Bootstrapped Martech Startups that Built a Strong Niche for Themselves

Getting funded by VCs does seem lucrative, but not all start-ups pursue such funding opportunities. Start-ups that are bootstrapped and still create a name for themselves are worth their efforts.

There have been a fair share of successful Martech start-ups from around the world, which have created a mark in the industry and are now growing at a fast pace. Let us first understand what Bootstrapping is.

Bootstrapping happens when an entrepreneur initiates a small-scale business with little cost and doesn’t rely on any investors. Bootstrapped companies are often created and built with the money of the owner. Several start-ups are built using a bootstrapped model. Some of the most successful tech companies like Dell, eBay, Cisco Systems, Oracle and Microsoft were bootstrapped.

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A few other successful martech startups that are  bootstrapped:

1. Aweber

Aweber, is a popular email marketing and automation platform. They have their own niche as they target time-strapped content creators, small business owners and entrepreneurs. Picking up their niche audience was one of the factors of success for the MarTech platform.

The company was found in 1998 and they have a team size of more than 100 today. Their annual revenue stands at $19.9 M.

2. Mobile Monkey

Can you believe the World’s best chat marketing platform was bootstrapped?

MobileMonkey is an omni chat platform to connect with customers on various messaging platforms including Instagram DM, Facebook messenger, website chat, SMS and more.

The platform was founded in 2017 when the founder felt the need for a product that enables brands to connect with their audience.

He assembled his founding team, raised a seed funding round to bring the available money to the fore. Cut to today, the annual revenue of the platform is close to $4.2 million per year.

3. Zoho

The oldest Indian start-up, became one of the first unicorns in the world with no outside funding.

Launched in 1996, Zoho was a CRM offering to companies and brands. As the direct competitor of Salesforce, Zoho progressed with two different tactics:

  • It offered a freemium to allure customers to move to their full suite of marketing products.
  • It offered products at lower costs compared to other such companies in the market, especially the SMEs.

The product took quite some time to gain traction in the market, but once it picked up, its growth skyrocketed. Zoho has an estimated revenue of approximately $610 million and its market valuation stands between $5-$15 billion. (It is a private company and thus, it is difficult to bring the exact calculation).

The founder of the company ensured to spend 50% of the profits to the R&D and this is how the company could stand on its own until today.

4. MailChimp

Amidst the realm of email newsletters, this Atlanta-based marketing startup Mailchimp has turned into a giant. The chances are, we all receive emails through Mail Chimp every day, unknowingly.

Initiated with a Bootstrapped dream, Mail Chimp records an annual revenue of around $700 million. The co-founders Dan Kurzius and Ben Chestnut started this company in 2000 after they were laid off from their web design jobs. They exclusively focused their efforts in the company and their dedication started paying off after 2017 when the start-up earned the title of Company of the Year 2017.

Even today, the company is 100% founder owned, which is a great achievement.

5. Atlassian

Atlassian is one of the most successful Australian startup. Founded in 2012, it has built itself in competition with some of the tech giants like Trello and Jira.

One of the key features of this platform is a project tracking software that has been embedded in its DNA. Further, the platform keeps upgrading its smart and intuitive sales systems that needs limited or no manual sales team.

The company was bootstrapped and it skyrocketed its growth by offering free trials to users. Very soon, the company raised its revenues in the country with the help of word of mouth.

Most of the money came from personal funding and they did raise any external funds to bring more board members.

Today the current valuation of the company stands at around 48 billion dollars.

These are just a few start-ups that started off with bootstrapping model and created huge companies without chasing investor money. It will be exciting to see how the tech startup niche evolves in future and how many of them remain bootstrapped for the long-term.

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