How This SaaS Company is Using $20 Million to Scale

Allan Willie

In Episode #710, Nathan interviews Allan Willie. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Klipfolio, a software-as-a-service dashboard company with over 8500 paying customers including, Zendesk, Aviva and Ikea. He previously co-founded a company called Espial, an internet device software firm that is now publicly traded on TSX. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and 2 daughters.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Lead by Greatness
  • What CEO do you follow? – Tobias Lütke
  • Favorite online tool? — SEO Plus Chrome plug in and Owler
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6.5-7.5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Listen, build something of value and then see if you could raise money”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:07 – Nathan introduces Allan to the show
  • 01:50 – All of the meeting rooms in Klipfolio’s office have different wallpaper
  • 02:12 – Klipfolio is an online, cloud-based, dashboard vendor
  • 02:18 – Klipfolio works with mid-sized businesses who use them for everything
  • 02:40 – Nathan uses Klipfolio quite aggressively, especially for his Facebook live streams
  • 04:17 – When Allan was last on The Top, he was passing 7K customers—now he has 8500 customers
  • 04:36 – In January, Klipfolio announced a $12M raise which was an insight round from existing investors
    • 05:14 – The initial round was to raise an external round
    • 05:43 – “We did use market to validate”
  • 06:12 – Klipfolio had verbal offers that were lucrative
    • 06:40 – The valuation were multiples for some of the terms
  • 07:00 – Klipfolio also had some acquisition discussions
  • 08:08 – Allan won’t call the acquisition discussions offers, because it would still have to go through a lot
  • 08:59 – In every acquisition discussion, you want to layer how much information to present to another company
  • 09:35- Customers usually get the $70 plan for the first month, then move up to $150 in a year
  • 10:10 – Some of the customers are partners who can pay directly or pay as a partner
    • 10:24 – 30% of Klipfolio’s income come from their partner channels
  • 10:35 – Last month revenue was $500-600K
  • 11:16 – Klipfolio’s valuation was between $700-800K
  • 11:25 – Some of the VCs that Allan has talked to are putting terms in place with a higher valuation
  • 11:47 – You have to sustain your valuation to get into the next round
  • 12:34 – Anything on Klipfolio is being tracked
  • 13:15 – The weirdest use case
    • 13:25 – There are NGOs who use Klipfolio to push some of their metrics out
    • 13:34 – Red Cross uses Klipfolio for flooding, zika virus and other stuff that is happening in Africa
  • 14:11 – Churn has gone up slightly
  • 14:35 – Klipfolio started paid ads for $120K a month
    • 14:41 – Klipfolio has a blog about the lessons they’ve learned from Facebook Ads
    • 15:24 – One of the cons of ads is that the conversion rate drops and churn goes up—which is normal
  • 15:40 – CAC
  • 15:54 – LTV
  • 16:05 – LTV to CAC is still relatively healthy
  • 16:26 – Team size is around 90
    • 16:47 – The team is moving to a new space in November
  • 18:20 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Maintain your valuation in order to get into the next round.
  2. Not all acquisition talks are considered offers.
  3. A company of great value has a better chance of raising money and getting acquired down the road.

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives