Every month, we feature a SaaS company that’s working on an interesting product or making unique use of technology. This month we talked to Nate Aune, CEO and Founder of Appsembler, which is helping B2B software companies quickly and easily develop their own online learning and education programs using Appsembler’s experiential learning platform. It’s a way for companies to deliver technical information – whether it’s for onboarding new employees or getting customers up to speed on a complex product – in a way that’s hands-on and effective. It’s about more than just watching a video but building online courses that really offer learning-by-doing. Here’s what Nate had to say about working with Bigfoot. SaaS for B2B Education.
How did you get started with Bigfoot?
I got introduced to Brian through Techstars, and it’s probably been a few years ago now, but we just got to talking and I remember he offered to help me build a financial model for the company. And this was before I even knew what he did. So, I sent him some numbers, he looked them over and sent me some feedback.My first impression was that Brian was really, really helpful and personified that “give first” attitude, and that left a really favorable impression on me. He didn’t ask for anything in return. It was just, “I know a lot about this stuff, and I can help you with it.”And that attitude carried forward all the way through closing our funding with Bigfoot.He’s all about being helpful, asking questions and giving me a lot of good feedback. That’s something that was really important to me when we went out looking for a partner. It wasn’t just getting money from someone but finding someone who could add value.
Have you done any other funding or VC raises?
We have not. We’ve been bootstrapped since 2011. It’s something we’re proud of, but it has its own pros and cons for sure.
What has the capital you secured from Bigfoot helped you do?
When you’re bootstrapping a startup, you’re always closely monitoring your runway, so it’s helped give us some cushion as we’ve scaled. It’s bought us more time to try some different things, especially as we’ve moved to more of a SaaS model in the last year.When I started the company, I wouldn’t say it was really a consulting company, but more of a consultative sale. Now we’ve moved more into the SaaS model where it’s a turnkey sale and self-service for the user, which has been great but with that also came some growing pains while we learned how to do things effectively.The whole idea behind our working with Bigfoot was that they could help us extend our runway to get our sales up and running and get us to a point where we feel confident in the model and that it’s working. We’ve only been working with them for a few months, but they’ve been great so far.
How was the process working with Bigfoot?
It’s been good. Brian was a lot more informed than some of the others we talked to and there were just much higher quality questions coming from Bigfoot. Plus, unlike the other funding partners that we spoke with, the whole process was pretty straightforward. There wasn’t a lot of onerous work that we had to do. There was effort, for sure, but it wasn’t so much that it bogged down the process. They kept everything efficient and expedited, which I appreciated.
What’s next for Appsembler? What does the roadmap look like?
A lot of our customers have asked about integrating our platform with the other business tools they’re using, like Salesforce and Marketo, so we’re currently building that feature and are planning to roll it out later this month. That’s going to be a huge milestone for the company because it’s going to unlock something a lot of existing customers want but will also be a big help for our sales team. A lot of prospective buyers these days are looking for APIs, so we expect that rolling out this feature will help us accelerate our sales and bring in more logos.