While working with multiple seed and Series A B2B SaaS startups as a VC investor at Accel, Shruti Ghatge noticed a consistent problem facing the founders. “SaaS companies and partners are trying to go to market together but are living in their own silos,” explained the Co-founder and CEO of Zomentum when she sat down with the GetLatka team. She added, “We come in after Crossbeam. They identify opportunities; we show them how to work together to drive deals to closure.”
Together with a product and technology partner, Ghatge founded the first 2-sided revenue platform that helps SaaS businesses accelerate growth with partner programs: “Our platform gets both sides together so they can get deals done.” The platform has fueled over $800m in technology sales so far. She revealed how the company grew 8X in the last 12 months, what change enabled her to keep her sales team in India while still closing US deals, and how she closed a nearly $100m valuation at $35,000 MRR.
- Founded in latter half of 2018
- Team of 75 with 38 engineers, 4 quota-carrying sales reps
- $250,000 MRR, up from $35,000 one year ago
- $13m Series A closed in 2021
- 4000 customers on 2-sided network of partners and SaaS companies
12 months before company wrote first line of code
As a former VC investor, Ghatge understood the nuances of raising capital. So after founding Zomentum in 2018, she spent 9 months figuring out how to enter the market. “When I worked at Accel, we saw the problem (that Zomentum solves) a lot at SaaS companies, and we wanted to solve for it,” shared the CEO. The Co-founder sought initial funding only after committing to the initiative and solving for the entry point.
$4m Seed round in 2019, building partner network first
With that first $4m, Ghatge and her product and technology Co-founder began coding and building the platform. They decided to build the partner network first.” Since it’s a two-sided network of partners and SaaS companies, we had to solve for the chicken and egg—who would come first and how would we penetrate the market with a sharp value prop,” reflected the Co-founder.
2800 partners pay directly for access; 1200 partners paid by SaaS companies
The choice to target partners first paid off as the platform quickly grew to over 2800 partners paying directly for access. Only in the last few quarters has the company targeted SaaS businesses where the sales cycles are longer.
$3m ARR with 60% of revenue from partners, 40% from SaaS companies
Today, 60% of Zomentum’s revenue comes from partners paying upwards of $200 per month for platform access. SaaS companies pay a per-partner fee on a sliding scale to add and manage their partners on the network. According to Ghatge, their largest SaaS customer pays an ACV of $100,000. The CEO noted that the platform includes revenue expansion opportunities; partners pay for additional functionality like billing reconciliation, assessments, and integrations. Because the SaaS outreach is only a few months old, she expects the revenue split to swing toward the SaaS companies eventually.
Early partners still pay $39 per month for platform access
While new partners pay $100-200 per month for access to Zomentum, Ghatge’s first partners still pay according to their original contract. “We grandfathered in our early partners out of respect for their support,” explained the Co-founder. Latka’s reaction indicated that the move was unusual and impressive.
50/50 equity split with co-founder
When Latka queried about the rest of the founding team, the CEO indicated that it was just her and one partner. “My co-founder handles tech and product. I take care of business,” Ghatge explained. She added that because their critical skill sets are complementary, it was easy for them to distribute equity equally.
$13m Series A at $90m valuation, on $35,000 MRR
Intrigued by the multiple, Latka asked the CEO to share how she closed $13m in Series A funding at that valuation last year. “A network is more valuable today, like LinkedIn. We are working toward being the defacto place for all SaaS companies to grow, launch and manage partner programs,” the Co-founder clarified. She also noted, “We fundamentally believe in the network and ourselves. Our network is even more lucrative today as SaaS companies seek efficient growth channels: partners are the efficient way to grow businesses.”
Scaled 8X in last 12 months from 35k to 250k MRR
CEO Ghatge attributes much of Zomentum’s 8X growth last year to partner growth. “Our demo to paid signup conversion is 55-60%,” detailed the Co-founder. “The product works really well for partners,” she added. Additionally, she confirmed with Latka that the company’s Net Dollar Retention is over 100%, as they hold monthly churn to under 0.5%
100%+ NDR from partners and SaaS companies’ expansion revenue
To fuel Net Dollar Retention growth to over 100%, Zomentum offers a few add-ons for both partners and companies. “On the partner side, we offer seat increases and some add-ons. On the SaaS side, we have more room for expansion potential,” revealed CEO Ghatge.
Growth strategy, setting sales quotas at $300-500,000
Zomentum’s primary growth strategy as they look to scale is heavy on outbound. “We still have to create awareness. Articulating the value proposition for the only 2-sided network takes time, so we’re heavily focused on events and outbound,” shared Ghatge. When queried about setting the sales strategy, the CEO explained that she did sales the first year, then worked with their first salespeople to figure out a fair number (now $300-500,000). “At first, we rewarded effort, then moved to outcome,” the CEO shared.
4 person sales team closing US deals from India
According to Latka, many SaaS companies based in India struggle to get salespeople there to close US deals, so they add pricier US-based sales teams. He queried Ghatge about how Zomentum succeeded where others failed. “5 years ago, that was true, but it’s gotten better in India. They’ve trained themselves; the really good companies here have figured it out. The talent pool is much smaller than you’d like, but it’s still much cheaper than having US reps,” explained the Co-founder. Ghatge’s business approach earned her a CRN Woman of the Channel award in 2022, while Zomentum was named a great place to work under her leadership.
Favorite Book: Co-founder and CEO Shruti Ghatge chose Play Bigger by Al Ramadan as her favorite book.
CEO she’s following: Shruti shared that she follows many CEOs but doesn’t want to “put any on a pedestal by naming them.” She added, “I like to humanize them because it helps me do my job better.”
Favorite online tool: Shruti is a big fan of InVision, using it extensively before founding Zomentum.
Balance: The thirty-two-year-old sleeps a solid 7 hours per night. Shruti is single.
What does she wish she had known at 20? “I wish I had known that I would be fine. I wanted to do things very quickly in life.”