$5m Note Cap Pre-Revenue? How? With ZeroApp CEO Alex Babin


In Episode #531, Nathan interviews Alex Babin. He’s a serial entrepreneur who has more than 10 years of expertise in innovation, product development and artificial intelligence. He started his first hybrid vehicle company at the age of 24 funded by DFJ. He also founded an interactive video software company. Now, he’s running an artificial intelligence, communication startup which is building a device-centric, secured, corporate email client called Zero.



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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Steve Jobs
  • What CEO do you follow? – Marc Benioff, CEO Salesforce
  • Favorite online tool? — HubSpot
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Trust your intuition”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:45 – Nathan introduces Alex to the show
  • 02:23 – Alex loves listening to podcasts
  • 02:53 – Zero is currently on pre-revenue, but they have a list of pre-sales
  • 03:12 – Zero is focused on the corporate market
    • 03:28 – Zero helps people be more productive with the help of AI
  • 03:38 – Zero charges per user per month on the corporate market
  • 03:48 – Zero was launched 2 years ago, was in self-mode for 1 year, and launched the first version a year ago
  • 04:00 – Zero had a seed round, in May, from angel investors
  • 04:41 – Zero has 3 founders and a total of 6 on the team
  • 05:19 – The one who will win the space in the market is the one who will penetrate the market with the most convenient product for the customer
  • 05:33 – Customers don’t want to change anything – they have strict security policies
  • 07:15 – Zero has 30,000 downloads
    • 07:30 – 2,000 active daily customers
    • 07:37 – Alex shares the difference between daily and monthly active customers
  • 08:55 – Zero has recently introduced exchange support
  • 09:28 – Zero currently targets CIOs
  • 09:48 – Zero’s pricing
  • 10:10 – Alex shares that they are open to another seed round
    • 10:19 – Target to raise is $1M
    • 10:22 – Convertible note CAP of $5M
    • 11:00 – Some of the customers are converting into investors
  • 11:38 – Find Alex on Twitter
  • 13:05 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. The one who wins the market is the one who penetrates the market with the best and most convenient product for the consumer.
  2. Be patient and respectful with your customers when explaining your product.
  3. TRUST your intuition—it’s often the right direction to follow.

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • 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.
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens and follow-up with email sequences
  • Jamf – Jamf helped Nathan kept his Macbook Air 11” secure even when he left it at the airplane’s back seat pocket
  • @AlexBabin – Alex’s Twitter handle
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives