Oliver Low worked for Microsoft and then MySpace in London before creating a successful digital agency in 2010 with two friends. Their agency grew fast and was profitable, so they invested in building software apps to solve problems that they faced helping big brands promote on the web. One of those products, Platform360, turned into a real SaaS product business which became their focus in 2013.
Platform360 was a programmatic ad platform for large brands to manage digital advertising in the changing digital privacy environment. They grew quickly with extreme effort and no outside funding, but eventually decided to sell the Platform360 business in 2018 for a modest exit.
Oliver is a savvy and practical “0 to 1” entrepreneur and business builder. He now runs Tiny Studio, the venture builder inside Tiny.com. Tiny is one of the largest “buy and hold” acquirers of bootstrapped and profitable SaaS companies, continuing to run those companies as independent and sustainable businesses.
We talk at length about what we are both seeing in the big wave of successful practical software companies that are starting, growing, and thriving without any VC funding.
Bootstrapped SaaS Topics Discussed on This Podcast
- Why Oliver created a digital agency in 2007 after working at Microsoft and Myspace
- How they built and grew a programmatic ad-tech platform without outside funding
- Why they chose to sell the company at a challenging time rather than raise big VC funding
- How Tiny.com works as a holding company that acquires bootstrapped SaaS businesses and holds them long-term as independent companies
- What Oliver sees in the world of practical SaaS founders from his global perspective
- Why he started a venture studio inside Tiny.com to incubate practical SaaS businesses
Oliver Low on the Growth of Practical SaaS Founders:
“I see a huge opportunity in the practical path for SaaS founders that is much more likely to lead to outsized outcomes. That’s how we think about the game at Tiny. It might not be quick, it might take time, but the odds of success are much higher.
“It seems like for the last ten or 15 years in the startup world, most of the attention has gone on the startups raising hundreds of millions of dollars. Some startups have been tagged as unicorns, despite their revenues being nowhere near applicable to unicorn status.
“We don’t see the other side of that. We don’t acknowledge that MANY of the startups that raised all of that capital and were last year’s unicorns are gone this year. That means the founders put in years of hard work and in the end, there’s no prize at all, literally.
“I’m not saying that there aren’t instances where you need to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in VC funding. But there are now other ways with safer and better options for hungry founders that want to build a valuable business.”
The Practical Founders Podcast
Tune into the Practical Founders Podcast for weekly in-depth interviews with founders who have built valuable software companies—without big funding.
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