saas.unbound is a podcast for and about founders who are working on scaling inspiring products that people love, brought to you by, a serial acquirer of B2B SaaS companies.

In episode #20, Anna Nadeina talks with Lucian, CEO & Co-Founder at anny, an all-in-one solution for every type of online bookings.

From Organizing Parties to Building a Booking SaaS

Lucian’s journey to founding anny, an all-in-one solution for online bookings, is quite an interesting one. He originally studied mechanical engineering, but his entrepreneurial spirit led him down a different path. Lucian started out as a DJ, organizing events and parties, which eventually led him to the challenges of booking venues, equipment, and selling tickets. This experience inspired him to create his own ticketing platform, which then evolved into a SaaS business called Event Buddy.

Through Event Buddy, Lucian gained valuable insights into the startup world and the challenges of operating a co-working space. It was during this time that the idea for anny was born – a holistic booking toolkit that enables businesses to make any kind of resource, from desks to parking spots, bookable online.


Building anny: An All-in-One Solution for Online Bookings

Anny is designed to be an abstract solution, similar to Shopify, that can accommodate any type of booking, whether it’s for events, courses, or even people. Lucian’s motivation behind creating anny was the frustration with traditional booking processes, which often involve lengthy request forms and waiting for availability and pricing information.

Anny aims to provide businesses with an instant availability overview, price preview, and booking experience, similar to what customers expect from e-commerce platforms like Amazon. While there are many booking solutions on the market, anny’s differentiator is its ability to consolidate the booking stack and solve a wide range of booking challenges for businesses.


Co-Founding Team Dynamics and Lessons Learned

Lucian co-founded anny with a team of four other individuals, each bringing diverse backgrounds and expertise. 

While having a team of five co-founders was beneficial in the early stages, providing a lot of manpower and diverse expertise, Lucian acknowledges that it also led to challenges as the company scaled. The lack of alignment on management style and company culture resulted in friction, ultimately leading to the departure of two co-founders.

Lucian emphasizes the importance of being prepared to scale the company with the same co-founder setup, as well as the difficulty of “breaking up” with co-founders, even if it’s necessary for the business.


Bootstrapping and Proving the Product’s Value

Despite being in a competitive space, Lucian chose to bootstrap anny rather than seek venture capital. His reasoning was that since he had previous experience building successful businesses, generating revenue and proving the product’s value was a priority from the start.

Lucian’s first customer was the co-working space where anny was initially developed. By understanding the unique challenges faced by the co-working space, such as managing catering options, member rates, and key handovers, anny was able to provide a tailored solution that addressed their specific business needs.

To scale the business, anny focused on inbound sales, leveraging Google search ads, landing pages, and webinars to reach customers actively searching for a holistic booking solution. Lucian emphasizes the importance of being selective with marketing channels, focusing on the most effective ones rather than spreading resources across multiple channels.


The Vision for anny and Future Plans

Lucian’s vision for anny is to build a robust B2B SaaS product that helps enterprises manage their resource bookings. By initially targeting the upper market with complex booking challenges, anny aims to differentiate itself and provide a seamless experience.

In the long term, Lucian plans to extend anny’s ecosystem, allowing users to not only manage internal bookings but also search and book external spaces and resources, creating a centralized and automated booking experience similar to Amazon Business.


Hacks for Productivity and Success

Lucian shares several hacks that have contributed to anny’s growth and success:

  1. Time-boxing: Lucian finds that starting the day with a brain dump and prioritizing the most important tasks helps him stay focused and productive, especially given the diverse roles he juggles as the CEO.
  2. The 80/20 Rule: Lucian emphasizes the importance of identifying the most effective growth channel and focusing on it, rather than spreading resources across multiple channels.
  3. Augmenting Employee Productivity: Anny has developed its own internal AI-powered sales assistant to help its sales team write better emails and have more context on deals, demonstrating the company’s commitment to boosting employee productivity.

Lucian’s journey from organizing parties to building a successful booking SaaS is a testament to the power of perseverance, adaptability, and a customer-centric approach. By bootstrapping anny and focusing on proving the product’s value, Lucian and his team have been able to navigate the challenges of co-founding and scaling a business, ultimately positioning anny for continued growth and success.

Head of Growth,