How I Bootstrapped A Multi Product SaaS Enterprise To $10M In Annual Revenue

Published: September 24th, 2023
Saravana Kumar
from London, UK
started January 2011
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Hi! I am Saravana Kumar. I am the founder and CEO of a multiproduct enterprise SaaS company functioning out of London, UK, and Coimbatore, India.

I started the company 12 years back with a single product called BizTalk360. Biztalk360 is a software that performs operations, monitoring, and analytics of the BizTalk server, which many enterprise customers use. Over the years we have grown to a multi-product company with four products under our umbrella.

Our products, besides BizTalk360, include

  • Serverless360- advances in Azure monitoring, tracing, and governance of those who host their servers on Microsoft Azure
  • Document360- one of the world’s top-ranked online knowledge management platforms
  • Churn360 is an AI-enabled customer success platform that empowers SaaS companies to reduce their customer churn.

While BizTalk360 was our flagship product, Document360 is now our fastest-growing product with more than 1,500 customers across the world. Our customers include Virgin, Daikin, Globe and Mail, Mc Donalds, etc.

Over the past 12 years, we have grown from a single-person company to 280+ people spread across three offices. Being bootstrapped and profitable from our very first day, we crossed $10 million ARR in 2021 and progressing to triple this by 2025.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

I am from Mettupalayam, a small town just outside Coimbatore, a tier II city in South India. I was lucky to get a job opportunity in London in the year 2000 just as I was finishing my post-graduation in computer applications. I took my flight to London, on the day I gave my final exams.

I spent my first ten years working as a consultant. I worked with Microsoft briefly, specializing in their BizTalk Server, a product used for enterprise integration. Later, while working for other companies like Accenture and Fidelity as a BizTalk consultant, I saw all our clients facing the same set of challenges while using the server–especially in terms of monitoring, governance, and auditing.

In 2010 I attended a Microsoft community event in Seattle, where we decided to build a product that addresses all the gaps in the BizTalk server. It was initially planned as an open-source project. However since there was no word on it after the event, I began building the product myself.

Being a purely technical guy, I genuinely love coding. At the same Microsoft conference in 2011, I presented the prototype. People were blown away by its capability and scope. They also gave me a lot of feedback on what additional capabilities the product should have.

I took another three months to polish the product and launch it. I got my first customer, a casino from Hong Kong, within a month of my announcing the launch on my blog. Since I faced the pain points myself, I knew what I as a customer would need the product to address. This helped me vastly while building and marketing the product.

A few factors that gave me credibility were the fact that I was a Microsoft MVP (Most valuable professional) since 2007 and had been blogging about the BizTalk server since 2004. It was a highly technical blog and already had more than 10,000 readers in 2011. So my blog worked as an extremely successful marketing channel. It was content marketing, even before it became a practice.

I followed the same logic when coming up with ideas for our next products too. Serverless360 seemed a natural progression because moving to the cloud was the next hot thing, and many companies were likely to host their servers on the cloud.

Our knowledge management tool Document360 was again born out of necessity. One day one of our employees deleted the entire technical documentation for one of our tools. When we contacted the vendor to see if there was any way to restore the content, we realized they did not have such an option.

We then quickly researched other online documentation tools in the market and decided to first build a tool that meets all our requirements. Our first version blew us away. We then began building it as a commercial product.

Churn360 too was a product born out of our requirements. As our customer base was growing, we were looking for a tool that could assist our customer success team. We then looked deeper into our pain points and began building a tool. Now Document360 uses Churn360, to provide feedback, identify gaps, and help further improve the product.

In 2010, when I first began building BizTalk360, I moved my job to part-time. I worked three days a week while building the product in the remaining hours. This gave me the cushion and means to maintain my and my family’s lifestyle while building the product which may or may not have been successful. In 2011, once I began getting customers regularly, I quit and began working on BizTalk360 full-time.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

I had a clear idea of the pain points in the BizTalk server which had to be addressed. I was also passionate about coding. So I initially started building the product, working on it during my free hours. I used to wake up at 4 am every day, a practice I continue, and work on the product till my office hours. A few months later, I moved my job to three days a week.

One factor that contributed to the success of BizTalk360 was demonstrating the prototype to stakeholders at every opportunity I got. I demonstrated it for the first time at the Microsoft MVP conference in 2011 and incorporated all their feedback. I did the same through my blog, which then had a very focussed readership.

I blogged about my product regularly and would take feedback. I also attended some very niche conferences across Europe, with even a small attendance of 50 or so people, and demonstrated my product. This not only worked as a marketing channel but also as a way to get feedback and further improve my product.

I also got to meet potential partners who also helped my product reach a larger audience. I initially spent more on these extremely focused channels rather than digital marketing, which we now spend massively on.

Try showing your prototype to as many stakeholders as possible during the development stage, to understand if the product has a market, capabilities or features the market expects it to have, and general feedback on usability.






Describe the process of launching the business.

I launched the product literally on my blog. Once I finished giving my product the final touches, I just wrote a blog post that the product was ready. Within a month, I got my first customer, a casino from Hong Kong, who I had never interacted with before.

Within the end of 2011, I had managed to close 5 inbound enterprise customers. Being a purely technical guy I had to do everything myself, learning on the job. I performed the demonstration, decided on how to price the product, found an online invoicing solution called Quickbooks, and issued my first invoice.

I managed to handle BizTalk360 myself, remaining a single-person entity, till we reached around 30 customers. I just worked with part-timers on and off. It was only after I crossed the 30-customer mark did I recruited the first employee.

We gradually grew to a five-member team and stayed that way till we reached 150 customers, which happened the very next year. We also worked out of the living room of my house in the UK, so there were no rental expenses.

Then, there was not much of an investment, except my time. I was a contractor, who was getting paid on a day-rate basis, so I initially just gave up my salary of two days a week. It was only after I established cash flow that I quit my job.

Since we had cash flow from day one and began growing organically, we did not need to take a loan. The business was also profitable from day one, so we simply used our cash flow to grow gradually.

I created BizTalk360’s website myself.

The biggest lesson from my entrepreneurship journey would be “only build something you can sell”. I built the prototype of a product that I knew I would find useful as a consultant. I also continually kept in touch with stakeholders, who confirmed that my product had a market. I also showcased my prototype to stakeholders during different stages of its development and incorporated their feedback, ensuring it's a product people will want and buy.

Lastly, I was initially very frugal when I began growing the company, which has helped me bootstrap the company until now. This has helped us weather multiple storms during our 12-year journey including economic slumps, crucial people leaving, etc.

Be extremely clear on the pain point that you are trying to solve. Try becoming as specific as possible with your answer, before you start developing a product or survive.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

The first advice I would give founders is to initially only focus on your product. Make sure it is a product that works well and adds sizable value to customers. If your product is good, customers will not worry about things like the size of your company, brand, or how fancy your website looks. If it addresses the pain point efficiently it is good enough.

Don’t become a consultant for any other company, trying to solve all their business problems. Do not waste time constantly working on offering customized solutions. Instead, focus on developing and enhancing your product to increase its general applicability in the market.

Also, ensure you maintain good relationships with your clients because word of mouth is also a huge contributor to sales and growth of credibility in the initial days.

Don’t oversell. Be honest about your product’s capabilities, because this helps build trust among both existing and potential customers. Also when handling customers later, be honest with timelines on resolution of an issue or release of a new feature.

Be responsive to your customers at every stage of growth. Respond to them as soon as possible, try resolving their issues promptly, and take their feedback seriously.



How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

A little more than a year ago, more of our enterprise customers who were using BizTalk servers, have been moving to the cloud, because the technology is more efficient, less expensive, and does not occupy physical space. Because of this, we have seen a few customers churning from our flagship product BizTalk360.

But we had anticipated this trend, almost six years back when we developed and launched Serverless360. So we are correspondingly seeing an increase in Serverless360 and Document360’s customer acquisition and revenue, thus we continue to be profitable.

The rapid growth seen in Serverless360 and Document360 has led to us growing at around 20% YOY.

We now operate out of both London and Coimbatore. While our software development, sales development, customer support, and success teams work out of our India center, we are now establishing outbound sales teams in the UK to power our growth in Europe. Our leadership team is mostly based out of the UK, but our vice presidents of sales and marketing and our COO, besides me, try to visit our India center at least once every quarter.

We are constantly looking to target new audiences in Europe and the US which primarily contribute to our revenue. We are developing our outbound sales teams to directly approach enterprise customers and are trying to establish partner programs for Serverless360 and Document360.

While our short-term goal is to triple our ARR by 2025-end, the long-term goal is to cross $100 million in ARR making the first SaaS unicorn out of Coimbatore, still considered a small but growing industrial city in India.




Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

I have honestly learned a lot over my 12-year-long entrepreneurship journey and continue to learn. A few things I have learned is that you will always hire a few misfits. They may not be the right fit for your organization and may often leave at the wrong time.

This may lead to a certain development target or release getting delayed. My advice is to ensure your functioning is not overly dependent on any critical employee. The more critical the employee, the more important you try to do their work without them.

While my bootstrapping journey has been very successful and I am grateful, I advise young entrepreneurs not to be closed to the idea of venture capital. Today, looking back on my journey, if I had done things differently, I would have taken an investment once I crossed 100 customers. In 2013-’14, when we were getting customers without much effort if I had the team and resources I have right now, we may have grown 2x or 3x in a short period.

Also, don’t try to create a flat organizational structure. While it sounds cool and works well when you are a startup with hardly 30-40 people, it is not practical as you scale further, because you won’t have time for anything else but dealing with your people. Ensure that not more than six to eight people report directly to you at any point in time.

Also, I would advise young entrepreneurs to focus on one product at a time. For example, initially, we only focussed on growing BizTalk360 for the first four years (from 2011 to 2015). It was only after we felt we had scaled the product to almost its full potential, did we started looking for new product ideas.

Even after 2015, we grew slowly. We launched Serverless360 in 2016, Document360 in 2018, and only in 2022 did we launch Churn360. This ensures we dedicate all our focus and resources to one product at a time, till it matures well. This is better than launching multiple products, but not having adequate resources to make even one of them the best in the chosen field.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

I use a lot of software tools for my day-to-day functioning and my business because you must automate as many functions as possible as you start scaling. We use more than 60 different software including Microsoft Teams for all our internal communications. Google Analytics is used for all our marketing analytics including blog views, page views, searches, lead analysis, etc.

Our customer support platform uses Freshdesk for their ticketing and live chat. Our product team uses Mixpanel for product analytics and they use Segment for customer data analytics.

We also use HR software for employee engagement requirements and Pipedrive for customer relationship management.

I use Microsoft Outlook to organize my calendar. It has a lot of options including colour-coded tabs that I take advantage of to prioritize meetings or tasks. One Note is also a favorite for me for taking notes.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Recently I read "Effortless" by Greg McKeown (he already had a best seller called Essentialism). The basic principle of the book is "Not everything has to be so hard".

For every situation, you are presented with a few options, you need to pick the one that can do the job with less effort. Finding an easier path and doing the right things. It's a very practical book useful to anyone.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Hmmm… first be extremely clear on the pain point that you are trying to solve. Try becoming as specific as possible with your answer, before you start developing a product or survive.

Try showing your prototype to as many stakeholders as possible during the development stage, to understand if the product has a market, capabilities or features the market expects it to have, and general feedback on usability.

Next, achieve Product market fit before you start scaling your product. Assessing product market fit would include touching at least 50-100 customers, depending on your product, getting traction from at least one marketing channel, and seeing some cash flow.

While scaling your company, hire slowly and cautiously. Managing people takes up time, resources, focus & money when your product is still taking off. Wrong hires may also slow you down.

Have a few mentors to guide and educate you based on their learnings, but don't blindly follow their advice. Often when you ask someone for advice and they give you their two cents, they don’t understand the entire context of your issue and situation. A few years ago, I followed one such advice and lost a crucial employee because of it.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Head of Outbound Sales for Serverless360

On-Site, London or Coimbatore Full Time

  • Involves developing an outbound sales strategy for Serverless360 from the ground up
  • Need to acquire a clear understanding of how Serverless360 can transform the way businesses manage their Azure Enterprise platform.

Senior Product Marketer

On-site, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu Full Time

  • Involves developing product messaging that differentiates products and services from others in the market
  • Enabling sales by communicating the value of new products and services to the sales and marketing team using various tools

Where can we go to learn more?