It’s been a little over a year since we launched our little SaaS startup. It’s incredible to look back and consider what we’ve accomplished with such a small team, with no funding, and within a year.
We’ve hit some incredible milestones as a company (including a competitor running ads against our name saying we’re not “official”) and we wanted to share more about who we are and where we’re going.
How a Single DM on Instagram Started a Company
Both James and I have been active sellers (wholesale specific) for a number of years. In my early stages of growing my Amazon business I started reaching out to every person I could who had a business larger than my own. I wanted to shed some light into scaling that type of business and what I could be doing better.
I reached out to a dozen or so people but James was the first to respond with excitement. I offered to pay him for a few consulting hours but he just wanted to talk. After speaking on Skype for a bit, we decided to continue talking once a week, simply to hold each other accountable.
Eventually, we would launch Vendrive CRM (our first SaaS product) and then Aura. What we didn’t realize was just how fast Aura would grow. Keep in mind, James and I had been working together on Vendrive for about a year or more before ever meeting in person.
Once the beta for Aura was ready to be released, I flew to Massachusetts so we could launch it together.
<iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-O3wyGPNLX4" title="Aura Launch Teaser" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>
After we pressed the “go” button, we went to a small bar to celebrate. Not only had we launched Aura but it had 25+ paying customers day one. Being a Bootstrapped company, this felt amazing.
Launching your SaaS startup is one thing but getting to a year old is entirely different. Being sellers ourselves, we knew the pain points our users would feel and we wanted to solve those problems.
Aura's first command center
Enter the feedback loop.
Feedback loops are amazing. They quickly tell you if what you’re doing is right or wrong. Just as well, Feedback loops tell you where to go next.
We held a few assumptions early on but knew that we wanted our users to have a say in what we built. We took the early suggestions and implemented them one by one.
Where We’re Going From Here
What does 2020 hold for us as a company? A TON!
For starters, we want to increase the speed of new feature development, so we’re actively hiring a full-time Backend Engineer. It was mentioned early on that we could “simply outsource” things like customer service and development. Turns out, we made a very good decision in keeping everything in-house. Because of what we learned over the past year, we’ll be building an amazing team who care about our users as much as we do.
Remember the Feedback loop I mentioned above? Although we’ve been slower to release new features in the past few months, we’ve spent that time strategizing user feedback into really useful features. Who knew managing a product roadmap was so complex?!
We’re also massive fans (cough: nerds) about Automation. In 2020, you’ll see more features focused on reducing your workload; we want users focusing on managing their systems and processes, not the low-level tasks.
Of course, there are a few things we can’t share at this point (queue mysterious music) that we’re incredibly excited to build for you.
Here’s what we’re focused on for 2020:
- Hiring: Creating an amazing team certainly takes time and that’s an investment we’re currently making.
- Going International: We’ll be adding more marketplaces (UK, EU, etc.)
- Automation Features: Although we can’t share the exact details of these features at the moment, they are designed to save you more time and increase profitability for your business.
- New Content: Education is paramount in our opinion and we want Aura to be at the forefront of sharing knowledge.
Industry insights you won't delete, delivered to your inbox
The Essential Guide to Min and Max Prices
Want to know the secret to not losing money or missing out on higher sales? It comes down to setting your minimum and maximum prices correctly. This is where many sellers get stuck when getting started with a repricing tool for the first time. These aren
The Future: What AI and Robotics Mean for Sellers
Back in December 2018, I shared my thoughts on how selling on Amazon might change. I talked about how new tech in automation and robots could help sellers do a lot more with less effort. The tech I mentioned is possible today, but not many people are using
How to Avoid Price Tanking
If you've been a seller for even a few hours you'll have heard the term "price tanking". Price tanking is when a seller begins to lower the price of a listing, which then creates a downward spiral. This quickly removes any profitability from the listing.