9 Software Tool Success Stories [2024]

Updated: November 1st, 2023
Build A Software Tool

Businesses are focusing on automating their operations, a need that has resulted in increased demand for software developers.

If you have software development skills and looking for a low maintenance business idea that will generate passive income, it is time to practice your skills.

A software company can build a plethora of applications and earn a passive income from them, with very little to no maintenance needed to keep the applications running. If you plan to start a software business, research the market to find high-potential opportunities. You may focus on a certain niche, or serve any business.

Choose a payment option that allows you a passive income over the lifetime of your software.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a software tool:

1. Nextiva ($120M/year)

Nextiva was founded by CEO Tomas Gorny after experiencing inefficiencies in the business communication market. He wanted to create a company focused on innovation and delivering the best customer experience, which led to the development of NextOS and the expansion of Nextiva's services beyond business phone services. Despite being surrounded by industry giants, Nextiva differentiated itself through its self-funding approach, commitment to Amazing Service, and focus on building a positive company culture.

How much they make: $120M/year
Current team size: 1000

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How We Developed A $10MM/Month Business Communications Software

Nextiva, an Arizona-based business communications company, has developed an all-in-one platform called NextOS, which offers CRM tools, team collaboration tools, and business communication tools, resulting in a significant shift in its business model, and has grown from just a few employees to over 1,000 spread around the world, entirely self-funded, and focused on providing amazing service to its customers.

About
Yaniv started Nextiva almost 16 years ago
Revenue
Yaniv grew the business to $10M/month
Read by 6,552 founders

2. ScrapingBee ($99.6K/year)

How much they make: $99.6K/year
Current team size: 2

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ScrapingBee: From 2 failed startups to $3,000/month in 4 months

ScrapingBee, a web scraping tool founded in 2019, has grown to $1M+ ARR in just three years with 99% of revenue attributed to SEO strategies and practices, used by businesses for price monitoring, tracking SERP results, lead generation, and general data mining.

About
Kevin started ScrapingBee about 5 years ago
Revenue
Kevin grew the business to $8.3K/month
Read by 881 founders

Learn more about starting a software tool:

Where to start?

-> How much does it cost to start a software tool?
-> Pros and cons of a software tool

Need inspiration?

-> Examples of established software tool
-> Marketing ideas for a software tool

Other resources

3. Occupier ($6.6M/year)

How much they make: $6.6M/year
Current team size: 48

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Why real estate needs more tech founders

Commercial real estate brokers create software to execute lease transactions, manage real estate leases, and ensure compliance with lease accounting standards: Occupier raised $10.5M in Series A funding.

About
Andrew started Occupier about 6 years ago
Revenue
Andrew grew the business to $550K/month
Read by 548 founders

4. Abstrakt ($2M/year)

How much they make: $2M/year
How much did it cost to start: $60K
Current team size: 22

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$25m gong acquisition? New founder hits $2m run rate in 5 months

"Creator of Conversational Intelligence software launches Abstrakt.ai, a real-time call coaching software valued at $4 million after raising $500,000 in a Seed Round; founder invested $60,000 of his own funds to develop proof of concept."

About
Greg started Abstrakt about 4 years ago
Revenue
Greg grew the business to $167K/month
Costs
It cost Greg $60000 to start the business
Read by 546 founders

5. Grammarly ($208M/year)

How much they make: $208M/year
Current team size: 1057

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Grammarly Founders Become Billionaires From Fixing Your Sloppy Writing

AI-powered writing tool, Grammarly, founded by Max Lytvyn, Dmytro Lider, and Alex Shevchenko, raised $200M at a $13B valuation, assisting 30M people and 50K businesses with market-leading communication.

About
They started Grammarly about 15 years ago
Revenue
They grew the business to $17.4M/month
Read by 618 founders

6. TerminusDB ($240K/year)

How much they make: $240K/year
Current team size: 10

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This developer tool doubled to $240k ARR and raised at a $14m post money valuation

TerminusDB has raised €3.6 million in seed funding for its open-source knowledge graph database that offers dependable, private, and effective revision control & collaboration, with a mission to make fundamental changes regarding how data is curated, managed or stored.

About
Luke started TerminusDB about 5 years ago
Revenue
Luke grew the business to $20K/month
Read by 557 founders

7. Codiga ($660K/year)

How much they make: $660K/year
Current team size: 7

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Burning $55k/mo building freemium tool for developers, 15k users, $1.2m raised

Codiga, a platform for programmers to receive code snippets & analysis, has raised $2.1M from various investors, and automates code reviews on GitHub, Gitlab, and Bitbucket, identifying flaws in over 10 programming languages.

About
Julien started Codiga almost 4 years ago
Revenue
Julien grew the business to $55K/month
Read by 516 founders