After blogging our financials publicly two months ago, we decided to try posting our quarterly update onto our blog as well. Let us know in the comments if this is helpful, or if you (especially as an applicant) would like to learn other things than this.
Our financial situation continues to be great. We made $320k in revenue in Q1. Our growth compared to Q3 and Q4 2013 has slowed down, it looks more like linear growth now, which is a bit sad. But if you look at the Monthly Recurring Revenue stats, the trend is still accellerating. We have signed up a few new clients who chose to pay quarterly or even monthly, so we don’t get the big upfront lump sum as before, which immediately shows on the total revenue chart. But our MRR is still growing nicely, which can be seen on the second chart.
Total quartely revenue
Monthly recurring revenue:
Also, our customer number (the grey line) continues to rise quickly. We should probably start separating that one out per plan, customer size or revenue, but right now that’s the detail level we have.
Our bank account has grown a lot, to a whopping $340k. This is of course due to the fact that we didn’t manage to hire more people, so we hope to reduce that a bit soon. See below!
Customer Success & Marketing
Overall the CS team is doing just great! We brought on James in San Francisco, and we’ve been able to conduct tons of webinars, visit many customers in real life, and our support tickets get answered within hours rather than days (except when it’s about acutal bugs, then it takes longer, because the dev team is overworked).
The SF team loves to work remotely
We continue to be very unhappy with our CRM solution Pipedrive. Although we’ve been on calls with them and explained all the things that are broken in Pipedrive, their reaction was “well, we understand why you’re annoyed, but we have no plans to fix these problems”. We evaluated 10 other tools, but none seems to be able to understand basic things. For instance: “if I add a person with an email @company.com then that person and all their notes should automatically show up on the company.com general account. And if I add a contact to that company account manually, all exisisting notes should also show up for that company account”. This is entirely standard behaviour in helpdesk systems like Freshdesk or Zendesk, but apparently totally unheard of in sales-focused CRM systems. (Yes, Highrise had that feature, but no proper pipeline management, and it’s being discontinued anyway).
We have five main features in the pipeline: 2-step verification, new Performance-review and 360 review overview screens, REST API, Likert-scales for peer feedback, and our iOS app. All look very promising, but none went beyond alpha or beta stage in Q1. That’s quite unfortunate. Now, the overview screens are looking amazing, and 2-step is really almost complete, but they were simply not production quality yet.
On the plus side, we’ve started working on an improved user directory while we were looking at the results from the beta of the overview screens, and that has progressed really nicely, and will be quite amazing once it launches. We also spent some time overhauling our “about us” page and our careers pages, which look awesome now. Next up, we’ll finally get cranking on the landing page, which looks terribly outdated by now.
One of the main challenges we continue to face is that we don’t have enough developers to work on all the things we’d like to:
Recruiting developers remains tough, it continues to be our main blocker. We simply don’t get enough good applications. We’ve done a lot in terms of corporate branding: We’ve attended many user groups and technical networking events, we’ve sponsored conferences and spoken at some (Berlin Developer Days, StartupCamp, Backend Meetup, AngularJS meetup, to be precise). We’ve been featured in Gründerszene and in Berliner Morgenpost. We’ve conducted a Hackathon and blogged technical articles, and of course we’re trying to show that we’re a solid company by blogging our financials. It has paid off a bit in that we did receive a few more applications than before, but quite a few of those were from developers who were just too inexperienced. Even for our junior positions, we expect that an applicant has coded stuff for fun for a while, and has interned at one or two demanding companies.
We do have two senior developers in the pipeline, and a web design intern just signed up for a July start date, so the Q2 outlook is very promising. But if we look at the naked Q1 numbers, we simply didn’t manage to hire a single new developer. Here’s our careers page by the way 🙂
We made a huge mistake in choosing our law firm for setting up our legal entity in the US. What was promised to take 3 weeks has now already taken 2 months, and there is no end in sight. We keep emailing our contact and all we get is excuses and “yeah we’re working on it”. Should have done better research. Still, we’re hoping to have our US based limited up and running in the next couple of weeks, so we can start looking for an office in SF and bring on James and Scott permanently.