Another great interview conducted by Nathan Latka with the founder of 100% bootstrapped startup – Veed.io – Full inteview trascriped made by gglot. Enjoy!
Nathan Latka (00 : 00)
Hello, my guest today Sabba Keynejad, he is the founder of a company co founder and CEO of Veed dot IO, an online video editing platform. Right. Somebody ready to take this up?
Sabba Keynejad (00 : 11)
That’s good. Right?
Nathan Latka (00 : 12)
So how’d you get into this space? Where, like an X video producer out of cable network or something out there. How do you think this problem?
Sabba Keynejad (00 : 18)
No. Battle my background In art school, I worked in creative technology. Advertise the agency’s browning agencies on DH. Just kind of found myself into video. I just like tio.
Nathan Latka (00 : 28)
Interesting. Okay, so you came on the show actually back in? Um, no. Sorry. You didnt Come on. I found you via India hackers because you had there. There’s some good growth. I think you passed. What’s what Was revenue 100 110 grand a month?
Sabba Keynejad (00 : 43)
Nathan Latka (00 : 44)
When was it? When you posted on any hackers? Do you remember when you posted
Sabba Keynejad (00 : 48)
We did it. One million? Our our Yeah, We’re about 1.5 now.
Nathan Latka (00 : 52)
When did you hit a millionaire Art? Remember?
Sabba Keynejad (00 : 55)
Two months ago?
Nathan Latka (00 : 56)
Oh, just results. You’re going pretty quickly here. Okay, He’s okay. So give us the dog. Storey what you do want company and
Sabba Keynejad (01 : 02)
Lord company technically that two years ago. But work full time on it about 14 months ago. And that’s when we started charging.
Nathan Latka (01 : 09)
Okay. And who is we?
Sabba Keynejad (01 : 12)
We made my co founded Tim two years ago on then few months off that we’ve got a couple of therapies to help us out. And then you just went full time. Quit our jobs. 14 months going. That’s when we started charging
Nathan Latka (01 : 23)
Very cool. And, you know, obviously the biggest question for any hacker getting started is I have a co founder. How do we have the tough equity question? If you’re lazy, you split it 50 50. If you do it right, someone is usually has a little more. A little less. How did you guys do it?
Sabba Keynejad (01 : 41)
That’s not the right way to tell. If you’re doing it that way, then you shouldn’t be your co founder.
Nathan Latka (01 : 44)
Sabba Keynejad (01 : 48)
Like you’re gonna be doing this for years. Hopefully, you’re gonna make a really big company if you everyone needs to be incentivised from your co fantasy employees. So you know, just don’t be greedy of active, give it away and get everyone board right.
Nathan Latka (01 : 59)
I think clarity is also very important. It’s clear, and it’s helpful to understand who is leading the company. Which is why I always advocate that someone owns more than 50%. It just makes it crystal clear how things are working
Sabba Keynejad (02 : 12)
Completely. Disagree of that?
Nathan Latka (02 : 13)
Very good. Have you? Have
Sabba Keynejad (02 : 15)
You? Have you? I mean, you have rose in a company, right? So, like someone CEO sums of Sita and I’m ceo of the company into CTO inmates and leads conversations and decisions in technology on. I’m not gonna put push back on that, and I’ll take strategic vision for the company. And he probably doesn’t push back on that. Like, we do push on each other, but, like, fundamentally, you know, I think we’re aligned. Maybe that’s just, you know, the synergy that we have and other co fans would be different. That I’m a massive component for being 50 50.
Nathan Latka (02 : 44)
Interesting. Okay, so you jump into this, you quit your full time job. What was the company doing in terms of revenue? Would you decide to finally quit your full time, kid? Both of you?
Sabba Keynejad (02 : 52)
Nathan Latka (02 : 54)
Interesting suits. I mean, that must have been a scary time. You’re not sure if you’re gonna get revenue? You have some life savings built up. How much? I mean, how many runway? How much life runway did you have when you quit your job?
Sabba Keynejad (03 : 04)
So, about 45 months.
Nathan Latka (03 : 07)
Interesting. Without interest or make you nervous?
Sabba Keynejad (03 : 10)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, you got you mean, you know, I’m single. Um, I don’t have a mortgage. I’m not relatively young. Aiken, get contract work if I need to, Um, relatively quickly. So it didn’t seem like a massive decision at the time. I think the thing that we’re more scared about was getting to profitability super quick, so we don’t have to go back to our job stops. That’s what we’re worried about. You.
Nathan Latka (03 : 32)
Are you profitable today?
Sabba Keynejad (03 : 34)
Yeah. Yeah, we’ve always I mean, you know, once we had this really beautiful moment where our savings and our revenue crossed over this perfect point. Um, so yeah, yeah, we’ve been profitable since then, Basically, and still profitable. Now,
Nathan Latka (03 : 47)
That’s great. And when you say, probably like 10% of the bottom line, 50% of the bottom line each month.
Sabba Keynejad (03 : 51)
No, no. I mean, you know, like free four months ago, our runway was zero would spend everything we would on you No growth and put it back into the company. Now we probably putting away about 30%.
Nathan Latka (04 : 02)
That’s right. So what do you do that, right? Any founder, Indiana reaches a beautiful moment where you start to have some cash flow. When you go do it, just do we pay ourselves more or do we leave it in the company and reinvested?
Sabba Keynejad (04 : 13)
Yeah. So I mean, like, I think it depends like we were paying ourselves about $2000 a month until I mean, even to the minute I think when we hit a millionaire are we paid us? I was more than $2000 a month. Andi, we don’t even today. We don’t need to pay ourselves anymore. We’re more than happy of that, but yeah, I mean, definitely reinvesting growth like it. If you have a company is growing, it’s hungry. It needs it, right. It needs more people on customer service. It needs more people. Design needs more developments, keep it moving forward. And, you know, you don’t just stunt that growth, so put it straight back in.
Nathan Latka (04 : 44)
What is the team’s eyes today
Sabba Keynejad (04 : 47)
We’re just 20. Now I think that just Yeah. Just crossed that yesterday.
Nathan Latka (04 : 51)
20 folks. Arrogant. And how many engineers?
Sabba Keynejad (04 : 53)
I think a good 50%
Nathan Latka (04 : 56)
50 including, including Tim.
Sabba Keynejad (04 : 58)
Nathan Latka (05 : 00)
Interesting. Okay, so tell me more about the product, right? So obviously you’ve got some customers of the product. How are they using it? What do you help him? D’oh!
Sabba Keynejad (05 : 07)
So there’s a bunch of things that help him do. I mean, when you make it all in general, it’s very broad, you know, tracks different types of people of different use cases. But the ones that we see, the re powerful was subtitling content. So most videos and social po about audio. So subsidising is a really great way, Tio, you help people consume that content. But then also for accessibility reason. So we have a lot of governments and educational institutions as well using it for that reason, we have a lot of podcasters kind of turning the audio into, you know, the way from videos. I think I’ve seen you do some of those You have. I know. Maybe not way, Tio. You know the ones I mean
Nathan Latka (05 : 44)
Sabba Keynejad (05 : 45)
What do you find
Nathan Latka (05 : 46)
I mean, the issue for me is that the price it’s it’s less about. Does the tool do what it says it does? It’s more about we do one episode of Dae, so like it’s that’s too committed a calm audio, Graham said. If I didn’t audio ground every day, there’s just I would overwhelm my Twitter feed with audio grammes. So it’s just more about we strategically do one here or there, and my internal team typically takes care of it. But I know this is a very hot space. I mean, we just had I forget the founder’s name, but I think coming about a wave just came on and they’re doing about the same amount they on Lee really do. Sort of podcast audio grammes.
Sabba Keynejad (06 : 20)
Nathan Latka (06 : 40)
E mean one thing of interesting. I mean, my first company, Heo, was a full drag and drop Facebook application builder. And I remember with our Dev team in our sprint, second would say, what we need is a They can drag a drug to create anything we finally spent, like months building a free form, drag and drop thing which when I go to your home page and I look, it’s sort of how you have dragon drop here, it’s sort of the same. But what we found is when we gave you all that freedom, they created really shitty designs. So we’re like, Well, maybe if we have to take away some of the freedom to make sure it’s high quality, how do you balance that?
Sabba Keynejad (07 : 13)
Right is interesting question. I think you know the same on can be looked at cantor templates. You like these look amazing. And then someone goes in there like, Oh, yeah, but I want comic sans because it looks really friendly on this stock video from shutter stock. It’s beautiful, right? So I mean, you’ve got to give them enough freedom for them to make a mistake, right? But you just kind of want to push him in the right direction. So, you know, we don’t you know, we you know, we actually give uses as much freedom as they like, but it is an interesting question. I think. You know, I think the most important thing is at least a CZ. Long as the user feels really, really comfortable using the products and making those changes, it’s great. If they feel scared using the products and they’re gonna mess something up, then they’re not gonna be very confident, Creative. So, you know, let him go.
Nathan Latka (07 : 53)
How many customers you have, Shea
Sabba Keynejad (07 : 55)
5000. Just under 5500
Nathan Latka (07 : 59)
50. 500. Interesting. So what does that mean? How much they paying for a month, on average
Sabba Keynejad (08 : 04)
Average? We’ve got $30 and we got $15 and I think the average is 22. 22 50 when you add it all up and yeah,
Nathan Latka (08 : 15)
Yeah, that sounds about right. And so let me You do a very unique thing on your home page, which you just, you know, there’s not really like into your email sign it for a trial. That’s just upload a video and started using the thing. I’m curious. We just looks like so. So how many people sort of hit your website each month And how many new they have to click upload video, actually upload a video each month.
Sabba Keynejad (08 : 36)
Yeah, I’m no, no idea. I mean, I know people, you know, we’ve got about 10,000 people hit the site today. Um, how? Manually upload, Let’s say, like, 6000, maybe.
Nathan Latka (08 : 51)
Okay, that’s a 60% upload some sort of video file.
Sabba Keynejad (08 : 55)
Yeah. No, we’re pretty good on that, To be honest, I mean, you know, there’s a bunch of people did like 20 videos they had. This guy’s doing like, 100 videos den. It’s crazy, but you know, there’s skewed in that. But you know, a lot of people that upload and try out and you know you can also enter euros from YouTube and stuff like this. So So
Nathan Latka (09 : 11)
I love a with the utility value of the product right at the front. But at some point, you have to pick the perfect moment to show that pay wall or that trial while we have to get the e mail and get an account set up with the activation metric. You want to see a user hit before you show them the actual sign up or pay wall?
Sabba Keynejad (09 : 28)
Yeah, Interesting. I mean, we give away as much value as possible up front, and we can do that. You know, when they download the video and there’s a watermark, you’ve got a decision, right? If there are company business or an influence, you know it’s in their best interest to remove it because it’s the content. But a free user who just made plans to put something already. It doesn’t mind the watermark, but that’s great marketing for us. So, yeah, we just put all the value up front. And if they want to get rid of the watermark in becoming a subscriber, they can, you know, $15 a month.
Nathan Latka (09 : 55)
And how many new customers is you had over the past 30 days?
Sabba Keynejad (09 : 59)
Firstly, I don’t know that we did. We did, Ah, 80 yesterday, which is good anywhere between anywhere between like 60 to 80 today. So is
Nathan Latka (10 : 08)
It fair to say if we just look at a flashpoint in the average day? Indeed, looks like 10,000 unique website hits 6000 up loads of which 80 convert into a new customer.
Sabba Keynejad (10 : 19)
Yeah, sounds about right.
Nathan Latka (10 : 21)
Something like that. Very. I
Sabba Keynejad (10 : 23)
Would say I would say no, I would say renders I would say, You know, I don’t know about unique upload that unique renders a day with about 6000.
Nathan Latka (10 : 31)
What’s in between Uploading Orender?
Sabba Keynejad (10 : 33)
Well, I’m not played, is probably Yeah, that’s a good question, actually, Yeah. I mean, you know, we summon General, we’re not, like, super hot on funnels, conversions and stuff like this. Like we spend most of our time talking. So I use is understanding what their needs are. What the job’s to be done is right on DH were just yeah, and the reason why we’re not like going deep on these finals this because we’re just not at that stage yet. We’re still at this stage of trying to build the product, understand who are user is on. I think there will become a time where we start looking really deep into these metrics and starting tightening up all the funnels and, you know, tracking what happens every stage. But right now I think we have a good understanding of our user. And you know how they want to use the products. And, you know, we can see that in the in the revenue metrics. Right? How
Nathan Latka (11 : 12)
Much have you raised Army boots truck today?
Sabba Keynejad (11 : 15)
No, we haven’t raised any money
Nathan Latka (11 : 17)
I love. That’s virtually any plans to raise.
Sabba Keynejad (11 : 19)
Nathan Latka (11 : 20)
What if someone that was hyper strategic came along?
Sabba Keynejad (11 : 24)
They did not shaking. No, they did actually. Yes. Well, I don’t know what I
Nathan Latka (11 : 29)
Would do if someone called it someone culturally aligned with you and could help you get your product into the hands of more creators. And you like the deal terms you’d still be opposed to still be opposed to taking outside capital.
Sabba Keynejad (11 : 44)
So let me This is the way that I’m looking at it. I see a very comfortable I kind of see a decent path for the next couple of years to get the 10 million air on. I think there’s a very good possibility we’re gonna get there and I’m gonna get relatively efficiently, you know, Now is not the right time. We have a little ahead of growth. Hasn’t even started yet. We haven’t even started doubling down on acquisition channels like once we do that, I’m gonna feel really comfortable. Yeah, I just feel like it’s too early. It’s just way too early. Like what?
Nathan Latka (12 : 10)
If? Thats one thing. Here’s here’s what I think
Sabba Keynejad (12 : 13)
Capital is not gonna make us grow any faster right now. I can’t see that happening on DH in terms of acquisition. If we was in saying that now it’s way too early unless the rev immune multiply is really, really good, right?
Nathan Latka (12 : 23)
Well, OK, so so in all fairness, I think you’re missing like a critical point, though. What if someone that came along that could be your head of growth? But it’s already wealthy and has had success, So you can’t hire them. You could not get their strategic thing without letting them write a cheque to invest in the company. So then you essentially not even paying them a salary. They wrote you a cheque to invest, and they overtime actually become your full time head of growth. Well, why don’t founders in your stage ever think about the fact that letting someone put in money is a much cheaper way to get very smart talent on your team?
Sabba Keynejad (12 : 57)
I completely agree I’ve emailed Gary V like 50 times.
Nathan Latka (13 : 01)
He’s gonna be your growth.
Sabba Keynejad (13 : 04)
Yeah, I think I think way. The way that I think about this is like the people that you’re talking about. They’ve really done it right? They don’t wanna do again. They might want to do again. But we need to find the people who are going to step into their shoes. Who is gonna be the next dot, dot dot And like I actually think we’ve been racing cess pit finding and hiring those people. And I do what?
Nathan Latka (13 : 23)
Why hire them, though? And hit your hit your head count expense? Why not find someone like that? Let them invest, and that’ll do it for free because you let them invest?
Sabba Keynejad (13 : 31)
I don’t know who these people are. You talking about? What? I’d love to know who they are.
Nathan Latka (13 : 34)
You look at how to grow that, Gary, Not Gary B, but they have you looked at everyone who’s the 4th and 5th had
Sabba Keynejad (13 : 39)
A brief account. You know,
Nathan Latka (13 : 41)
It’s a multi billion dollar company. Why would they leave? Why would they leave camera enjoying you? You have to find people that are like just below that right So what? Where, where They see your growth, they see the incentive structure and then get something from you that it can’t get at Canada or advanced media.
Sabba Keynejad (13 : 56)
I think I think that I think, like, yeah, I get it. I get You’re saying, But I feel I feel I feel good about who just got out. I headed Gryphon has been trained by the best, so yes,
Nathan Latka (14 : 08)
I might might question No, you’re you’re missing. My question is, why don’t founders in your shoes when I say, would you take capital from a strategic partner? The answer is, we’re not. We don’t acquisition. And we’re too early that people never think about investors as free labour, which is, I think, a very smart way to think about round. You mean, look at how buffer grew. They took the $90,000 from 150 influencers, right? Like that was their growth channel.
Sabba Keynejad (14 : 38)
Yeah, I mean,
Nathan Latka (14 : 40)
Sabba Keynejad (14 : 42)
We could go around in circles about this. Well, they’re so close, but I think you know, I think great that went the buffet. But I think we’ve got a good growth China at the moment. It’s working super well, like I mean like, do I want to put more feel on the fight? Yes. Like, but I’m no, I’m Maybe I’m just not in a position where we’re in a position that we need to do. I don’t know. I’m happy to get more into it. Definitely. But I just that opportunity hasn’t come about and yeah,
Nathan Latka (15 : 06)
Yeah, no. Makes sense. I’m just pushing you to just get your head more. That’s all I
Sabba Keynejad (15 : 10)
Know. I think I think that’s I think I think it’s a fair point. But I haven’t been proposed that opportunity and I don’t know who those people would be. And I haven’t said I’m sure if I did like incredible opportunity, then I 100 cents at the hand off and take that.
Nathan Latka (15 : 21)
Yeah, our folks sticky once they join. What’s that with the turn of life?
Sabba Keynejad (15 : 26)
Chern is about 13%. So much higher than a normal SAS company should be say, But you know, like the way we think about this is is you actually marketing department. You get asked to subtitle a video or clip a webinar, whatever you Come on, you do the job you pay and then you leave right on DH. Actually, I’m gonna put Archer messages on our website as testimony was because I think they’re really good. And, you know, we’re happy of people using it once, but the reactivation rates of greats, they come back, you know?
Nathan Latka (15 : 54)
So why do you choose to measure turn then on a monthly basis? If they always come back, why not measured on an annual basis and measure it as do they create at least 10 videos per year on the platform?
Sabba Keynejad (16 : 05)
Yeah. I mean, I suppose you’re right. I am Bar. It’s just because we haven’t been like super super data driven on this sort of stuff. Um, but yeah. I mean, like, John. I mean, I’m comfortable with people using it just for one video. And I think there’s enough people staying. And there’s enough people coming back that I feel like it’s pretty healthy. Yeah. Yeah. What do you
Nathan Latka (16 : 29)
Think you’re talking to? 13% per month writes about? You turn through your entire customer base each year. 100% annual turn?
Sabba Keynejad (16 : 36)
No, we retain about 30%. So the people at first joined a year ago. We got about 30% of that first co hosted on.
Nathan Latka (16 : 43)
Got it? Got it. Got it. So, really, what’s happening here is you have no idea exactly. Exactly. Your telephone was so wide. You’re getting to some people that only one company that wants to pull out, But for people that sign up a year ago and stuff you have about 70% retention. 70% turned, 30% retained.
Sabba Keynejad (17 : 03)
Nathan Latka (17 : 04)
Very interesting. Are you doing any documents?
Sabba Keynejad (17 : 06)
That’s that’s stacking up as well. So, like, you know, the for. The product we had a year ago is not what we have now, right? So that we can see that cohort by cobalt getting much, much better. Yeah,
Nathan Latka (17 : 16)
Besides your watermark on videos. Are you doing any sort of other tactics to drive growth, paid marketing, anything like that?
Sabba Keynejad (17 : 25)
No, we haven’t only paid. Maybe that’s something we experimented in future, mainly content CEO. You know, as I said, building at this sort of jobs to be done framework where you know people have a job, we need to intercept them. We also have a We do really nice stuff. Unusual, but the moment Alec Incredible. He’s been making YouTube video first every single day for like, four months on the way. Who is?
Nathan Latka (17 : 46)
Who is Alex?
Sabba Keynejad (17 : 48)
Alec. Oh, he’s incredible. He googled social media jobs in London, and we were the first link, apparently on DH. He’s been making a one YouTube video for us on our YouTube channel every day. So if you’re going to like you to input, like auto subtitle video, he should come up.
Nathan Latka (18 : 05)
Hold on. What’s your YOUTUBE account? Is envied studio
Sabba Keynejad (18 : 08)
Okay of each studio? Yeah.
Nathan Latka (18 : 10)
Got it. So you found him. I i c m p i c m. Really? If you think he’s full time on the team
Sabba Keynejad (18 : 17)
Nathan Latka (18 : 18)
Interesting. So? So I see. Like when he posted five days ago how to screen record a specific window or entire thing has gotten 55 years. He’s extremely consistent, though. I’m putting these things have been going with great with thumbnail. This is super interesting. So let me Would you credit, though you two do want your number one acquisition channels,
Sabba Keynejad (18 : 34)
I believe it will be. And I The other thing that’s super interesting about YouTube is like we’re getting the number zero spot on Google with it Right on. We’ve been the experiment on how to do that and it’s just super powerful, especially when a lot of the search teams rap video. It’s very natural to show a video, you know, for Google in that in that space, Yeah, good stuff, Catch, catch, captioning those videos as well and putting those segments in it or so resolve search terms as well. And they can go and give you the perfect part of the video, which is great, too.
Nathan Latka (19 : 04)
Yeah, let’s Ah, let’s wrap up here somewhere with the famous five number one favourite business book.
Sabba Keynejad (19 : 09)
I read seven powers recently, which is the foundation ofthe business strategy, which is a very good one about defence ability on, you know, thinking students about the business.
Nathan Latka (19 : 19)
All right, we will. We will wrap up with Al Saba. I’m not sure having their guys, but you just learned about VT dot i again, a company that’s past 1.3 million bucks and air are they have over 5500 customers helping people quickly create audio grammes for their podcasts. For marketing purposes continue to scale totally bootstrap team of 20 today.
Gglot (21 : 11)
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