Crowdfunding Your B2B SaaS Startup

Over the last few years, Crowdfunding has seen massive successes and explosive products taking off like wildfire. Great ideas like the Oculus Rift and the Pebble Watch as well as supporting the creation of my friend’s Master’s thesis film at USC and helping fund Mission Bit, the nonprofit I work with, are all byproducts of the Crowdfunding movement.

That being said, Crowdfunding hasn’t quite taken off everywhere yet. With my latest creation, VUE, a platform for automated mobile analytics and an effortless understanding of  your users, we’re working to Crowdfund our B2B SaaS platform on Ramen.

Screen-Shot-2014-06-04-at-5.10.49-PM

https://ramen.is/projects/get-vue-analytics

From my research, this has not been executed yet. Kickstarter, the most popular platform for crowdfunding, doesn’t even support this type of funding for businesses like mine – and I really like Kickstarter.

But that makes this challenge all-the-more exciting.

Going into this Crowdfunding campaign, we had 2 main-yet-specific, goals, one main hurdle, and a few successes:

Goals

1) Pre-sell our product to our first alpha users.

2) Generate buzz around bringing on beta users.

Hurdles

1) Money in hand from B2B sales in 30 days

In the world of selling B2B SaaS product, purchases aren’t made immediately by an individual who receives an end-product at a date in the near future. You’re selling a long term partnership where you and your customers will be working together.  There’s the 14-day, 30-day, or even months-long free trials before businesses commit to a sale. Even when sales do happen in the short-term and the credit card is on file, users often don’t make the first payments for weeks or you may be invoicing your first few payments because that’s how your customers work.

It’s a cultural shift in how business operates for a number of startups similar to ours and we’re trying to change that with our campaign on Ramen.

Successes

1) Our first actual sales are in the works

As I stated earlier, if you’ve ever sold B2B, you know the sales process can be drawn out with layers of approvals needed – even for small spending.  That being said, we are in talks for bringing on our first paying customers and our beta will also be ready by the weekend which is extremely exciting!

2) I can sell T-Shirts :)

My friends and family have always supported me and I’ll always support them. So many of them have been willing to share on social media, get the $25 T-Shirt reward, and generate as much buzz as they can even if they have little idea of what my actual product does. That support means a ton and helps to get an initial bump on the Crowdfunding campaign (even if it isn’t selling the actual product).

3) We’ll let you know at the end of the campaign!

We’re still early into our Crowdfunding effort and hustling everyday to finish strong.  Whether it’s getting a T-Shirt or pre-purchasing the best analytics platform for mobile you’ll ever use at huge discounts, please help us in reaching our goal and we’re extremely grateful for the support!

https://ramen.is/projects/get-vue-analytics

Lastly

What do you think of crowdfunding a B2B SaaS startups product? Have you tried it before? How did it work for you? Sound off in the comments below.

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