Australian bootstrapped SaaS CEO, and sole Founder Igor Stjepanovic sat down with the GetLatka team to discuss what’s next for Gruntify and how they got to where they are in 5 years. Stjepanovic revealed how he managed to fund his technology build while personally retaining 100% equity, what their client base looks like today and what he expects in the future, and why he’s now looking for an equity partner.
Igor Stjepanovic created Gruntify to solve a real problem in the marketplace after discovering there was no adequate solution to solve his clients’ needs. Gruntify is a workforce automation tool that uses geospatial technology and real-time delivery of cloud and mobile applications to be more productive in the field. Gruntify has grown organically through referrals, increasing YOY ARR from $125,000 to $250,000 MRR. They currently serve approximately 60 enterprise and government clients in Australia and the US.
- 60 clients in Australia and the US
- Team of 22, with 18 engineers
- Ready for $5-$10m equity infusion to accelerate growth
Gruntify Launched in 2016 after winning a local government challenge
Stjepanovic revealed that Gruntify got its start after winning an Australian innovation challenge focused on how to solve the civic issue of graffiti and vandalism. Stjepanovic used his geospatial coding expertise and, with the help of two coders, built a prototype that won the challenge and became the inspiration for Gruntify. Today, the company is on v4 of the platform, and they are continuing to add capabilities.
Stjepanovic retains 100% equity, even with the help of two engineers
Latka showed his amazement that Stjepanovic was able to retain 100% equity while relying on a pair of coders, so he asked Igor his secret. Stjepanovic then revealed that Grunitfy was a product borne out of another business he started in 2010, called GIS People. This company offered professional services to oil, gas, and mining companies. His clients asked for field operations services that could automate workloads. When Stjepanovic discovered there weren’t any viable solutions, he decided to lean in and build his own. Eventually, he decided to spin off Gruntify from GIS People, retaining 100% equity.
Gruntify Expands to 60 clients by being the “Swiss-army knife of data management and fieldwork”
To date, all of Gruntify’s growth has been organic. Their blend of technology makes the solution an ideal choice for rapid damage assessment, public safety, national security, insurance, and many other industries. Stjepanovic explains that the growth came from a mix of existing clients expanding their seats while also sharing their success with others. The company currently has no sales or marketing employees. Plans for the next 12 months focus on bringing in an equity partner. Stjepanovic plans to use the resulting revenue and connections to add sales and marketing resources this year while also developing a partner program.
$3m ARR from Enterprise and Government Clients
Gruntify currently enjoys a mix of government and enterprise clients in Australia and the US. They work with companies like Microsoft, SAP, DigitalGlobe, ESRI, CoreLogic, and Modus, a pioneer in 5G mobile networks that are currently playing a critical role in the US rollout of 5G. Gruntify also counts several government entities as clients, such as the City of San Jose, where the platform helps the city respond to emergencies and housing use cases.
3 Pricing Plans, Growth from 100 to 1000 seats
On the Gruntify website, new clients can self-select from one of three pricing plans to begin. Each plan is based on a cost per seat, per month, per workspace and adds features as the price increases. Professional starts at $29, Business at $49, and Enterprise, which is priced upon request. Typically, new clients buy a specific number of seats to use the platform for one particular project. Once they see how it performs, they continue to expand the number of seats they offer. Stjepanovic says many clients begin with 100 seats and quickly expand to 1000.
$6,000 ARPU from 500 seats
Stjepanovic explains that the number of seat subscriptions ranges greatly per client and that the per-seat pricing for enterprise clients drops as they continue to add seats to the Swiss army knife platform. While Stjepanovic didn’t have an exact figure for net dollar retention, he explains that once clients add seats, they keep them. To date, each client’s value only increases over time. Stjepanovic noted that they have yet to lose a client.
Building on the $250,000 ARR
Stjepanovic sees interest now growing for Gruntify downmarket in SMBs. He believes now is the time for equity support, as the business is maturing and has been validated in the marketplace. He is planning to expand across industries and geographies this year. His targets for expansion in the next year include Europe and Singapore in Southeast Asia.
$5-10m VC or Debt Equity? Stjepanovic says it’s not about the money
As Stjepanovic looks to raise capital to expand into new international markets, he clarifies that he’s looking for a true strategic partner, not just for money. Stjepanovic noted that money is cheap today and that connections are worth more than money. He believes the right partner is a strategic one that aligns with Gruntify in a way that brings introductions and a network to accelerate growth and expansion.
Fast Five on Igor Stjepanovic
Igor Stjepanovic is a voracious reader. After considering Latka’s query, he admits he doesn’t have a single favorite book. He loves reading about startups and innovations, not necessarily in the IT space. He follows several CEOs, including Elon Musk, along with c-levels at industry giants like Microsoft and Google. His favorite everyday tool for him and his team is Trello. He “gets by” on 6-7 hours of sleep per night. He is 46, coming up on a birthday. Stjepanovic is married with four children and lives in Australia. When he was 20 years old, he wished he knew how much he didn’t know. He wishes he would have had a more open mind in his younger days, adding that “the more you experience life, the more you realize how much more there is to know.”