About Our Guest
Gabriela Isturiz is a serial entrepreneur, innovator, experienced CEO, and founder of two high-growth successful SaaS technology companies that were sold to Fortune 500 companies. Gaby possesses a unique combination of passion, curiosity, and discipline, making her one of the few women in STEM who led bootstrapped companies to successful exits.
After her last exit, Gaby started coaching and angel investing in minority founders. That led her to start with three other amazing women, The Fund XX, an early-stage VC fund investing in the next generation of women-led startups. The Fund XX’s vision is to support and create more opportunities for women founders and help close the funding, network, and opportunity gap.
In 2012, Gaby founded Bellefield Systems, the global leader in time tracking and compliance technology for lawyers, recognised as the #1 legal timekeeping solution for five years in a row worldwide. Under her disciplined and decisive leadership, Bellefield experienced over 3,500% growth within six years, positioning it among the top fastest-growing companies in Western Pennsylvania. In December 2019, Bellefield was acquired by Roper Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: ROP) (Aderant division) a constituent of the S&P 500 ®.
Before Bellefield, Gaby was the founder and president of eBillingHub®, the pioneer and leading electronic billing solution for law firms worldwide. Her tactful ability to develop and execute a sound strategy allowed for eBillingHub to be acquired by Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI) in 2011.
Gaby was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year, the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs, which recognises outstanding business owners. She was also named winner of the Business WomenFirst award, CEO of the Year Finalist, Smart 50 Honoree twice, and featured in many legal technology publications.
Gaby is currently working on several initiatives to help businesswomen and minorities become successful entrepreneurs and create impactful companies just like she did.
About this Episode
What To Do When You Hit Your Business Valuation Number
Serial entrepreneur, Gabriela Isturiz is a 2x bootstrapped tech founder with 2x exits to Fortune 500 companies for huge multiples. Her secret? Besides the plethora of advice she gives to entrepreneurs interested in building SaaS products, she stands by engineering the company you want to grow.
Whether it’s how to keep yourself out of tech debt, how to avoid product bloat, as well as how to truly and deeply understand your market value, Gaby’s guidance is sure to inspire you as well as give you some practical action steps to walk away with.
Tune in and learn the 4 pillars of growing a valuable SaaS business from an entrepreneur who’s done it not once, but twice, and now funds female entrepreneurs looking to follow in her footsteps.
What you will learn in this episode
In this episode we’ll cover everything from:
- How to grow a profitable, acquirable, and growth-centric SaaS business
- An exercise to better understand who you want to partner with to enable growth
- Learn Gaby’s “Rule of 40”
- The metrics that matter to investor and acquirers (and how to make them work in your favour)
- How to increase your value share by building competitive tension between acquirers
Connect with Gabriela Isturiz
(9:31) Here are three things that made Gaby and her husband so successful as co-founders and partners at merging both their personal and professional lives.
(14:52) After 6 years, they were experiencing 100% and 150% growth YoY and the duo knew, what you have in the beginning is not going to take you to that next level, so they began pondering how to scale up further. Private Equity was an option and the floodgates opened.
(21:39) From the beginning, they “engineered the company they wanted to grow.” Gaby knew the industry, knew the multiples, and built a company with 99% recurring revenue and, among others, 102% retention rate. These factors were instrumental in getting the best valuation. Her secret? Not all revenue is good revenue.
(32:44) Building a SaaS business? Here are the four pillars for valuation: Growth Potential, Metrics, Tech Sustainability, and Reputation.
(46:16) With only 2% of VC funds in the US going to women, Gaby took it upon herself to pay it forward to an industry that she was very passionate about, so she started the Fund XX, an early-stage VC fund investing in the next generation of women-led start-ups.