A Big Day for our Team
For nine years we’ve run BP3 for our team and our customers, funded only by the fruits of our own labor and the profits of our own enterprise. Bootstrapping a business is incredibly rewarding. It presents constraints that challenge you to be creative. It provides a freedom to develop your identity without the pressure of an exit or a formula imposed by investors.
But bootstrapping is not a virtue in and of itself. It is a way to think about starting a business that can’t be funded, or starting a business when funding is hard to come by, or starting a business when you’re an unlikely recipient of investment capital. 2007-2009 were tough years to raise money – and it is tough to raise money for a services business. And while we were successful supporting cast at other companies prior, we didn’t have a track record of raising money and making money for investors. And we started out in Austin, TX – which has a great Angel investing environment but isn’t exactly competing with Silicon Valley for investing dollars.
So we set out on our own and built a business with our growing team. And we found our footing, and then our identity, and then our groove. We always felt that if we built a great business around a great team and great customers, that we would have choices about how to fund our growth in the future. And in 2016, I’m happy to say we’ve found a financial partner in Petra Capital who believes in letting us continue to be BP3, and to evolve the business in a way that has been working for us.
You never have a second first fundraising for your company, and many startups raise money so early they don’t remember life before fundraising. This was a long time coming, and I can confirm that the best time to raise money is when you don’t need it, and when you provide an attractive return to investors.
In an analyst call recently, I described our business as a services-led software business – where we don’t have pressure to have a particular percentage of software or services revenue. I was asked how we are able to manage that philosophy given valuation metrics and investor pressure. There was genuine surprise and concern in the question.
And the answer is pretty straightforward: we found the right financial partner, and we measure our business by revenue and EBITDA, not by the percentage of software and services. Because we understand that all software companies are services businesses now, and because we understand that most services businesses should also software businesses now.
This is a great moment for our team. They’ve earned this validation, and this vote of confidence. They’ve earned this investment in our future and their own futures. This is also a great moment for our customers – we are going to be putting even more investment into our Brazos platform, upon which our customers achieve great business results. Exciting times for all of us!