739: How Has She Has 3x'd Revenue to $700k MRR in Just 11 Months?
August 2, 2017•21 min
Mathilde Collin. She’s the CEO of Front, a SaaS company working on redesigning email for teams. She started with Y Combinator in the summer of 2014, and today has 20 employees and 1700 customers. Famous Five: Favorite Book? – Zero to One What CEO do you follow? – Patrick Collison Favorite online tool? — Slack How many hours of sleep do you get?— 8 and a half If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “People that are struggling should be super motivated because that’s what everyone go through” Time Stamped Show Notes: 01:04 – Nathan introduces Mathilde to the show 01:33 – Mathilde was in Episode 413 of The Top 01:43 – Back then, they had 1200 customers, $13M raised, around a million in revenue in 2015 01:53 – An average customer pays 200 a month leading to an MRR of $240K 01:58 – Gross churn was 3% 02:10 – Front now has 40 team members 02:13 – “We tripled our revenue” 02:15 – The number of customers didn’t triple because they had bigger companies using Front 02:43 – Current MRR is around $750K 03:02 – Front still has 80% of what they’ve raised last year 03:13 – Total capital raised was $14M 03:45 – Front is burning $250K a month 03:50 – Mostly from head count 04:29 – Churn has always been low 04:35 – Net churn has always been negative which -10% monthly 04:50 – User churn is around 3.5 - 4% 05:04 – MRR churn is low 05:30 – The teams that are paying Front more per month tend to be very sticky 06:10 – Gross margin is 88% 06:22 – Front APP is the easiest way to manage a shared inbox as a team 06:29 – A sample of shared inbox is support@contact or a social media account 06:37 – Front simplifies everything in one place 06:54 – For Front’s growth, they lend it and extend it 07:00 – Net negative churn is coming from existing customers 07:04 – Existing customers have been upgraded to new plans or added teams 07:10 – HubSpot started with 1 team and now they have 13 teams with Front 07:26 – Front now has a marketing team with 3 people 07:35 – Front has now done more advertising and content 07:41 – The most effective for Front is AdWords 07:52 – Monthly CAC is around $15K 08:03 – Front tracks sales qualified leads 08:26 – It takes 7 trials to get 1 new paying customer 08:38 – After the trial, the customer will be categorized as an enterprise or SMB and mid-market companies 08:50 – The goal is for the sales people to get the trial set up 09:02 – The sales cycle is 3 weeks 09:20 – 95% of the customer is going through 3 weeks than the offered 2 weeks 09:26 – People are using Front than Slack because Slack is usually for before synchronous communication 09:34 – Front is for a synchronous communication 09:40 – A synchronous is every communication that is done externally should have an upfront 09:49 – Slack messages can also be distracting with the team 10:13 – Front competes more with Intercom than with Slack 10:25 – Intercom is usually better for customer communication while Front is for general communication 10:43 – Front is an email client 11:40 – Customers are buying Front to replace email 11:46 – In other cases, Front replaces helpdesk solutions like Desk, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Help Scout, etc 12:12 – Mathilde won’t sell Front now even for $95M 12:25 – “I think I will sell when I’m not as confident as today” 12:37 – Front makes Mathilde happy 13:04 – Mathilde is now 28 13:15 – Front was launched in early 2015 13:29 – Mathilde wanted people to be happy at work so she made Front 15:07 – Mathilde has always been happy and confident that they can do a series B 15:56 - “I do have some inbound” 16:30 – Mathilde was part of an article in Entrepreneur.com 19:10 – The Famous Five 3 Key Points: Growth can be measured by several different metrics—the important thing isn’t the metric, it’s the important thing is consistency. Stay with what makes you and other people happy. People love reliability—if you can deliver that in a product or service you’re on to something. 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