They Spun Out a Product Feature into a Thriving SaaS Company

When a venture investor doesn’t invest in a software company, they often describe the startup’s product as “just a feature.”

A feature that could easily be built by a competitor. Or just a partial solution to the problem.

But what if your feature were important enough that other software companies embedded it into their apps instead of investing millions to code it themselves?

And your feature was used by hundreds of thousands of users, with plenty of them happily paying for it?

Then your “feature” is actually a serious product that drives a growing company.

It just started small and in a corner—where the actual problem was.

This is how Massimo Arrigoni and his team created the Beefree visual editor for creating stylish emails and web pages without coding.

They created it inside their Italian email marketing software company as a feature for their own product.

Massimo described their frustration with their own email visual builder and set out to build a new one. They gave their new editor away for free for people to try and it quickly became popular all over the world.

Now BEE (from the codename “Best Email Editor”) is embedded inside over 600 SaaS apps, reaching 400,000 users.

And BEE Pro users pay for advanced features not found in the free editor.

Tens of thousands of people use their free editor every month without entering an email address or credit card.

Someone’s trivial feature can be another person’s important product.

It takes a savvy understanding of the real “jobs to be done” and a dedication to design, listening, feedback, improvement, and measurement.

BEE is a product-led growth success story with over $10 million in annual recurring revenue and 80 employees–without any outside funding.

Massimo shares great insights and PLG lessons learned on the Practical Founders Podcast this week.

Listen to it on the Practical Founders Podcast.

Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom, Massimo.


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