SaaS Backwards - Reverse Engineering SaaS Success

Ep 11 - Lemlist founder as SaaS bootstrap advocate, growth hacking and turning down $30 million from a VC

June 09, 2021 Ken Lempit Season 1 Episode 11
SaaS Backwards - Reverse Engineering SaaS Success
Ep 11 - Lemlist founder as SaaS bootstrap advocate, growth hacking and turning down $30 million from a VC
Show Notes

Guillaume Moubeche is a fascinating SaaS founder. He recently gained fame for a PR stunt in which he publicly mounted a VC fundraising campaign only to turn down $30 million. But he is so much more than that. He's a real deal entrepreneur who cracked the code on bootstrapping his startup and he did so through a modern approach and old-fashioned focus on the customer.

"G," as he likes to be called, covers a lot of ground in this "things you can do, too," episode that should be of high value to any SaaS founder in the early days, VC-fueled or not. In particular, G talks about how:

  • Bootstrapping can lead to hyper-growth, and high profitability. The PR strategy around the public fundraising and rejection was to shine a spotlight on the viability of bootstrapped SaaS and his company in particular.
  • Creating a business was a way for him to create freedoms he experienced in a gap year between his chemical engineering degree and marketing studies. First business with his dad failed for lack of customers. Went in business with a friend to help others drive sales and then decided to start his own business helping others to drive sales.
  • He identified opportunity - saw that sales campaign tools available weren't doing the job. Met a couple of tech geniuses in an incubator, built some things for others and decided to form a company among them.
  • Built an MVP in a few weeks, took market and initial user feedback and kept innovating. Relentless iteration got them to a product and company that people really want to use.
  • Selling on value vs features. Lemlist's unique value proposition started with dynamic images within emails. Used his own tool to acquire customers. By running his own campaigns on Lemlist he could show how it worked.

This episode is a deep dive on how G growth hacked via organic, hand-to-hand marketing, sales and customer success.

He also talks about how focus is key - doing one thing as a big differentiator. Mass customization of email was the point of difference for Lemlist. Participating in FB groups (like startup founders) to generate audience and fans. And eating your own dog food to show the value of the solution.

G also talks passionately about how from the early days until today he remains most focused on his users, spending hours a day in touch with them to ensure his success.

Give the episode a listen and let me know what you think!

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