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Shlomi Gian

In Episode #753, Nathan interviews Shlomi Gian. He has served as PacketZoom’s Chief Executive Officer since June of 2016. He joined the company after spending 4 years at Akamai, where he founded the emerging mobile business unit and service—the head of mobile market development. Before that, he was the general manager of mobile solutions at Cotendo that invented Mobile CDN back in 2011 before it was acquired by Akamai.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Built to Last
  • What CEO do you follow? – N/A
  • Favorite online tool? — Mix Rank
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6-7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Shlomi would tell himself how exciting it is to do your own thing

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:18 – Nathan introduces Shlomi to the show
  • 02:13 – PacketZoom helps mobile applications work better, especially when networks fail to deliver their service
  • 03:15 – PacketZoom can make an application work in places where they don’t usually work, like in trains and elevators
  • 03:31 – PacketZoom eliminates roadblocks and gets you on the express lane
  • 03:40 – PacketZoom is a SaaS business
    • 03:43 – PacketZoom charges per daily active user
    • 04:10 – A daily active user is anyone who uses the system up to certain usage point
    • 04:18 – Now, a daily active user is measured by the number of calls and how many megabytes have been used
  • 04:40 – Average customer pay is $400-4K per application
  • 05:28 – PacketZoom has raised capital through an investor round
    • 05:35 – Total raised is around $6M
  • 05:54 – The founder of the company started the company in 2013
  • 06:33 – After Akamai’s acquisition of Cotendo, Shlomi was looking for a cutting-edge technology to bring into Akamai
    • 06:43 – PacketZoom seemed to be the one that fits but doesn’t have enough commercial traction
    • 06:51 – At the time, the investors were looking for a CEO who had a business background and could grow PacketZoom in the market
    • 07:03 – Shlomi met the investors through a headhunter
    • 07:18 – Shlomi fell in love with the product and he decided to leave his comfort zone at Akamai
  • 08:06 – PacketZoom started out selling to enterprise and now they’re focusing on developers
  • 08:26 – The headhunter was tied to the investors
  • 08:54 – MRR was closed to none before Shlomi joined
  • 09:20 – PacketZoom has a difficult product to built
  • 09:34 – PacketZoom currently has 68 customers
  • 09:59 – PacketZoom is tracking a few KPIs and the number of SDK installed
  • 10:30 – The goal is to hit 15-20M active users by the end of the year
    • 10:40 – PacketZoom is on track and halfway to their goal
    • 10:57 – “We’re doubling our activity since I joined”
  • 11:11 – PacketZoom relies heavily on partnerships
  • 11:27 – PacketZoom is partnered with ChinaCache, a large CDN public company selling exclusively in China
  • 11:38 – PacketZoom also has resellers and they already have 3 European resellers
    • 11:50 – PacketZoom is expanding to Asia and Latin America
  • 12:12 – PacketZoom is the perfect partner for their resellers because the resellers are already selling performance
  • 12:30 – The percentage PacketZoom gets depends on the partnership’s commitment
    • 12:45 – The partners take away the cost of operation and sales in their territories
  • 13:00 – PacketZoom aims to work with larger partners who are willing to make greater commitments
  • 13:17 – 2017 revenue goal is millions of dollars; they want to prepare for a series B eventually
  • 13:46 – PacketZoom is close to passing the $88K MRR which can equate to a little over $1M in ARR
  • 14:55 – PacketZoom just opened their office in Asia and are opening one soon in Europe
  • 15:17 – PacketZoom has 3 sales people
  • 15:24 – Company size is 20
  • 15:54 – Paid marketing spend is less than $10K
  • 16:48 – Zero customer churn for PacketZoom
  • 18:29 – PacketZoom is a very unique product
  • 19:21 – Assumed LTV
  • 20:21 – The team is spread out in different states and countries
  • 20:40 – Gross margin
    • 20:58 – PacketZoom relies on other cloud infrastructures
    • 21:19 – Gross margin now is 60-80% but will definitely change soon
  • 23:55 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. You may find the right company at the wrong time, but in order to make it work takes you making a decision.
  2. A company can definitely raise money on pre-revenue if the investors see its uniqueness and potential to grow.
  3. Start to build as early as possible.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • 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