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Bynder: AWS Startup Stories Notes from Founders Vol1

Amazon Web Services Resources EMEA

Issue link: https://emea-resources.awscloud.com/i/1146562

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20 STARTUP STORIES Notes from Founders: Bynder 'In the beginning, it was a lot of old- fashioned sales work' I wish I could say that Bynder's success just happened by itself, but it didn't. We had to fight for every customer at the start. It really was a lot of blood, sweat and tears; there were no shortcuts, just a lot of cold calls... but slowly, Bynder began to grow. In fact, it's grown a lot bigger than Label A. We prepared for growth from the start by thinking long-term. From the get-go, we focused on multiple languages and set up multiple currencies; because when you're in Holland, you're global from day one. We branched out to Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom and then finally, the US. It took a while, but Holland isn't our biggest market anymore. 'Success isn't down to avoiding mistakes; it's down to fixing them' If I look back on the last few years, there are some things I wish I'd done sooner. Success isn't about never making mistakes; it's about realizing you've made a mistake and then fixing it. If you're not making mistakes, you're not going fast enough. When you start a business, you have to make a lot of decisions, so you have to accept that sometimes you'll make the wrong ones. The only thing I regret is not making those mistakes sooner, as I could have fixed them sooner. I'm better at listening to my gut instinct now, but that takes practice and experience. 'I barely knew what a VC was when we started' We didn't focus on getting money from venture capitalists straight away. We were bootstrapping and maybe it sounds weird, but we weren't that interested in the funding side until quite late on. Instead, we focused on getting the product out, marketing it, selling it, making money and driving cash-flow, which is a healthy mentality for a startup to have. In the US, there's an abundance of funding, so it's easy to get side-tracked. Personally, I think startups need to focus on building their business first of all, not getting their A, B and C funding round. 'When we did get our first round of funding, I celebrated' In 2016, we finally secured our first VC funding deal - €20 million ($25 million) from Insight Venture Partners. To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to do something to show my commitment to Bynder. So, I got a tattoo! It's the logo for Bynder and it's right there on my forearm. I showed it to staff members when I announced we'd got the funding. It's fair to say that everyone was surprised, but they thought it was cool too. We handed out fake tattoos so everyone could have one. They say you can't stop at one tattoo and I still have another arm, so there's plenty of room for more startups! I guess I should maybe add my kids' names too... 'There's a big learning curve associated with funding' Getting interest from venture capital firms is easy, but getting an actual deal requires a steep learning curve. I'd say, if you want to win the Olympic Games, you don't go with the easiest coach, you go with the toughest, most ambitious coach who you know is going to really push you. The same goes for tech and business. Insight Venture Partners is the biggest name in enterprise software and they want to see us succeed. It means we're playing in the big leagues now. Funding helps your business grow faster, but you need to keep in mind that it's really hard to change your company after a deal. So, if you have co-founders, you need to have some tough conversations before the VC comes onboard.

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