How to use Debt Financing to grow your SaaS, with Steve Benson (Founder of Badger Maps)

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In the rapidly evolving world of SaaS, staying ahead demands more than just a great product; it requires strategic thinking and innovative approaches to growth. This is precisely what we dive into in our latest podcast episode featuring Steve Benson, Founder of Badger Maps.

As a leader in the field sales software space, Steve brings a wealth of knowledge about scaling a SaaS business, tackling industry challenges, and the nuanced art of debt financing. His company, Badger Maps, has revolutionized how field sales teams operate, merging technology with practical sales strategies.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of using debt as a growth lever or just curious about the SaaS landscape, this episode is a gold mine. Steve’s insights are not just informative; they’re transformative for anyone looking to scale their SaaS venture.

Who is Steve Benson?

Steve Benson is founder of Badger Maps, a company that helps field sales agents in carrying out their tasks more efficiently. With a rich background in sales and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by sales teams, Steve founded Badger Maps to address these pain points directly.

His journey is not just about creating a successful product but also about understanding the needs of a specific market segment and crafting solutions that resonate.

Follow Steve on LinkedIn and Twitter to learn more about his entrepreneurial journey.

Summary of the Podcast

How Badger Maps Solves Challenges for Field Salespeople

Timestamp: [00:00 – 01:14]

Steve Benson introduces Badger Maps, a tool designed for field salespersons, helping them organize and optimize customer visits on a map. This solution addresses the unique needs of various industries, from medical devices to tire sales, by enabling efficient route planning and customer prioritization.

Adapting to Industry-Specific Technical Needs and Challenges

Timestamp: [01:14 – 03:56]

The discussion shifts to industry-specific challenges in adopting technology. Steve explains how Badger Maps caters to a diverse range of technical expertise, from highly tech-savvy users in advanced industries to less tech-oriented individuals in traditional sectors. The focus is on creating intuitive, user-friendly solutions that meet the varying needs of all users.

Importance of Intuitive UX in SaaS Products

Timestamp: [03:56 – 05:58]

Steve emphasizes the significance of an intuitive user experience (UX) in software products, especially for diverse users. He highlights the value of easy onboarding and quick value realization as critical for successful user adoption and purchasing decisions.

Navigating the Impact of COVID-19 on Field Sales

Timestamp: [06:34 – 09:00]

This segment delves into how Badger Maps navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly its impact on field sales activities. Steve shares insights on adapting to varying degrees of restrictions across regions and industries, and the consequent effects on their customer base.

Addressing the Tech Recession and Startup Challenges

Timestamp: [09:00 – 12:04]

Steve discusses the broader implications of the tech recession on startups, offering strategies for navigating financial challenges. He advises on the importance of timely decision-making, expense management, and leveraging debt financing to sustain business operations during economic downturns.

Leveraging Debt Financing for SaaS Growth

Timestamp: [12:04 – 15:48]

In this key section, Steve talks about using debt financing as a growth lever for SaaS businesses. He explains the dynamics of acquiring debt based on annual recurring revenue (ARR) and the importance of aligning debt terms with the payback period of the investments made using the borrowed funds.

Tactical Advice for Startups Considering Debt Financing

Timestamp: [15:48 – 24:01]

Steve provides tactical advice for startups considering debt financing. He underscores the need to understand the cost of debt, investment payback periods, and the importance of choosing the right lender. He also shares his personal experiences with different debt providers and the strategic reasons for using debt to fuel growth.

The Strategic Role of Debt in Growing Badger Maps

Timestamp: [24:01 – 35:35]

Closing the podcast, Steve reflects on how strategic debt financing has been instrumental in scaling Badger Maps. He discusses how debt enabled additional hiring, especially in engineering, and how it helped in delaying equity fundraising, thus minimizing dilution and increasing the company’s valuation over time.


Our conversation with Steve Benson offered a deep dive into the world of SaaS, particularly highlighting the strategic use of debt financing as a growth tool. His insights shed light on the importance of understanding your market, adapting to industry-specific needs, and making smart financial decisions.

For more detailed insights and practical advice from Steve Benson and to learn about the innovative approaches of Badger Maps in the field sales domain, be sure to listen to the full episode. It’s a resource packed with wisdom for anyone in the SaaS industry or looking to enter it.

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