In the process of building our last startup, I became very passionate about software and just building different projects. That’s when I started LeadDelta, which is your social capital manager. We are trying to disrupt how people connect, how they generate value, and how they capture value.-Ved Rasic
As part of our Founder Focus series featuring conversations with up-and-coming SaaS companies, we had the pleasure of interviewing Ved Rasic.
Ved is a software entrepreneur and founder of some of the most loved B2B apps, such as Autoklose and LeadDelta. He is experienced in delivering successful product Go-To-Market strategies, achieving targets & building high-performance teams. Besides his undivided focus on LeadDelta as a CEO, Ved angel invests and supports early-stage startups in his free time.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to know more about your backstory. How did you get started on the path you are on today?
It all started when I came to Canada, I still consider myself fresh off the boat. All joking aside, I came to Canada some five years ago with my first startup. Basically, it failed miserably my co-founder and I had invested quite a lot of resources into it. I invested sweat equity and time, and my partner invested money. The startup was a gorgeous-looking product for vehicle repair shops. However, we weren’t able to make much out of it, the market just didn’t buy it. We knew we had to pivot. And you know, I learned so many lessons due to that failure, so to speak.
I moved back to Europe for a month or two, and then thankfully with my future fiancé, we move back to Toronto and joined another startup. This time, our startup turned out to be a success after two years. We bootstrapped that business completely. I went from the growth guy to someone handling the business side completely as a co-founder, and we managed to get the business acquired in 2020.
In the process of building our last startup, I became very passionate about software and just building different projects. That’s when I started LeadDelta, which is your social capital manager. We are trying to disrupt how people connect, how they generate value, and how they capture value. Currently, I’m spearheading that project as CEO.
At Sonan Digital, we love chatting with founders from across the globe. Can you share where you and your team are currently located?
For sure, we’re actually spread out across the world. We have teammates all the way from Guatemala, to Belgrade, Serbia, Albania, India, and of course across Canada. So all over the place, we’re a very global team. I keep joking that I don’t even know what it’s like to work from an office anymore because I’ve been remote for so long—about eight years now. At this point, I think I’d be happy to do a free course on how to manage remote teams, I’ve learned a lot.
Share a little bit about your previous experience. Have you been involved with any entrepreneurial ventures in the past?
I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, even though I don’t have any entrepreneurs in the family— believe it or not. I just embarked on a journey and I surrounded myself with people who are entrepreneurs and that helped me quite a bit. The number one thing I learned from our first venture, which was a software outsourcing business, was the importance of people and the right culture—it’s the one thing you don’t want to compromise on.
The second lesson I learned turned out to be far greater in importance. I often saw people losing money by focusing too much on the product. In a startup, everything needs to be a well-oiled machine. Everything needs to work perfectly. You can’t just go and hire a whole bunch of people and expect things to work. You can’t just go and focus on the product, or focus on sales and expect things to work. Everything needs to be perfectly balanced, right? I like to call it a tiny strategy, so everything needs to be super tiny and properly adjusted in order to work.
In the past, we’d work on the product so much and we’d invest in the product so much. But we kept hearing “Oh well, you need this. Or, you’re missing this.” These were are all red flags and you read about it happening to others, but until it happens to you, it doesn’t really stick. Now it does really resonate after so many years and whatever I do, I just start very tiny and we always do versioning. We have a very strong product philosophy, where for instance, for LeadDelta we released version number one and then we have 10 iterations, shipping each week. Then we implement another big feature, and then again we go through 10 little versions. Customers love it because every week there’s something new to look forward to.
Building on your past experience, do you have a technical background relating to your product?
As a matter of fact, no. I completed an economics degree back in Europe. And you know, the first year, I honestly expected it to be a whole bunch of us geeking out, like at the libraries. Really it turned out to be a whole bunch of parties and textbooks. After a few months, I decided it wasn’t really for me, but I did end up graduating. Most of the time, I was busy organizing and managing people through different organizations and just running events. I always knew I wanted to do software, there was just something magical about producing software. So I literally went step by step and instead of taking a high-paying job at a big European bank, I went back to Serbia to work on an outsourcing business. I spent a lot of time asking questions, learning different components of building software. Persistence and curiosity really helped me to understand the landscape.
Give us your elevator pitch. In your own words, what does LeadDelta do?
LeadDelta is your social capital manager. We believe that no person, no professional, that’s been in business for a year or two, should start from an empty CRM. So whether you are looking for a job, whether you’re hiring, whether you’re selling, going to market—you always have your network to go to. Before LeadDelta, to tap into your network, you’d go to WhatsApp, LinkedIn. You’d go to email, or Facebook. So you’d have to go to all these different places and try and look for people that can help you. Ideally, what we’re trying to do with LeadDelta is to combine that all into a single source of truth, your digital rolodex, so to speak, which is our three-year vision. Long term, so let’s say 5 to 10 years, we truly want to adopt new technologies that enable people to network and connect with others— without spam or cold outreach.
Acquiring your first customer is something most never forget. Can you share how you acquired your first few customers?
Absolutely. So, in all honesty, it wasn’t that hard because for all my previous businesses I spent quite a lot of time on LinkedIn. We got our first customers because I’ve been on LinkedIn for like 10 years, consistently posting in English. Even though I speak other languages, focusing on a certain community and adding so much value, people started commenting and engaging quite quickly with the brand. People reached out that I’d never spoken to before and they started telling me they had been following me for years and admired my consistency. From there, we basically did everything through affiliates and using our own network.
It’s a competitive world out there. How are you positioning yourself against competitors?
There are two ways to think of our competitors. One way is to look at all the LinkedIn apps out there and then you can split those into social media apps. There are a whole bunch of different social CRM’s. There’s a whole bunch of products like CRM’s. I would consider them all as competitors, even though they’re not targeting LinkedIn. We stay competitive by being unique. LeadDelta is almost the only social CRM for LinkedIn. For small to medium-sized businesses, LeadDelta is awesome because you get to plug in and plug out your connections and data whenever you want. For other CRM’s like HubSpot, you’d have to manually plug in the data or start from scratch.
What is the biggest hurdle you’ve faced so far? How did you overcome it?
The biggest hurdle is that we’re not currently LinkedIn-approved or an official partner. We’ve had conversations, but ultimately I hope we can create a channel between us and LinkedIn—and not be in conflict, but actually provide more value officially and publicly.
The sales team is often considered the backbone of most SaaS companies. How do you structure your sales process currently?
We do have a few team members that work on sales, though mostly, they are more of a growth team. We are very product-driven with sales and focus on outbound efforts. Right now though, even I’ll hop on a call to help drive the product home or send out emails. Right now, we’re really just testing the waters and building out our process.
It can be helpful for new entrepreneurs to learn about the financial side of SaaS. Can you tell us if you’ve raised any capital or have plans to in the future?
We believe in bootstrapped products for sure, and like I said, we have big plans, but we start tiny. We managed to make the company profitable and now we need to make our money really work for us. Once we achieve certain milestones, we might go and look for extra funding.
Currently, we are talking to a few accelerators and there is a list of angel investors for pre-seed rounds, but in all honesty, there is no urgency for that. What we’re trying to do is prove assumptions and really get to that healthy MRR. We’re not gonna raise just for the sake of raising. The strategy is to stay focused, stay in our lane, make sure the MRR is growing at a crazy rate, keep LeadDelta profitable and you know… then we’ll see.
What marketing strategies are you currently finding the most effective?
Currently, building out our internal content strategy is key for us. We’re trying to not only produce ourselves but host other people’s content and amplified their message. So that’s what we’re trying to do. We also amplify the content on LinkedIn. If you already have a built-in audience, you could get anywhere between 2000 to 10,000 views. Who wouldn’t want to tap into that?
The future is looking bright! What are your plans for the growth of the company?
This year, we want to make sure we’re fully independent and sustainable. And then hopefully join different accelerators that can help us move to the next stage. So looking for different partnerships. We also want to scale our influencer programs, because we’ve seen that working quite a bit. Like I said, in the first little bit of our company’s existence, affiliates were the ones who brought us a lot of attention and new users, so we are going to focus our efforts back on that. We’re also going to focus on a paid internship program in-house—we really want to be resourceful. Finally, the last goal is to convert as many part-time people into full-time people as possible.
How can people find and connect with you?
You can find me on LinkedIn, Twitter or just LeadDelta.com. I’m looking forward to connecting with you all!
Learn more about LeadDelta, your social capital manager, built to organize your business contact book the way you want.
Read more Founder Focus articles here.