My Hero: $3m+ In Revenue in SF, She’s Resisted Funding While Helping Companies Digitally Transform

Neha Sampat

In Episode #814, Nathan interviews Neha Sampat. She’s the CEO of Built.io, a 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant Vendor and 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor that provides a digital business platform that helps organizations excel their digital transformation. She’s a recognized industry leader and has led product marketing, cloud computing and online experiences for Sun Microsystems and VMware. She’s a proponent of diversity and outspoken advocate for nurturing women leaders in her industry. She was named the San Francisco Business Times’ 40 Under 40 honoree and one of 50 Women in Tech Dominating Silicon Valley in 2015. She is part of SF Business Times 2017 List of Most Influential Women in Business.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Moneyball
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk
  • Favorite online tool? — Alfred
  • 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? – “Do not start questioning yourself, you’re confident now. Keep that confidence, anything else will just slow you down”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:42 – Nathan introduces Neha to the show
  • 02:42 – Built is a digital transformation platform
  • 02:37 – Neha started Built 10 years ago when digital transformation wasn’t a thing yet
  • 03:21 – Built sells products to enterprise companies
  • 03:24 – Built is mainly a SaaS model, but they also offer services and license deals that may not be SaaS
  • 03:37 – Built started as a professional services company
  • 03:44 – Built is still bootstrapped
    • 03:59 – “We’re not a typical Silicon Valley company at all”
  • 04:08 – Built was made based on the real needs of customers
  • 04:27 – Team size is around 200, spread across India and San Francisco
    • 04:50 – The team in India is mainly the R&D team and the professional services team
    • 05:20 – Built has a real economic advantage having the majority of their team in India
    • 05:49 – Built is in the remote part of Mumbai
    • 06:16 – The office in India is where Neha’s co-founder’s family is from
    • 06:48 – Neha shared how they started building their office with a not-so-good internet speed in India
  • 08:12 – Built is slowly transitioning mainly to SaaS model
  • 08:45 – First million dollar year was in 2013
  • 09:13 – Neha started Built with her co-founder in 2007, and Neha took an advisory role at first
  • 09:42 – Neha used her own money to fund Built
    • 10:03 – Neha was very careful in handling her money
  • 10:16 – When Neha and her co-founder started Built, they wanted it to be a product company
    • 10:30 – Neha’s co-founder was from the integration space and gave her the idea of transitioning to Built in 2013
  • 11:30 – Average customer pay per month is $50K
  • 12:00 – Built currently has thousands of trial signups and hundreds of paying customers
  • 12:30 – Neha is a certified sommelier and when they go to conferences, they’ll have wine tasting events to get new customers
  • 13:40 – Gross logo churn
    • 13:48 – Built has a 90% retention rate and has maintained it
  • 14:12 – Fully weighted CAC and payback period is less than 10 months
  • 14:43 – Built tries to always get paid cash upfront
  • 15:10 – Gross margin
    • 15:24 – Some of the services are used to fund their SaaS
  • 16:06 – Most of the marketing is for conferences
  • 16:54 – End of 2017 revenue goal
    • 17:28 – They’re focusing on doubling their SaaS revenue
  • 19:11 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. If you build a product that begins by addressing people’s needs, you will always have customers.
  2. Don’t raise funds if you don’t need to, staying bootstrapped is an advantage.
  3. Cash is king, always try to get paid upfront.

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