How this Founder Started and Grew Two Multi-Million Dollar SaaS Startups in Parallel
Imagine founding not one but two multi-million dollar SaaS companies in today’s digital age. That’s the riveting journey of Michael Kamleitner, whose story unfolds in this insightful podcast episode.
As the founder of Swat.io and Walls.io, Michael navigates through the intricacies of developing, managing, and scaling two SaaS startups at the same time. This episode is a playbook for any aspiring or seasoned entrepreneur delving into the SaaS world. “Running two startups in parallel isn’t just a test of skill but a testament to the power of passion and perseverance,” Michael shares.
Who is Michael Kamleitner?
Michael Kamleitner has a vast background in software development. His journey began with a deep fascination for the potential of social media platforms, leading him to co-found a boutique software agency. This venture was just the beginning.
His brainchildren, Swat.io and Walls.io, have become significant players in the SaaS realm. Swat.io specializes in social media management tools for large teams and enterprises, while Walls.io offers a unique platform for leveraging user-generated content in marketing strategies.
Summary of the podcast
Origin Story of Michael’s Company
Timestamp: [00:00] – [03:28]
Michael Kamleitner dives into his entrepreneurial journey, starting as a software developer fascinated by Facebook’s public API. He co-founded a boutique software agency, Socialism, which was one of the first in the German-speaking market to develop custom marketing apps for social media platforms.
This experience laid the foundation for spinning off two product ideas, Swat.io and Walls.io, from the agency, although this was a five-year process.
Challenges of Running Two Startups
Timestamp: [03:28] – [07:20]
Michael discusses the complexities of managing Swat.io and Walls.io simultaneously within the same company structure
Initially, this caused difficulties in determining each product’s profitability due to intertwined costs and revenues. He later untangled this by forming two separate entities. Michael admits that focusing on one product earlier might have been more efficient, but emphasizes that much of his journey was organic and unplanned.
Building a Leadership Team for Swat.io
Timestamp: [07:54] – [08:58]
Michael explains his decision to focus on Walls.io and set up a leadership team for Swat.io. He appointed Johannes, his CTO for over 10 years, as the CEO of Swat.io. This move required filling gaps in the management team, especially in finance and sales/marketing roles. He emphasizes the importance of a competent team to manage a startup effectively.
Current State and Strategy of Walls.io
Timestamp: [13:01] – [14:44]
At Walls.io, a team of around 21 people is working towards reaching a $5 million ARR milestone. Michael describes Walls.io as a tool that aggregates user-generated content for marketers, with a diverse range of clients from small businesses to large corporations like Google, Cisco, and Amazon. He acknowledges the need for better positioning in the market to maximize potential across different customer segments.
Sales and Marketing Dynamics
Timestamp: [17:04] – [21:21]
Michael talks about the importance of marketing in driving product-led growth, bringing users into free trials, and converting them. He also highlights the role of a small sales team in managing larger, enterprise-level accounts. He shares insights into the need for outbound marketing, especially in the context of 2023’s challenging economic environment.
Outbound Marketing Lessons
Timestamp: [21:55] – [26:23]
Discussing outbound marketing, Michael advises on the effectiveness of personalized email campaigns, especially in the U.S. market. He suggests starting with outbound marketing agencies to learn the ropes before building an in-house team, emphasizing the importance of a flat fee structure for such collaborations.
Future Goals and Growth Strategy
Timestamp: [26:58] – [28:11]
Michael’s goal for both his startups is to reach $10 million ARR. He stresses the importance of continuous growth in a competitive market, mapping out the company’s future in terms of team size, sales force, and other operational aspects.
Michael Kamleitner’s narrative in this podcast isn’t merely a success story; it’s a bundle of insights for anyone in the SaaS industry. The episode is filled with valuable takeaways: the significance of customer feedback in product development, the balancing act of managing multiple ventures, and the evolution of leadership roles as businesses grow.
Tune into the full episode for a more nuanced understanding of these insights.