I’m building a startup in the B2B email service provider space and am looking for a technical co-founder (or two). Here’s who I am, where I’m at, and what I’m looking for.
I have over 10 years experience in B2B SaaS in various roles in product and revenue. Recently, I was a key contributor as the first non-founder hire at an early-stage startup, leading product and revenue, and helping take the company to a ~$20 million exit.
I strive to be a decent and kind human who is passionate about delivering quality work, but doesn’t let it define my identity or compromise my character.
I’m building an email service provider focused on B2B cold emails. The Ideal Customer Profile centers on small businesses, solopreneurs, and startups.
There are transactional email providers, and email providers that focus on business customers, but there aren’t any established email service providers focused on B2B cold emails.
I don’t see this as a hyper-growth startup that will sell for $100 million. However, the range of outcomes vary from a lifestyle business that is doing $500k ARR and will sell for $3 million, to a business doing $5 million ARR that will sell for $30 million (based on average historical B2B SaaS EV / Revenue multiples). The base case, which I’d be happy with, wouldn’t require an extensive buildout of a user-facing webmail frontend. The upside case probably would.
There is also an opportunity here to leverage the customer base for market research, in order to validate demand for other products.
I don’t think we should raise outside funding (friends and family I’m open to). This way, we get to keep our equity and independence, pay ourselves accordingly, and take the business where we see fit.
I understand that this opportunity comes with some risk.
So why am I doing this? Why do I think this is worth investing my time and money in?
Some things in our favor:I have a combined 10+ years experience in B2B SaaS. I have experience being an early stage contributor in B2B SaaS and leading a company to exit.
The market for the product is large with little direct competition. The product category and feature-set is well-defined.
I have a strong understanding of the features needed for an MVP, documented in a product requirements doc.
I’ve validated new products and new features before.
Once a customer base is built, we can validate demand for other products.
Lastly, I don’t plan to raise institutional money. Maybe we’d do a friends and family round, if necessary. This will let us scale profitably by putting the customer first. If we exit, we’ll get to keep more of the proceeds because we didn’t give away a bunch of equity.
You’ll be responsible for all technical aspects of the business, primarily the creation and maintenance of the email hosting, sending, and receiving infrastructure, and user-facing web application, from mockups to MVP to production. I’m at the very beginning of the process, though as described above I have a clear vision for the business and product.
After a first chat, I’d be happy to share a detailed business overview and features and requirements doc, in order to give you a better understanding of scope.
Since this is a startup, every co-founder will end up fulfilling many roles and doing a variety of things, but here is a more structured list of your responsibilities:Develop and maintain the email hosting, sending, and receiving infrastructure
Develop and maintain the user-facing web application end-to-end, from mockups to MVP and beyond
Deliver responsive, high-performance, and compelling user interfaces
Lead the development and implementation of the technical aspects of the startup
The obvious requirement is proven experience in software development, with understanding and experience in building a web application from mockups to working product. The other requirement is experience with building and maintaining email infrastructure at scale (thousands of domains and addresses, millions of emails sent monthly).
If you’ve done some or all of the following, you’ll likely be a good candidate from a technical perspective:Built and maintained a production email service provider that ran at scale — thousands of email addresses hosted with millions of emails sent monthly
Built B2B SaaS products, in general
Worked with architectures that support multiple APIs
Worked on high-volume email sync and storage
⠀ What is equally, if not more, important is your character. I want to work with people who are independent and can listen, empathize, and navigate disagreement productively and with kindness. You have empathy for the customer and the ability and patience to navigate all the ups and downs of a startup.
While it wouldn’t be your main responsibility, a sense of business acumen is important as well. We’ll be working on defining roadmap together, after all.
We’ll be spending a substantial amount of time together, so our values should align. Some things I value are kindness, fairness, transparency, meaningful work, and personal freedom.
Beyond that, I don't care where or how you work. Just be responsive and able to make meetings. You are your own person, and I trust you to make the best decisions for your life and the business.
By joining me, you'll have a chance to have a significant impact on a business that, if successful, will give you time and location freedom. Along the way, you'll be doing meaningful work with people you enjoy being around.
Since we’d be bootstrapping this, there’d be no salary to start. Equity will be assumed equal split and adjusted accordingly.
Thanks for reading this, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.