 – Rob struggled pulling up data from different platforms
    • 03:29 – Rob sold the company and had a great exit
  • 04:10 – Grow is a SaaS model and has subscription based pricing
  • 04:20 – Grow doesn’t charge based on the number of users
  • 05:10 – Grow charges based on the number of metrics used
  • 05:20 – Grow’s RPU is $600 a month
  • 05:30 – Users pay monthly but there’s a 12-month commitment
    • 06:06 – “If we can’t get them hooked with the product in the first 3 days, they can walk away”
    • 06:18 – 75% of the people continue after the 30-day trial period
  • 07:05 – Rob doesn’t know their exact churn
  • 07:29 – Grow’s usage stats
    • 07:44 – Half of their customers log-in everyday
    • 07:50 – 92% of the customers are logging in at least twice a month
  • 08:00 – Grow is currently serving 600 customers
  • 08:08 – Rob started with the concept in January 2014
  • 08:30 – Rob hired a technical co-founder and gave him 20% of the business
  • 09:00 – Rob and his team are based in Utah
  • 09:45 – Team size is 70
  • 09:58 – Grow raised a series A round and seed round
    • 10:12 – Total amount raised was $13 million
    • 10:14 – Total of $9 million was raised in series A
    • 10:25 – Both are priced equity round
  • 10:44 – Rob is a huge fan of bootstrapping during his first venture
  • 11:28 – Rob decided to raise for Grow because bootstrapping just wouldn’t work
  • 11:50 – Total 2014 revenue is about $80
  • 12:20 – 2015 revenue is $150,000
  • 13:00 – Goal for 2016 revenue
  • 13:33 – Rob closed the series A in July
  • 14:03 – Fully-weighted CAC is about $3,500
  • 15:00 – Why do you think Dasher didn’t work out?
    • 15:20 – “It’s hard to build a company on $20 or $30 a month”
  • 16:35 – Connect with Rob through his website
  • 18:05 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. USE your experience to IMPROVE your business.
  2. Explore other options—if bootstrapped worked first, that doesn’t mean it will work again.
  3. Don’t EVER quit.

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 the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the 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.
  • Assistant.to – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email.
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel.
  • Grow.com – Rob’s business website
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

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