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Scaling up: the sky is the limit?
Down to earth advice to avoid crashing your scale-up
Toon Vanagt - @Toon
Co-founder casius.com, data.be,leanfund.com lex.be
The degree to which a product satisfies a
strong market demand…
Validate product/market fit
1999: Casius.com founders
Raised and “burned” > 4M€ in next 3 years
•  Timing is everything (first
dot.com bubble)
•  Tiny % of a huge market seems
solid ground for business plan,
but is very hard to reach
•  Cash is more important than
your mother!
•  Cultural & legal aspects matter
& differ accross Europe too
Lessons
•  Burned 4.000.000 EUR of VC money to build
a 1.850.000 EUR turnover business…
•  Chicken-Egg dilemma when you need to
build 2 sided markets.
•  Off-line marketing is a very expensive way
to convert on-line leads
•  Human ressources are a crucial bottle neck,
but also your core asset
•  Unfocussed: lots of money in the bank makes
it very hard to kill your darlings, cut fancy
features and skip your fancy wishlist
More expensive lessons
Premature scaling?
Stresses startup’s
ability to execute
That scale up button I will not hit
Before I reach product market fit
•  Eyeballs
•  Visitors
•  Retweets
•  Likes
•  Exposure
•  Downloads
Don’t get blinded by vanity metrics
Focus on revenues
Retention & repeat usage metrics matter
•  Active users
•  Engagement
•  Customers
•  MRR
•  CAC
•  Churn
•  Marketing & process
automation
It takes hard work & lots of capital to ‘squeeze’ those
leads UP in order to attract, win & keep customers!
Gravity does not apply
to your sales funnel!
•  Continuous
Incremental product/market fit
Business data
Annual account summary
Graphics say more
than a thousand numbers
Business data
Notify on changes & find similar prospects based on company age, location, size and industry
Notify on changes in
customer data
Full-Text search
Across  2 501 818 company publications
Filtered search
Entity recognition
30% “StartMeUp” discount*
The sky is not the limit.
Your imagination is.
@Toon

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Scaling up: The Sky Is The Limit?

  • 1. Scaling up: the sky is the limit? Down to earth advice to avoid crashing your scale-up Toon Vanagt - @Toon Co-founder casius.com, data.be,leanfund.com lex.be
  • 2. The degree to which a product satisfies a strong market demand… Validate product/market fit
  • 3. 1999: Casius.com founders Raised and “burned” > 4M€ in next 3 years
  • 4. •  Timing is everything (first dot.com bubble) •  Tiny % of a huge market seems solid ground for business plan, but is very hard to reach •  Cash is more important than your mother! •  Cultural & legal aspects matter & differ accross Europe too Lessons
  • 5. •  Burned 4.000.000 EUR of VC money to build a 1.850.000 EUR turnover business… •  Chicken-Egg dilemma when you need to build 2 sided markets. •  Off-line marketing is a very expensive way to convert on-line leads •  Human ressources are a crucial bottle neck, but also your core asset •  Unfocussed: lots of money in the bank makes it very hard to kill your darlings, cut fancy features and skip your fancy wishlist More expensive lessons
  • 7. That scale up button I will not hit Before I reach product market fit
  • 8. •  Eyeballs •  Visitors •  Retweets •  Likes •  Exposure •  Downloads Don’t get blinded by vanity metrics
  • 10. Retention & repeat usage metrics matter •  Active users •  Engagement •  Customers •  MRR •  CAC •  Churn •  Marketing & process automation
  • 11. It takes hard work & lots of capital to ‘squeeze’ those leads UP in order to attract, win & keep customers! Gravity does not apply to your sales funnel!
  • 13. Business data Annual account summary Graphics say more than a thousand numbers
  • 14. Business data Notify on changes & find similar prospects based on company age, location, size and industry Notify on changes in customer data
  • 15. Full-Text search Across  2 501 818 company publications Filtered search Entity recognition 30% “StartMeUp” discount*
  • 16. The sky is not the limit. Your imagination is. @Toon