10 Dream Speakers at SaaStock on Tour London9 min read
SaaStock on Tour London is well stocked. We have ten exciting speakers all gathering to help you learn how to scale, stay aligned as you do, grow despite the odds, build successful marketing teams, and not go crazy on the journey. Building and funding unicorns left and right, these ten people have achieved great feats — from Peter Bauer, who to this date is the only UK headquartered SaaS to IPO with Mimecast, to Peter Holten Mühlmann who scaled Trustpilot from Denmark into 7 international offices, all the way to Des Traynor who keeps Intercom aligned and Laurence Bret-Stern who saw Linkedin grow from 800 people to 10,000. They each offer tactical learnings in abundance galore.
No matter what your goals are, or whether you are into Marketing, Sales, Customer Success, Investor or Founder wisdom, early stage or growth secrets, SaaStock on Tour London has the right people for you to learn from.
Grab an early bird ticket before they fly off the shelf on March 1st.
Peter Bauer, CEO and founder of Mimecast
A college dropout, Peter Bauer sensed the gap in email security very early on. 14 years ago he co-founded Mimecast with that very idea. The South African native moved to the UK and has lead and navigated the SaaS strategy since. In the first six years, he didn’t go for any VC funding, relyin on Angel money as well as profits of a successful exit back in South Africa where after turning down an offer for 30,000 South African Rands, he eventually sold his company for 20 million Rands instead (around $1,720,200). In 2008 he raised from Dawn Capital, then Index Ventures in 2009 and finally Insight Venture Partners in 2012.
In 2011 Peter moved to Boston, Massachusetts to lead Mimecast’s aggressive push into North America.
Peter is one of only a handful of CEOs to have to lead a pure-SaaS company for over 15 years while acquiring more than 28,000 customers worldwide. The company became the first and only UK-based SaaS company to IPO in November 2015, valued at $540M at the time, a journey which he will describe in detail at the stage of SaaStock on Tour.
Alexis Prenn Co-Founder & CEO Receipt Bank
Alexis Prenn co-founded Receipt Bank, accounting and bookkeeping automation solution, in 2010. In the seven years since he has aimed to get to the bottom of what it means to be a SaaS business and grow. It is much more than charging monthly, he says. It’s all about getting the metrics right.
That starts with understanding the cost and damage of churn and continues with a relentless pursuit of a CAC/LTV ratio of 3 as without it every company would struggle to ever achieve growth and eventually a return and profit. By looking at those numbers, Alexis has always looked for evidence of scalability. He has avoided averages like the plague. He has spent a long time understanding the role organic leads have in reducing CAC. SaaS businesses, he believes, are built on the behaviours of monthly cohorts.
During his talk, Alexis will share what he has learned along the way, which has helped Receipt Bank grow by 2,964%.
Alex Kayyal, Head of EMEA Salesforce Ventures
Sitting across from Alexis in a fireside chat will be Alex Kayyal Head of EMEA Salesforce Ventures. Alex is the European Head of Salesforce Ventures. He joined Salesforce in 2015 to establish and run Salesforce Ventures in Europe, a $100M fund dedicated to backing European enterprise cloud startups. Representative portfolio companies include Automile, Bringg, Carto, NewVoiceMedia, Onfido, Privitar, Qubit and Unbabel.
Talk: 7 years of trying and failing with SaaS metrics — on the road to 2,964% growth
Peter Holten Mühlmann — Founder and CEO, Trustpilot
Danish Peter Holten Mühlmann started Trustpilot over ten years ago with the idea to democratise the ability of people to give reviews and ratings to companies. All companies on the Internet, he was convinced, deserved to display they had happy customers. Peter started the journey in a small city in Europe with little idea how to run an Internet business.
The first years he ran on enthusiasm more than anything else. He asked everyone he knew to rate every company on the Internet they had ever come across. As reviews accumulated and the company began to scale he kept on repeating to everyone why the company existed. It was a way to scale decision making, but also keep motivation and spirits high in tough times. Trustpilot has grown to 600 employees spread between 7 offices and Peter has raised a total of $143 million in VC funding.
The key to scaling that successfully has been maintaining personal balance and health throughout the journey, and having a good laugh every day.
Talk: How to scale a company without going crazy
Ryan Singer — Head of Strategy, Basecamp
In the 15 years that Ryan has spent with Basecamp, he has been through a myriad of roles. First, he designed user interfaces in 2003 when the company was four people. He later learned programming and product development and began managing projects, including the first complete rewrite of Basecamp in 2012. Throughout all this, he has learnt how to design, develop and ship the right things as well as guide others to do that.
His most recent role is to focus on strategy, which means understanding what Basecamp’s customers are trying to do so the company builds the right things and make the product more coherent over time.
We will be fortunate to hear twice from Ryan. Firstly he will explain why a product’s position is the most important thing a company should focus on. Knowing where it stands is the best tool for making choices about new features. Knowing that positionl allows saying no with confidence. Without a clear point of view on what makes a product different, it’s easy to wander. New feature requests come in every day, and if you can’t say “no”, who knows where on the map you’ll land.
Later that day, Ryan will grace the stage once more to share how Basecamp works. It has taken them a decade of refinement to get to it. Because here is the thing — Basecamp considers the company a product too. Their way of work starts with dividing time into six-week cycles.
Talk: Position, Position, Position and How we work at Basecamp
Kieran Flanagan — VP Marketing, Hubspot
Kieran has worked for Hubspot since 2013 when he started as Director of International Marketing and moved on to the VP role in early 2016. Before that, he got his hands dirty in Marketo and Salesforce. When he talks about growth, he certainly knows what he is talking about.
Growth at scale for a prolonged period is incredibly tough. Channels saturate, stagnate and lose the audience. The open and click-through rate of email constantly declines. An update from Google or Facebook can completely change growth trajectories…
At HubSpot, Kieran has spent a significant portion of his time acquiring free users for the company’s products and working with the product and the engineering teams to help upgrade these users into paying customers. In his talk, Kieran will answer vital questions such as how to leverage existing platforms; how to add virality to the product and how to quickly introduce the value of the product to the customer.
Talk: How to Create Product Driven Growth
Laurence Bret-Stern — CRO, Pipedrive
On August 22nd, 2017 Laurence said a final goodbye to Linkedin and a fresh hello to Pipedrive, a leading CRM provider, where she was to take over as CRO. It had been seven years prior, during another French holiday that she had first said hello to Linkedin, a company very different in 2010 than it is now. It had only a few hundred employees.
Her journey started with a double mandate: launch France and build the Marketing team for EMEA. Early on on she learned you could not spread yourself too thin. After a tough first year, she regrouped and started much more realistically and small.
Along the way, she learned how to build high-performing and focused organisations that support strong revenue growth. In fact, she thrives on it. Laurence has used all the experience she accumulated at Linkedin to very carefully pick the initiatives she focuses on. In her first six months at Pipedrive she has focused on Brand & positioning; Growth engine and Value creation. Her experience is already filled with lessons which she will very candidly share on the stage.
Talk: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly… Lessons from scaling Marketing at LinkedIn and Pipedrive
Des Traynor — Co-founder/CSO & VP Marketing Intercom
Des Traynor, has said it many times, using different words.
To grow a successful company you have to stay laser focused and learn to say No. Much more than a customer messaging platform, Intercom has developed a world-class brand. Successful in his record means $50M+ in ARR, $115.8M in funding and 25,000+ customers.
One more way of making that same point is keeping the main thing the main thing. Wherever he speaks or whatever he writes, he always plays with that same idea — you can spread yourself too thin and stretch out too wide. Misalignment is the default; alignment takes effort. It could affect any part of the company — how you behave, how you hire, what sort of people you hire, how you design, how you built.
Misaligned people can drag the whole company down. To start off, you need to have a crystal clear answer to the question: What the hell are we doing here? And the document everything, starting with core values.
Talk: Keeping your company aligned — aka The main thing is keep the main thing the main thing
Sitar Teli, Managing Partner Connect Ventures
Sitar Telli is a Managing Partner of Connect Ventures, a seed-stage fund investing anywhere between £150k — £1.5m in European internet and mobile companies. Notable investments include Typeform, Citymapper and Boiler Room. Sitar has been a VC for over ten years and her preference lays in product and design-led companies with global ambitions.
Philippe Botteri Partner, Accel
Philippe is Partner at Accel, an early stage and growth stage venture fund, which he joined in 2011 to focus on SaaS, enterprise and marketplace businesses. Accel-backed companies include Atlassian, Braintree, Cloudera, DJI, Dropbox, Dropcam, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, Lookout Security, MoPub, Qualtrics, Slack, Spotify, Supercell, Vox Media and others.
Philippe led Accel’s investments in DocuSign, Peopledoc, Qubit, Algolia, Blablacar and Doctolib.
Phillippe and Sitar will share what their porfolio companies are doing for growth.
Talk: Unlocking growth — What the Portfolio Outliers have gotten right…and wrong.
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