saas.unbound is a podcast for and about founders who are working on scaling inspiring products that people love brought to you by https://saas.group/.
I’m your host Anna Nadeina, Head of Growth for saas.group. In this episode #2, we are talking with Kevin Zhou the founder of https://keyword.com/ , a keyword rank tracking and competitor insights tool that became a part of saas.group family in May 2022. Kevin talks about the due diligence process and the most surprising aspects of acquisition along with insights into his personal journey as a founder.
(0:00:02) – Kevin’s Journey to Acquisition
I chat with Kevin, the founder of keyword.com, a sales product that’s changing how people in the SEO world track and share their results. We learn about Kevin’s journey to acquisition, his background in computer science, and how he got his first customers. Kevin tells us he stumbled into the SEO world and dropped out of university to focus on keyword.com full-time. We also hear how he validated the market before building anything and started offering a free plan to get users. It was a very organic and smooth process for him.
(0:05:31) – Scaling a Rank Tracking Solution
Kevin’s journey of creating keyword.com began with his first customer. He validated his product and pricing, then scaled his business. Eventually, he acquired big brand names like Shopify and Tinder.
(0:14:45) – Navigating University and Solo Entrepreneurship
Kevin’s experience of starting keyword.com is discussed. His decision to leave university, his challenge of tackling the learning curve of starting a business with no prior experience, and the biggest challenge he faced as a solo founder are all discussed. We learn how he overcame these obstacles and how his parents provided him with advice that helped him grow his business.
(0:19:11) – Lessons Learned From Selling a Business
I chat with Kevin about his experience delegating tasks in his business, keyword.com. We discuss his first hire and how he eventually documented processes and tasks for his team. We also discuss why Kevin chose customer care as his first hire, the biggest wins for his business, and why he eventually decided to exit through the SaaS Group. Lastly, Kevin shares how he found potential buyers, and the steps he went through to find the right one.
(0:25:38) – Preparing for a Smooth Business Exit
Kevin shares insights into how he prepared his SaaS business, keyword.com, for a potential sale. This includes spending time to document processes and tasks, delegating responsibilities to his GM, and understanding the type of exit desired. We also discuss the impact of the sale and the post-sale transition period, as well as the holdback after six months.
(0:36:14) – Successful Company Growth and Acquisition
I chat with Kevin about his experience of selling his business keyword.com. We discuss his thoughts on timing, and how he navigated the process of selling his business. We also explore the importance of the team at the company and how it contributed to the success of the sale.