South African software provider Snapt is targeting 1,000 per cent growth in 2015 after launching its United States (US) sales arm, as it looks to carve out a greater slice of a US$4 billion market.
Disrupt Africa reported last month Snapt, which was founded in South Africa in 2011 and is a provider of software-based load balancers and application delivery controllers (ADCs), had established an independent sales and marketing arm in the United States (US) to cope with increasing demand.
The company reported an annual growth rate for the last year of 400 per cent to take it past 10,000 customers, with chief executive officer (CEO) Dave Blakey telling Disrupt Africa it was aiming exceed 1,000 per cent this year now its US sales arm was up and running.
“We’ll accelerate our growth now. We want to grow by at least 1,000 percent this year. We’ll continue to grow aggressively,” he said, adding that the startup was aiming to grow its percentage of a US$4 billion market, 10 per cent of which is virtualised.
Blakey said the geographic location of most of Snapt’s clients had made establishing a US arm vital.
“About 85 per cent of our clients are in the US. We’ve been struggling with all sorts of internal problems like doing banking in the US. We’re taking the bull by the horns,” he said.
He said the company had originally thought it would be hard making sales in the US being from South Africa, but that has not proved to be the case.
“People in the US especially don’t seem to be fazed by it. I think they’re used to their tech coming from outside the US,” Blakey said, adding that Snapt also caught to engender trust by offering high levels of support and a free trial.
“It is difficult for an African business as we are dealing in rand and they are dealing in dollars. So we had to attract them on flexibility and price,” he said.
“Snapt’s client type is anyone that has a busy or important service that is online, and the majority of that type of thing is in the US.”
Previous difficulties with accepting payments will now be a thing of the past, Blakey said.
“That’s a dramatic thing that will change now,” he said. “It is difficult to find a credit card vendor in South Africa that will accept overseas credit cards. There have been a lot of challenges being South African from that point of view.”
Snapt will now begin marketing in earnest in the US, having relied before on word of mouth. Blakey says the startup, which raised funding from 4Di Capital and turned profitable two years ago, had not yet spent all its seed funding as “the product just sold itself”.
“We started to make much more money initially than we thought we would. We grew very quickly and by word of mouth. I guess we got lucky,” he said.
“We’ve proven the product and we’ve proven the markets so let’s invest in going to businesses. That’s the big push for this year. We’re trying to learn. In the US it is more of an inside sales effort. Contact people, reach out, and learn how that goes.”
Blakey said that when Snapt first launched it was not even clear it would get into the application delivery space.
“But it really took off. We decided we were doing really well, what other value could we add?” he said.
“And that naturally made us a competitor in the application control delivery space.”
He said the company had benefitted from the fact it was virtualised and designed for the cloud.
“When we launched it we were ahead of the game with that, and it is a fraction of the price,” he said.
In spite of the new US arm, Snapt as a company will remain headquartered in South Africa.
“We actually like our setup, with South African developers. Our team here is really good. We just need to expand,” Blakey said.