Insights On SaaS From The $32 million HubSpot Mega-VC Round

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Insights On SaaS From The $32 million HubSpot Mega-VC Round

 

Today’s big news is that my company HubSpot announced a major new round of venture financing.  Details can be found in the non-clever, but descriptively titled  “Sequoia, Google Ventures and Salesforce.com Invest $32 Million in HubSpot”.  We could not hope for a better set of investors for this round, and we’re thrilled with the further marketing validation that this group of investors brings. 

My co-founder, Brian Halligan and I have been thinking about the Software-as-aService (SaaS) industry for many years now.  It started when we were classmates in grad school back at MIT.  We consider ourselves eager students on the subject.  As part of this most recent funding round, we dug into more details and want to share some of our insights, lessons learned and data with you.  We’ll also share some of the same arguments we made to our new investors.

Lets start things off with a few fun data points.

* At the end of 2010, the median valuation of publicly traded SaaS companies was approximately 4.2x their revenue.  (This median was 3.2x in 2009).

* The highest multiples were awarded to Salesforce.com (9.5x) and SuccessFactors (9.6x). 

* Size matters.  The market seems to value the larger revenue SaaS players more.  The companies with revenue above the median had a 5.2x multiple vs. 3.3x for the companies with revenues below the median.

Lesson #1:  Winners win big. 

We’re going to argue that in the age of the Internet, winners win big.  10–15 years ago, in most technology categories, oligopolies formed.  [To save you the Wikipedia lookup on oligopoly, it’s a market where a small number of sellers dominate an industry.] The #1 player in a category would get a decent chunk of the market-cap of the industry, but #2, #3 would have respectable portions too.  Basically, the top 3–4 companies would have most of the market power.  That seems to have changed.  In modern technology-driven industries, over time, the #1 player ends up capturing a very large portion of the mindshare and marketshare. onstartups think big dream big

To demonstrate this, try this short mental exercise.  For the following leading companies, see if you can name the #2 player and #3 in their category.  You have 30 seconds, I’ll wait:

  • Amazon    
  • NetFlix
  • VMWare
  • eBay

Difficult, isn’t it?  Chances are you struggled a bit with coming up with the #2 and failed completely to come up with #3.  The point here is, as these tech categories evolved, the #1 player became so dominant that we often don’t even know who #2 and #3 are. 

This is the main reason that HubSpot has been aggressively investing in growing our marketing platform and growing our marketshare and mindshare.  Similar to how Salesforce.com dominates the CRM industry, we think there will be one emergent leader in the marketing software industry.  We’re working hard to be that company.

Question:  Doesn’t this reek of the late 1990s craziness when startups were spending heavily to acquire “mindshare”?

Yes, back in the dot-com days, many startups raised millions of dollars of capital to try and “get big fast” (and be first-mover).  But, there’s a big difference today.  In the dot-com bubble, companies were investing heavily to acquire “eyeballs” (or some other proxy for value).  In our case (and in the case of many SaaS companies), we’re investing in growing revenue (not a proxy for revenue).  Like Salesforce.com did in its early years, we understand the economics of our business.  We understand how much it costs to acquire a customer, and the lifetime value of that customer.  And, for us, Lifetime Value >> Customer Acquisition Cost.  So, we don’t think it’s like the dot-com bubble at all.  We’re investing capital into building a real business.  At HubSpot, we not only have gross margins (gasp!) but they’re trending upwards month after month.

Question:  OK, that’s great.  But do you really need $50+ million in capital?  It’s a SOFTWARE company!

That’s an excellent point.  3–4 years ago, when I was just starting, I thought it was somewhat crazy to even be raising $5 million for a software company (my prior two software startups were self-funded).  I never would have believed we’d end up raising $50 million.  But, I’ve since learned that it’s not only not crazy to raise this kind of capital, it’s quite possibly necessary.  I’ve written about this (and other fun SaaS topics) before in the super-popular article “SaaS 101: 7 Simple Lessons From Inside HubSpot” (it’s been retweeted over 3,000 times!)  But, the point bears repeating:  SaaS companies often charge on a subscription basis — so cash comes in over time (often monthly).  However, the acquisition cost is paid up front.  The result is, even if you’re making margin on each sale, the faster a SaaS company is growing, the more cash it will need to fuel that growth. 

Lets dig into this a bit deeper.  Below is a chart that HubSpot created a while ago.  It does something interesting — it looks at some prominent, publicly-held SaaS companies and then time-shifts them.  The reason we did this analysis was we wanted to understand how our growth, cash burn and fund-raising matched up against other SaaS companies for which there was public data available.

onstartups saas chart v2

The median (not mean) capital raised prior to the IPO for these companies was $47 million.  Of course, going public is not the only measure of success, but it’s interesting that those that did break-out and remained independent consumed significant capital getting there.  There are no “bootstrapped all the way through” kind of companies.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with bootstrapping software companies (I’m at my core a bootstrapping kind of guy) — but I’m going to argue that to create a SaaS market leader in a large segment takes capital. [Side note:  Our peers in the industry have also raised tens of millions, presumably for this very reason].

Disclaimer:  We’re not investment bankers, and this is not investment advice.  This project was done as an interesting side project.  Data was taken from available public sources.  Don’t rely on our analysis for anything serious.

Question:  So, you’re going to spend all the money on sales and marketing?

Actually, no.  Last year (before we had even considered raising another venture round), we made a deliberate decision and formed a strategy that we labeled “HubSpot Inc 2.0” (a convenient label for the second-generation of the company — not the product).  The primary goal of this new strategy was to shift most of our dollars away from sales and marketing and into product development.  The company had been doing exceptionally well acquiring customers, and we felt that the best use of our cash was to make the product even better and produce happier customers.  We have a cool measure at HubSpot for customer happiness call the “Customer Happiness Index” (CHI).  It’s a regression-analysis based quantitative metric that uses available data about customers and their interactions with the company/product.  In any case, when we decided to shift to “HubSpot Inc 2.0” we set very specific goals for ourselves around things like CHI.  We’re in the middle of executing on that strategy now (and hiring aggressively in our R&D team). 

Big Insight:  System dynamics and the sales, marketing, service conundrum.

Here’s a big lesson learned from our HubSpot experience.  Think of the four primary areas of a SaaS company as being marketing, sales, product and customer service.  (You might call them different things, but that’s roughly right).  Now, lets temporarily take product out of the mix and look at just marketing, sales and customer service.  Across these three groups, an interesting thing happens.  If you try to improve the metrics of one of these groups, one or both of the other groups often suffer.  For example, if you’re looking at just decreasing the cost-per-lead (marketing metric), you can easily do that by allowing a higher percentage of leads into your funnel.  The result is less “quality” customers — and so the customer service group suffers and your cancellation rates go up.  If you try to improve just your retention rate numbers (customer service), you can do that by putting stronger “filters” in your sales group (perhaps reducing commissions on customers that are not ideal”).  Of course, that means your sales team is working harder for every deal, and your cost of acquisition/sale goes up.  Generally, you can take any of the key metrics for these three groups, and you can improve one metric at the expense of one or more of the others. 

The way to break out of that “robbing Peter to pay Paul” conundrum is to invest in the product.  If you invest in R&D and make the product better everybody wins.  Marketing has an easier job (because you get more referral customeres).  Sales has an easier time closing deals, because the product demo sings.  Customer service has an easier job because customers are happier with the product (and cancel less).  So, economically, investing in the product has the most leverage.  That’s why we’re taking so much of our available dollars and pouring them into the product. 

Of course, now that we have so much cash we can invest in both.  We’ll resume investing in sales and marketing too.  The economics of our business makes fundamental sense.  No reason not to get even more customers.  We have a dominant position in the marketing automation industry today (with 4,000 customers, we have more than all of our competitors combined) and it makes sense to extend our lead.  We also have customers in over 30 countries today — and we’d like to deepen that footprint.

One of the core values at HubSpot is transparency (we have others too, but that’s a topic for another article).  So, within reason, I’m happy to answer questions and share things we’ve learned.  We don’t have alll the answers, but we usually have opinions.  What would you like to know about our take on SaaS?

* Some of the data in this article was based on the Software Equity Group annual report, 2010.  

 

  

Posted by Dharmesh Shah on Tue, Mar 08, 2011

COMMENTS

Whoa! I assume that was the big project you were talking about? Congrats! Good luck on your path the world domination!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 3:59 PM by Andy Cook


Congratulations and good luck with the future.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 4:59 PM by Ashish Mathur


Congrats! This article is very insightful.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:02 PM by Steffie


Congratulations Dharmesh! Its obvious by the dedication you put into the LinkedIn group that you have lots of drive and motivation! All the best to you. Put that money to good use!  

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:03 PM by Mike


That is awesome! Maybe some of the greatness that was left on your napkin will brush off on us! :)

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:03 PM by Andrew Opala


This is huge news! Congratulations, Dharmesh. As a Hubspot VAR I'm giddy, as this will not only provide funding necessary to keep Hubspot at the cutting edge, but also shines more light on an already popular platform that so many of our clients are benefitting from.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:05 PM by Mark Figart


Relevant information useful in startup valuation - specifically for a company in Saas Space.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:08 PM by Raj


this is great news for HubSpot it sound like a really cool place to work and be part of. My question is when do you think is the best time to get investment

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:12 PM by liz


Congratulations Dharmesh.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:13 PM by Gaurav Singh Kushwaha


What a great story.The three companies behind you are no slouches and I'm sure their business and technical teams looked you over really well and found you worthy. Perhaps a little bubbly is in order and well deserved. Congratulations! Now build it into a $250 million dollar business and sell it and enjoy your life helping others.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:13 PM by Steve Gallison


Congratulations and good luck .

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:15 PM by Prasad


Congrats, Dharmesh! Very well deserved!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:16 PM by Dan Hussain


Excellent and valuable analysis, Dharmesh. Your insight has obviously not been lost on the VCs. Congratulations on attracting big name investors and best wishes for the future

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:16 PM by Jake


Dharmesh, great article and congrats on the raise. This is yet another good sign for Tech and the New England region!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:17 PM by Bob Mountain


Congrats!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:18 PM by Darius


This is wisdom: "The way to break out of that “robbing Peter to pay Paul” conundrum is to invest in the product. If you invest in R&D and make the product better everybody wins. Marketing has an easier job (because you get more referral customeres). Sales has an easier time closing deals, because the product demo sings. Customer service has an easier job because customers are happier with the product (and cancel less). So, economically, investing in the product has the most leverage. That’s why we’re taking so much of our available dollars and pouring them into the product."  
 
Congratulations! Love Hubspot and have enjoyed watching you grow. 
 
TIm Hamby

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:18 PM by Tim Hamby


Congrats HubSpot Team !!!!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:22 PM by Mads


Great insight into SasS business plan model...Thanks for sharing...

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:32 PM by Victor Pesqueira


Congrats Dharmesh! Sounds like you and your team have done some great work. 
 
I'm Customer Scout (sales guy) at isocket, a SaaS tool for managing direct sales for premium publishers and wanted to ask a quick question. 
 
You mention putting filters on the sales team as a way to improve customer support numbers and suggested "perhaps reducing commissions on customers that are not ideal". Do you do anything like this now? How would you go about rating customers? 
 
Thanks and congrats again! 
Jason

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:37 PM by Jason Shen


Great read!! I will pass onto my 16 year old who just started his first company, great wisdom!!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:40 PM by Marisa


This is terrific insight. I'm the co-founder of a SaaS company that has $10million+ in recurring revenue and we face the same issues: invest in Sales and Service suffers for the exact reasons you mentioned.  
 
The answer is more capital - every category is an old-fashioned land-grab. And if you don't win, you lose, you don't just not win.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:47 PM by David Miller


I particuliarly love your analysis at the end about how making the product better is a win-win for all four of your key areas. Never really thought about it from that perspective.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:52 PM by Mark Simon


Awesome. Congratulations, Dharmesh; this is great news, and certainly well-deserved for you and your team.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:54 PM by Rob Walling


Congratulations Dharmesh.  
 
 
 
As an older successful entrepreneur I am always excited to hear the words of a new generation teaching others by sharing their experience. Wishing you the very best.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 5:58 PM by jerry


I am amazed at the level of transparency you bring to all of what you do. It really helps to see how others have gone before. I have had nothing but great experiences working with your company and I wish you great success.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 6:12 PM by Mike Robinson


Dharmesh, thanks for the insights of the entrepreneur. I advise several technology companies, and have forwarded this posting to them. The question my portfolio company entrepreneurs have most often is when is the best time to seek institutional venture capital. Your thoughts? 
 
Michael

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 6:16 PM by Michael


Lend us a tenner then old chap. 
We've got software to develop...

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 6:16 PM by Torbz


Thats's a shot in the arm for marketing SaaS, Dharmesh! If you plan to head into a more complex Asia, we have working analytics companies supporting MNCs in PR, brands, and agencies here, and are looking to break out of support to full-fledged SaaS. The field is wide open! Congrats!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 6:16 PM by Felix Lee


Great analysis and congratulations on the validation from your investors. Bootstrapping makes sense at the beginning to ensure you don't scale around a flawed idea as Jobster did. (LinkedIn's version of Jobster's original idea doesn't even work.) 
 
Once you've found a great product-market fit and have the right managers, finding the best people to grow the company is essential to solidify your leadership position. 
 
Just be mindful of your culture as you accelerate hiring in product development. Raising a ton of money can attract mercenaries who just want to work for the fastest growing company and aren't really passionate about your customers goals.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 6:21 PM by Eric Kennedy


Interesting reflecting on this post vs 37signals. These view dove-tail I believe: 'Market leading' requires capital, but you can also have a very successful business albeit ultimately smaller via bootstrapped avenue. Both options have attractive aspects, but for sure I'd take $30m from your investors any day!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 6:29 PM by Julian Waters


Call me dumb but I still have no idea what a SaaS does?

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 6:41 PM by Anthony


Congrats on the big step ! Wishing you the best Dharmesh and Brian. Thanks for sharing your knowledge filled insights too. Do call me if you need any help in BSS operations setup or improvement.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 7:00 PM by Viroo Mirji


When's the IPO??

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 7:10 PM by James


Whooooh! Congrats guys & gals. And thanks for the article.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 7:25 PM by Melinda Yeoh


Congratulations to the Hubspot team. Beauty about you guys is that you invented a new category, inbound marketing, and became a leader in that category. That by itself is amazing. Great news for the Mass startup community as well.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 7:29 PM by AK Adapa


Firstly, Congratulations and amazing efforts indeed! And I fully agree with the 'Winners win big' concept!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 7:36 PM by Siddhesh


Congrats guys - well earned. Question though... I read all your stuff and have done for over a year - but I still don't know what you do or even if I would be a customer. The good news... we have a 1-way relationship and awareness is present. The bad... I don't know what you stand for or even do. But hey... love the content!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 7:38 PM by Customer Exhibit A


Congratulations Dharmesh! Although I don't know you, but it is exciting to see a start-up been successful in what it does. Everyone wants a breakthough!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 8:07 PM by Bing Yu


Congratulations, Dharmesh and to your whole team. Love your posts and thanks for sharing with all of us. Much to be learned from you, yet, I am sure.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 8:47 PM by Michael


Thrilled for you! Great product, great company, great investors... CONGRATS!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 8:50 PM by Brenda Stoltz


Valuable insights on your the focus on product and size. 
 
What kind of product enhancement categories will you focus on? 
 
How much of it will the customer touch and feel as compared to infrastructure and support technology? 
 
Well done.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 8:56 PM by Jim Spencer


Well deserved.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 8:59 PM by Sundar


Congratulations. Well deserved! Can't wait to see even bigger and better things in the future. And please continue on the transparency route....

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 9:21 PM by Connie Hammond


Congrats Dharmesh and Team. It is good to see a Boston startup making so big. And thanks for this insightful article.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 9:41 PM by SkillGuru


Congrats HubSpot Team...Wish u all the very best on your path to super dominance.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 9:45 PM by shabareesh


Well Done Dharmesh. This is a big achievement and hope you guys are celebrating the win, royally. :) 

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 10:13 PM by Amit Sanghvi


wow! it's awesome to have these type of information shared!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 10:17 PM by James Chen


Have always looked forward to advice and inspiration from your posts - this is the most amazing one. The best part is the sharing of your ideas, strategy and thought process - keep it up and grow as big as your investors!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 10:44 PM by Ashutosh Pavaskar


Congratulations!

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 11:02 PM by Paresh


Congrats Hubspot! And interesting post.  
 
When thinking about your CAC, how do try to measure it when there might be multiple touch points before converting? (Eg. They saw the blog, watched a webinar & downloaded an ebook before paying?) How close do you try to get on cost to produce that various content to measure your CAC?

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 11:20 PM by Mike Champion


Thanks everyone for the kind words. Much appreciated. 
 
A few responses to your questions and comments: 
 
Steve Gallison: We weren't out to build a company and sell it for $250 million. If we were out to do that, we could have done that. We're out to do something significant (or fail spectacularly trying). 
 
David Miller: Congrats on building a $10MM+ recurring revenue business. That is not easy. And I agree, most categories are fiercely competitive, and it takes a lot to win. 
 
Jason Shen: Yes, at HubSpot we assess and reward our sales people based on whether they sell customers that are a good fit. The way we do that is to measure the liftime value of customers. If a sales person sells customers that tend to rarely cancel -- we reward them. We incent the behavior that we want: Sell customers that are likely to be happy, long-term customers -- and don't sell to people that are likely not a good fit, won't get value, and are likely to cancel.

posted on Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 11:42 PM by Dharmesh Shah


Bootstrapping vs Mega Funding - who owns what at the end of the day? Did Management give up 98% of the Company?

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 12:29 AM by Dennis Meharchand


Congratulations Dharmesh ! You guys do a great job at Hub Spot ! Good Luck with all the new funding !

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 12:48 AM by Satheesh


Congratulations @dharmesh! 
Really looking forward for saas computing to get big.  
Saas: 1) it makes business much more efficient 2) lowers barrier to entry.  
last but not least: we funded a saas business and we want to see it grow. 

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 2:42 AM by andrea parmeggiani


Congrats man.  
 
So glad to see this. Well done. Long way since those startup days.  
 
Keep me posted if you pop by London.

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 3:05 AM by Aneesh Varma


Congrats Dharmesh ! 
Keep roaring.....your contribution to the world of marketing and business is amazing....!!! All the best

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 3:32 AM by lalith -Hyderabad


Well Done!! Congrats! 
Thanks a lot for your analysis n insights.They are really helpful.

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 3:46 AM by amitabh agrawal


Congratulation and best of luck Dharmesh! This is great insight, since we are a new SaaS start up and got our second round of Angle money a few weeks back. To compete we need money and a lot of it!

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 3:57 AM by David Robins


Dharmesh - we're a new customer and so far so good with the tool and service. Your sales and support team are proactive and great!  
 
 
 
Question: do you know if/when your SEO ranking will be able to track Google again? Bing is great, but we really want to see how Vorsight's keywords rank for Google. 
 
 
 
Thanks, 
 
Steve

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 7:04 AM by Steve Richard


Dharmesh - Congrats.You seem to have gotten the dream team. Thanks for this insightful article. I run an enterprise social media SaaS company called Sprinklr that is growing rapidly. While I'm not exactly new to start ups(the last business we built/sold/ran grew to 100MM in rev), I would love to get your advice on structuring sales. May I connect with you on LinkedIn?

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 7:58 AM by Ragy Thomas


Congrats Dharmesh your idea of inbound marketing is really helpful to many businesses. Rather then just having one method implementing multiple method creates more opportunity

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 8:19 AM by Nikunj


I spent a lot of time around multiple logistic regression equations for predicting outcomes at the last start up I was with. I was wondering if you would mind sharing what times of factors you use to calculate your CHI? 
 
I think that's a really cool way to measure product success.

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 8:33 AM by Chris Leithe


Good to hear that your company will be investing heavily on product improvement. I subscribed to HubSpot recently and had high hopes for my ROI. Unfortunately I was disappointed with the results. For a small company with few personnel it takes considerable amount of time to optimize the site with your tools, go through analytics and create content as you often points out as the key for the inbound marketing.  
Integrating HubSpot software with the shopping cart was very difficult and we gave up trying.  
With improved streamlined product I would like to try your services again in the future. 
 
Congratulation on the funding. 
 
James

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 9:06 AM by james Maliakal


Always insightful. Congratulations on this round of funding.

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 10:16 AM by Subba


Congratulations Darmesh.  
 
One point of clarification. The way your sales-marketing-service conundrum was stated, it implies there's not a way out. I don't believe this, nor do I think do you. In a future post, maybe you can elaborate on the strategies you've taken to solve this problem. 
 
Clearly if you only focus on one metric, the others will suffer. But you can gain improvements by focusing on the system. It's just this approach requires more overhead and focusing on the product provides a bigger bang for your buck early on. 
 
Segmentation provides one way to solve the conundrum. By targeting narrower markets in sales, marketing and service, you can reduce costs and increase satisfaction. Inbound marketing for real estate firms can be sold easier to a real estate company than inbound marketing for small businesses. 
 
Segmentation requires more resources, with more funds needed to set it up. Thus raising funds to allow your sales, marketing & service arms to focus on key narrow markets makes sense. 
 
Of course, instead of sub-segmenting your existing market and targeting it better, you can also treat your current market as a segment of a bigger market and use the additional funds to expand into another segment.  
 
Either way, great that you have the additional funds to invest in all parts of the business!

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 10:20 AM by Trevor Lohrbeer


Congratulations, Darmesh! 
 
Interesting insights as always!

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 10:42 AM by Scott Harris


Congratulations to the investors and to all of the HubSpot employees.  
 
Great company, great people, correct vision, affordable for SMB's, comprehensive product (breadth) - it does everything it needs to do for SMB marketers, superb support, sales and marketing execution, strong channel and product integrity - it does what it says on the tin.  
 
What more could you ask for?  
 
I love this product, I've used it for more than 2 years and it generates inbound leads nearly every day. 
I love this company so much I decided to become a reseller of the product and recommend it at every opportunity.

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 10:58 AM by Mark Gibson


Hello Dharmesh, 
 
This is a remarkable achievement! Great work and way to go! 
Being an entrepreneur, I am a big fan of yours and just love your clarity of thoughts, vision and writing style! This will surely give me inspiration to take my startup in online education space in India www.ednexa.com) to the next level!

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 11:39 AM by Nikhil Bandiwadekar


Congratulations Dharmesh! Being in the SaaS space ourselves, a lot of your insights are valuable. 
Aloke 

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 2:42 PM by Alok


Right at the top in the intro of the article, you mention the median of revenue for these companies (and how it pertains to various valuation multiples) ....what is that $ amount please?

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 3:06 PM by Thompson Bellingrath


Congratulations, you're doing great job!

posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2011 at 6:58 PM by Sebastian Zontek


Congratulations on the funding, Darmesh. I read your guys book and follow the company as much as I can.

posted on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 11:23 AM by www.iBankr.com


Congratulations, you're amazing!

posted on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 11:38 AM by Jos Boogaard


Congrats Dharmesh! This is excellent news! Keep up the good work!

posted on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 2:52 PM by Marsh Sutherland


Congrats on a big achievement! You are definitely in the mega-VC fund stage at this point...and although that money will help you grow, I know it didn't come without a ton of strings. You're on a path that will put your company in the bigtime with all that entails. Just be careful for what you wish for!  
 
 
 
Maybe it's what you want but don't mistake "bootstrapping" for not being able to win big. It's all in how you define "win big". A successfull bootstrapped company may never achieve the size you're going to achieve..but that's kinda the point. For many bootrappers...starting small and staying small is the point...the level of VC investment you're attracting is going to change the direction of your company...whether you want it to or not..it's just part of the VC world. 
 
 
 
I hope with all the success all that money brings, it doesn't leave you personally feeling like you've lost something along the way or that you end up getting "nudged" out of the same company you help build. It happens all the time. After all, it's not about the money...it's about building something and enjoying what you do. 
 
 
 
Best of luck to you and the hubspot team!

posted on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 9:07 PM by Mike Hennessy


Congratulations! I am in a different market sector and your success is an inspiration. I really took to heart (in a good business sense) your comment on building revenue. You caught my attention. May you have many more successes to tell us about throughout your future!

posted on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 11:52 AM by Crowfox


Congratulations to HubSpot! This is great news to the SMBs who can now compete with the bigger players in their marketing efforts! We are proud to be HubSpot's partner and winning the Partner of The Year award! http://www.ymarketing.com/hubspot 

posted on Friday, March 11, 2011 at 4:52 PM by ymarketing Digital Agency


Great Article and good information

posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 9:47 AM by Himanshu


Congrats. I think your points might have pushed me off the "bootstrapping" fence.

posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 2:14 PM by Startup CTO


Congratulations on a successful round! 
 
Although I believe that your argument about industry consolidation is on the money, this phenomenon coincides with increasing sector specialization i.e. large industry segments are being broken down into ever smaller slices, each with their respective industry leaders - Groupon, Fandango, Skype, Flickr, etc... This could a be net positive for you guys since your market is so well defined.  
 
Don't let the growth come in the way of your company culture and spirit of innovation

posted on Friday, March 18, 2011 at 12:36 PM by leon kuperman


This article and insight is awesome. As always, thank you.

posted on Friday, March 18, 2011 at 2:31 PM by Casey


Congratulations on your success! I enjoy your content and look forward to following your company. I hope we get a chance to meet in person someday.

posted on Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 4:09 PM by Brett Relander


nice approaches on startups,thanks to contributors learnt a lot from you keep it up  
Cheers 
Chris

posted on Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 1:37 PM by Chris


Tons of Congratulations ! Thanks for sharing your insights with us. It is so great to read also, because Your enthusiasm comes clearly through in the article. Cheers, 
Paul

posted on Monday, April 11, 2011 at 6:05 AM by Paul Ristoja


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