Yossi Dahan interviewed Victor Rosenman in his weekly podcast about entrepreneurship. Victor told the story of Feedvisor and explained how he transformed a $15K monthly income startup to a $15M startup. Read the highlights below, and listen to the entire interview here (Hebrew).
Tell us about Feedvisor in a few words.
Feedvisor has existed for almost five years, and today, we are managing about $2B of our clients’ eCommerce sales. We have about 100 employees in three locations: Tel Aviv, Seattle, and New York. Feedvisor allows retailers to significantly grow their business while making smart pricing decisions with our automatic algorithm that doesn’t require any effort on their end.
One of the most impressive things about us is that we are able to create value consistently while beating the market benchmark. Feedvisor clients are growing 50% faster than the market benchmark. There are not many companies today that are able to beat the market so significantly, and that’s one of the secrets of Feedvisor’s meteoric growth.
How did you start Feedvisor?
I was working as a consultant and noticed that there was a lot of demand for eCommerce consulting. There are a lot of retailers and suppliers that know how to deliver inventory but are not familiar with the digital aspect. I believed that I could bring value with my technical expertise. I had my consulting business for a year and half, with the goal of helping retailers succeed online. The business grew very fast, and I developed a deep understanding of eCommerce, the technologies, and the different platforms, especially Amazon and eBay.
By 2011, people were approaching me from all over the world to promote their businesses online. This was the point when I thought: how can I spin off from consulting to starting a real company? I started to research different directions I could go, and pricing was one of them.
Was pricing a pain point for your clients?
In the second half of 2010, I noticed there was a growing trend of pricing projects. I was helping my clients with real time pricing, and over time, I developed a methodology. I was also examining the pricing tools that were already out there and found that they were all pretty primitive.
I saw that there was a problem that no one was trying to solve, and that there was an opportunity there…and that’s how Feedvisor started.
So you had a product and several clients, and got the first investment…
Yes, and that’s when things started to get tough.
Why was it tough?
At that point, the question was how you take $15-$20K a month and make it $15M. Not just by adding marketing and sales, but by building a real company. In 2012, I added two people to the team, and we focused on 1) creating a product from the prototype, 2) making sure our technology was scalable and repeatable, and 3) hiring a team.
And we succeeded. We built the first version of the product, got traction, and by the end of 2012, we had tens of thousands of dollars in income from it. Then we received the second seed investment and then another one at the beginning of 2013. In 2013, we started recruiting more people, and 90% of what we did was interviewing candidates. That’s a critical point where you can’t compromise. We had to figure out how to create a company with real talent.
Another important thing we did was think strategically about the backgrounds of the people we hired. We couldn’t hire people from large corporations because it would be hard for them to adjust to such a small startup. On the other hand, if you bring someone from exactly the same type of company, they wouldn’t know how to take it to the next level. So, as a company, we always bring on new people who did something that is one to two years ahead of where we are today.
For new hires, you want to see what successes they had in the past. In interviews, I always try to understand how that person was successful in the past. People who succeeded and understand why will also have an idea of how will they succeed in the next place the join. They know what will be the first thing they do when they join the next company, and how they will make it a success.