When I called to congratulate Mike [Baukes] last night on ScriptRock’s funding round we spent the first few minutes talking about something extremely important to both of us – Banana Bread. In fact I may have gone out and bought some Banana Bread immediately after our very candid interview [I swear I could smell the slice he was eating down the phone] so just fyi Mike I am blaming you if I put on weight this week, being single and living alone I had the arduous task of eating a half loaf to myself.
Enough about my lonely Banana Bread eating though, over the last year, I have had the pleasure of speaking to these guys on a number of occasions and the first thing you need to know about these guys before we get into the fact they are pretty much going to take over the world, is that they are hilarious – like a ROFL kind of hilarious, and when you combine that with being down to earth and tech geniuses it is not hard to see why they have seen so much success in a very small space of time.
There is one word that Mike [Co-CEO of Scriptrock] uses a lot “Relationships” and it is an important word because it is the very culture on which Scriptrock is building their company. You see they originally set out to close 750K in funding whilst over in the states after their Startmate Graduation doing the investment rounds, but decided to take an extra 3 weeks time and meet with people a few times and concentrate on building strong, lasting relationships – a mantra which led them to the doors of Peter Thiel and his company Valar Ventures coming on board as part of the $1.2 million dollar round announced yesterday.
“Spending those extra three weeks connecting and building relationships opened up many doors for us, it is amazing how once you build that connection, people go out of their way to introduce you to others in their network” says Baukes.
Scriptrocks technology is software that certifies configurations of applications hosted internally or externally. ScriptRock allows companies to both test complex system configurations and share those tests across internal teams. Leo [cofounder] explained it best when we spoke to him prior to launch “Script Rock has no complex programming or complex scripting. It exstracts all of that for you. All you need to know is: “Hey, is my mail working?” and it will say; yes or no and the reason why. Within seconds, you’re able to find out what is wrong within the system, and get it fixed. “We’ve used script rock techniques through our consulting in the past with great success. This tool basically means you can fix problems 20 times faster.” And according to Baukes the current and new version about to be rolled out are just product one.
“What the investors were really excited about were phase 2 & 3 of what the system will be able to do when these are rolled out, that was what really wowed them” – Indeed it did wow them, in fact the Sydney trio had to turn down investors.
What I love about this story is that these guys are already making money, they have a product and people want it, in fact nearly every sale has come about from referrals and they are just starting to put together the structure around having a salesforce now [opportunities sales people!] – “Over the next few months we will be concentrating setting up our US office, concentrate on our customer development and spend time looking at, learning and implementing our sales processes” says Baukes.
ScriptRock will continue to have a strong presence in Australia, tapping into what some are saying is a very untapped market in terms of engineers and programmers. This is very similar to Aussie success story Atlassian, who also maintain a strong Australian presence. One of the observations Mike told me they saw whilst in the states talking to people / engineers etc, was that a lot of them drifted between companies, working a couple of years at Google, moving across to Facebook etc etc. One of their goals is to create a culture of loyalty and longevity in these early stages, because as the company grows globally, he wants this core team and their careers to grow with it.
Sounds like exciting times ahead! Need someone to take care of Sales guys? I’ll work for Banana Bread!