We are more than proud to announce our $25M Series A, which brings us to a total of $30M in funding. In addition, we are excited to welcome our new partners – the visionary team from Insight Partners, led by Praveen Akkiraju, Daniel Aronovitz, and Jeff Horring. The Insight team will be joining our existing investors Ayal Itzkovich and Sapir Ben-Haroush (Pitango First), David Citron (Global Founders Capital), Noga Kap and Bentzi Rabbi (i3 Equity), who have been there from the very beginning, supporting us in bringing this vision to life.
2 years ago Aviad and I went into a small meeting room in Tel Aviv to meet with Noga Kap (i3 Equity) and pitched our vision. We all instantly understood that we’re going for a ride together. A few weeks later, we were already running a beta version of the first product capability-as-a-service for a design partner. Fast forward to now, Frontegg is running as the core product infrastructure for dozens of hyper-growing companies. Additionally, our diversity-first team has grown to more than 30 top-notch talents (you are an incredible team of people, each and every one of you!)and our board consists of industry experts (real gurus, we learn so much from). We’re proud to always have a rich stack of coffee, booze, and food (just in case you want to jump by).
But more interesting than what’s happened with the company is what happens in the industry – as we speak. During the last year, we saw a lot of hypes coming to life. Product-led Growth (a.k.a PLG) is probably in the top 5 of the trend list. For some it’s a go-to-market strategy, for others, it’s a way to raise money. For Frontegg, it’s a term that is framing almost everything we pitched during the last five years, on multiple occasions. Putting the user ↔ product interaction at the center of the business is so critical with everything that is happening around us. We can’t be more thrilled to be a part of this movement.
We see a lot of startups from our portfolio of customers or generally from the ecosystem. We also speak to a lot of investors and thought leaders. It’s clear that we’re in the middle of some significant changes. I’m bringing it down to 4 big phenomenons that are happening in the industry and require everyone’s attention.
Go-to-Market Strategy – New Complexity Level Unlocked
When building a company 5 years ago, the sales motion and who’s going to be the user/buyer/champion for a potential deal was pretty clear to the founding team. You would build a product and immediately reach out to your potential buyer, either through a top-down motion, marketing that would lead to inbound or via other channels at your disposal. Then, a demo would be scheduled, followed by a POC, a yes/no, price quote, signing an agreement, post-sale -the whole nine yards.
For many companies, this is not the case anymore. You simply don’t know who will be using your product – you only assume. You build it and start the product-market-fit quest. The target – learn fast, fail even faster. For that to happen, you need to open your product for wide usage and talk to users to hear their sincere feedback.
If you’ve hit the nail with your initial assumption with the type of customer you’re going to serve, then good for you. But what happens if the user is a completely different persona, with a different mindset? Or what happens if the dynamics of the customer’s organization are different so suddenly there are more people involved in the purchase process – the security team, the product team, the compliance team, the finance – all with varying product demands?
More than that, what happens if you find out that you actually sell in a hybrid-motion, to SMBs and Enterprises? Your product needs to support top-down (demo→POC→Sales) motion and bottom-up (self-serve signup→freemium usage→subscription upgrade) motions? Well, most of the successful organizations actually do just that and spend tons of resources on supporting these different go-to-market motions in their products.
And if you’re not Slack, Notion or Zoom, do you have to let some of your users down? Do you have to settle for disinformation on your go-to-market strategy? Can you afford to lose out to the competition? And if not, do you have to shift the focus of your talent to deal with product infrastructure that will support these business quests? Can you afford to build endless subscription tier enforcement mechanisms, freemium support, trial support, self-service administration, onboarding forms, and different signup methods?
Hint: We’re the Freedom to explore your go-to-market
Value Demonstration – From Marathon to 400m Hurdles
We hear of more and more funding announcements (similar to this one) every day. Seed investments are much higher than 3 years ago. Companies raise their A rounds much faster and unicorns are not a unique phenomenon anymore (apologies to a few of our customers). Almost all spaces are very competitive, with young ambitious founders. We see that in Cyber, Fintech, Edtech, ML & AI platforms, and other sectors Almost all fields have dozens of well-funded companies pushed by top-tier investors to gain massive market penetration. Most of these platforms hold a significant technological IP and attract customers by showing quick value or creating immediate a-ha moments.
Although getting seed money is fairly easy, companies need to demonstrate growth quite fast before the competition would gain a significant advantage and brand recognition. That means much less slack in presenting a sharp product experience, advanced feature demonstration, checking all the right boxes, and winning different types of customers.
Not that it was ever easy but if just a few years ago it might have been enough to start moderately, get a few nice logos, close a few deals and grow from there. Now it seems that most spaces are crowded and that luxury doesn’t exist anymore. You have to move fast, you have to show maturity, you have to win. From running for long distances, it became a quick sprint with a lot of hurdles to jump over.
How can a small startup gain that product development velocity and present something mature to the market in such a short time, with limited budgets and big uncertainty? How can you win on the core value as well as be able to accommodate the demands of different types of personas for different types of customers?
Hint: We’re the unfair (yet legal) advantage for your race
Talent Drought – Optimize developer joy
If you’re in the software business, you’re also in the hiring business. More than 50% of the time spent by engineering managers goes into hiring. Poor companies, rich companies, cool startups, fortune 50 corporations, whatever. They all share the same challenge – the struggle to fill open positions. In fact, some engineering roles take up to a year to fill, even when you release the breaks of the payroll limitations. The competition is just that big.
The good news is that eventually if you have the budget and some positive vibes within your company, the engineers will come. The bad news is that the mission is only partially accomplished. Just like getting a customer to sign, you’ll need to retain them as well. That means good snacks and a decent coffee (as mentioned we have both), but mostly it means professional development. Talented people will want to deal with the interesting tasks and seek a challenging career path. They would want to develop the most interesting components that your product has to offer. They want to be involved in the business, understand how it works, touch the UI/UX aspects, work with the product department, and even understand the product marketing motion that is going to unleash their creations to the market. You simply cannot risk boring your developers, your product people, your quality team, or your DevOps.
How can you keep everyone happy while still creating infrastructures that would scale? How can you focus your team around core business development when there are so many standard product capabilities required by customers? Can you afford to have your most talented developers moving to other companies because they weren’t progressing enough in their careers?
Hint: We’re the engineering team oasis
User Experience – From nice-to-have to Essence of everything
Try to search for 4-year old screenshots of your favorite SaaS apps and compare them to how they look and feel today. You would be very surprised by the evolution of product standards and customer experiences. 4 years ago, most of the products were centered around two main things:
(i) being clear enough so salespeople could perform a demo that is good enough to sell
(ii) that the end-user would be able to get the main business value they paid for.
Today, the situation is remarkably different. Good products are designed to provide a:
(i) frictionless onboarding experience, from signup to the moment when an initial significant is performed by the end-user (a.k.a customer activation)
(ii) seamless usage expansion experience, from adding more team members to controlling advanced security settings, to subscription tier upgrades
(iii) offline nurturing and retention of end-users once they are logged out of their accounts.
Product-led Growth (PLG) is at the center of this revolution. We’re putting the end-user, the product, and the interaction between the two, at the center of the growth motion of a company. Customers do not want to open tickets and ask support to configure SSO within their accounts, nor do they want to ask for custom roles to suit their organizational structure. They also don’t want to request for trial enablement or to download activity logs for compliance purposes. They want to achieve everything on their own – full independence.
The good news is that now is the best time to create a frictionless experience for your customers. The bad news is that:
(i) you do not know exactly who are your customers and what management experience they really need
(ii) you will not be given too much slack from your customers to explore the right answer and build it and
(iii) there is not enough talent that is going to deal with creating this product infrastructure.
How can you create top-notch, frictionless user experiences just like expected from any modern app these days? How can you create something better than your competition? Are there enough people that understand your users well enough to make it happen?
Hint: We’re the secret Product Manager & Architect combo within your team
Massive Industry Changes Require Radical Method Shifts
- You don’t know who’s your exact user, so you can choose to compromise and get the answers later.
- You can’t beat your competition, so you can compromise and be second in your league.
- You can’t hire the best talent at a sufficient pace and retain it, so you can compromise and settle for less than perfect.
- You don’t have the ability to build top-notch user experiences, so you compromise and build an inferior product.
These are the exact compromises that we hope innovators will not have to make in the upcoming decade. Products will become more sophisticated, competition will rise and talent will still be rare. But this doesn’t mean that you cannot win on all fronts.
Frontegg was founded to liberate innovators from the burden of dealing with non-core development. We are here so you can get the freedom to explore your go-to market. To let your talents, deal with the most interesting things within your business. We allow your customers to fall in love with your product – all the way from signup, to checkout to upgrades, and beyond.
We’re already adopted by the most promising companies out there. They are quickly progressing, closing big deals, raising massive funding rounds, achieving unicorn statuses, and getting acquired. We’re building the future of how apps are going to be developed. We start with user management and move quickly into the future. Step by step, from powerful authentication and user onboarding, to the most complex customer use cases.
We got it covered so you can focus on what you do best – innovate from dawn to dusk.