With regard to finance leaders who are counted among the ranks of today’s SaaS CFOs, it goes without saying that 20 years ago, most were somewhere other than at SaaS companies.
In fact, many of them have no doubt arrived inside the SaaS realm only within the past 10 years or so as part of the software industry’s great migration from the model of perpetually selling software licensing to the SaaS subscription model.
However, for CFO Bas Brukx, the SaaS world has been home for more than 20 years, a fact that allows him to take a seat alongside other CFOs who can boast of pioneer roots inside SaaS-dom.Read More
“We had the benefit of not knowing what we didn’t know,” recalls Brukx, who notes that back in 2002, such a widely used metric as Customer Acquisition Cost was only then just being defined.
At the time, Brukx was head of FP&A for Vocus, a SaaS software company specializing in solutions for the public relations and communication industries.
“We did a lot of education with analysts and investors,” points out Brukx, who adds that Vocus went public in 2005. He would remain with the company for another 7 years before being appointed CFO of Clarabridge, a small software company aspiring to move to the SaaS subscription model.
According to Brukx, he didn’t hesitate to swiftly leave the perpetual model in Clarabridge’s rearview mirror.
“We discontinued that perpetual business largely on my recommendation, so I was betting a lot on my reputation—but I felt comfortable about it,” comments Brukx, who says that the decisive move allowed him to position himself as a strategic finance leader at the very start of his CFO tenure with the firm.
Subsequently, only 9 months after he joined it, the newly retooled SaaS company raised an $80 million equity investment led by Summit Partners and General Catalyst Partners.
Reports Brukx: “That investment and some of their investor expertise gave us the backing that we needed to make the journey from $20 million in revenue to well over $100 million—at which point we were sold.” –Jack Sweeney
“Soak in all of the perspectives, experiences, opinions of fellow executive team members, finance team members, other senior leaders in the company, investors and industry experts. The destination, and more importantly the path to get there will become crystal clear.” – Bas Brukx, CFO, Allego
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CFOTL: Tell us about Allego … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Brukx: Allego helps companies to make their sales reps more effective and efficient. We do this by offering an AI-based platform that not only helps to train, mentor, and coach sales reps but also enables them to engage with their customers by finding the right content at the right time and distributing it to their prospects and current customers at the right time and through the right medium. We really automate these processes by helping with recommendations on both coaching and content for about 750,000 daily users in 65 countries.Read More
Our customer base runs across many different industry verticals. For example, we have five of the 10 largest banks as customers, three of the top five pharmaceutical companies, and many tech companies, from small to large. It’s a really exciting space in which to be as we help our customers to really leverage and optimize their sales reps on the the platform that we provide for doing it all. One platform to do all of this.
There’s a little bit of uncertainty in the market, as we all know. We still really have to define this and see what the impacts will be on business in general and our business in particular. The key will be scalability. Allego is a great company, a great platform. It has great customers, so we kind of have the basis for building a very successful company. We need to simplify things and organize the company in a way that will create the predictability and repeatability that will allow us to remain one of the leaders in the field. We want to grow this company to over $100 million in revenue over the next few years. These are our initiatives: To really, really simplify and to create scalability and repeatability. We’re at a typical transition point for company of our size, and fortunately I have been at it before with other firms where I have worked.
Allego | www.allego.com | Waltham, MA