Aug. 25, 2022

The Perfect SaaS Tool to Manage Your SaaS Stack with Cristina Vila Vives, Founder and CEO of Cledara

The Perfect SaaS Tool to Manage Your SaaS Stack with Cristina Vila Vives, Founder and CEO of Cledara

In this episode of SaaS Origin Stories, Phil Alves is joined by Cristina Vila Vives, Founder and CEO of Cledara, to discuss her passion for developing a solution for managing SaaS stack efficiently and what SaaS founders should focus on when raising capit


Companies use various SaaS products to manage and grow their businesses. But how do they keep track of these software applications? Cristina Vila Vives found that most either use spreadsheets ineffectively or do not manage them at all.

Are there other alternatives? Passionate about bringing a solution, Cristina presents you with the Cledara platform, designed to improve SaaS stack management.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Using Cledara to make better business decisions
  • Fundraising tips that will help you succeed
  • Why should you first launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to market
  • What should SaaS founders focus on when building a product

How to Nail Your Next Fundraising

Understand what you want to build in the future and your product vision. Have a clear roadmap on what you want to do with the capital. Prepare well for every investor meeting and explain how you will achieve that vision.

I remember that for every half-hour investor meeting, I would spend three hours preparing for all the possible questions they may ask - Cristina Vila Vives


Use the Capital Wise

After raising your first capital, think of launching the MVP to market. Find the right people to help you build the product and talk to potential customers to understand how they would like it to work. If you lack some business skills, bring a co-founder who can complement your weaknesses, someone strong in the go-to-market and business partnership operations. Then hire the first team members.

Make sure that on that first version, you are building something people actually want - Cristina Vila Vives


People Want Your Product...Help Them Realize That

Finding the right product-market fit is a matter of building a SaaS product that helps your customers solve their problems. Your job is to understand them, develop your product according to their feedback, and help them realize the potential of your solution. You need these people who believe in your vision and are willing to dedicate their time to help you shape your ideas.

When I started, I knew that it was just a matter of educating the market and building a product that would truly help companies when companies were ready to recognize that they had that problem - Cristina Vila Vives


For more interviews from the SaaS Origin Stories podcast, check us out on Apple, Spotify or your favorite podcast player!

Transcript

Cristina Vila Vives: I think the most important thing is to understand what you want to build in the future, so what is that vision that you have for your product beyond what you're building today. Then have a very clear roadmap of what you want to do with the capital that you're trying to raise, and really explaining how you're going to achieve it, how those funds will help you do it.
Intro: Welcome to SaaS Origin Stories. Tune in to hear authentic conversations with founders as they share stories from the earlier days of their SaaS startups. We'll cover painful challenges, early wins, and actionable takeaways. You'll hear firsthand the dos and don'ts of building and growing a SaaS as well as inspirational stories to fuel you on your own SaaS journey. Here's your host, Phil Alves.
Phil Alves: Today I have Cristina Vila for Cledara on the show. Welcome to the show, Cristina.
Cristina: Hi, Phil, thank you very much for having me.
Phil: No problem. Could you tell us a little bit about your product and what problem does it solve?
Cristina: Yes, definitely. We help companies discover, buy, manage, and cancel all the different software subscriptions that they have in their companies. Essentially, what we do is we help them bring those internal processes to help them manage it end to end, and to help them scale their businesses.
Phil: Got it. Are you trying to help them maybe cancel the things they don't need and sign up for things they need? Is that part of the solution or not?
Cristina: Yes, that's part obviously of the journey or software in a company. Maybe that is something new that you could be benefiting from. We help you discover that and maybe you realize that there is something that you're paying for that you're actually never using. Then we just give you that visibility so that as a business, you can take the decision that you think is best for you.
Phil: That's awesome. I think in today's world there are so many products that we are using, and it's hard to make the decision. There's so many options of things that could help you but there's also things that maybe you bought that you're not using. That's definitely a big problem. It's cool to have some product and someone to help you solve the problem. Tell us a little bit about the story behind. Why did you decide to strike out on your own and start this company?
Cristina: When I was at the previous startup, I was working for Neobank where we were building an airline for emerging markets, essentially. There I was managing the middle and back-office operations and we were growing quickly, we were in need of new processes, new teams all the time. As part of my role of streamlining things within the company, it meant that I had to have an eye over all the different software subscriptions that the different teams were using to power those processes and to help them with the board. What I realized there is that it was a very hard exercise.
By the time that I would finish going through everybody and asking, "What do you use? Why are you using it," essentially, there were 10 more products in the company. I just couldn't understand that there was a system to help us keep track of that. That's why looking a little bit obviously at the market and how everybody was shifting to using more and more software products within the company, I decided a solution had to exist, which is Cledara today.
Phil: That's great. I love that story, and I see a lot of products that start like that. It's called the user method. You were the user, you had a problem and you wanted to go and solve that problem for yourself. How did you know that there were other people that would have the same problem, and why do you think it made you the right founder to go solve that problem?
Cristina: I spoke with several companies in London, that is where we were based. I asked them how they manage all their software applications, and everybody told me that same answer with a spreadsheet, or we just don't manage it. When you get that feedback from everybody then is when you know, well, actually, there is a problem here because we all recognize that it's hard to manage, but we don't find anything. That's how I decided that was a worthwhile enterprise to build.
Then in terms of why I'm the right founder, I guess I just was passionate about bringing a solution to the wall. As you say, I lived it first hand and I just wanted to do it and I always wanted to have my own company. It's like everything came together at that moment for me to just do it.
Phil: That's awesome. You found the problem, you had the passion, you validate the idea with other companies, and then you went to build. How did you build the first version of your product and how did you fund it?
Cristina: Well, let's start with the funding because that came first. Of course, well I quit my job to start Cledara because if something I'm not good at is doing two things at the same time. I really like to dedicate myself in full to what I do. Then I went out to raise some funds from angels and then I had some initial conversations, and I got the first capital for the company. Then with that, what I wanted to achieve was to put an MVP to market that would prove that the way in which we're approaching the problem and the solution was something that would really help customers with that problem in their companies.
Therefore, yes, raise that capital. I think it was one month after deciding that I wanted to do Cledara. By, I think, in a couple of months more, we had the first MVP to market.
Phil: That's awesome. You're like, "I'm out, and I'm going to quit my job and go raise the money." Did you have any experience raising money before? How was the process?
Cristina: Not at all, I didn't have any experience raising money. That was one of the, I would say, hardest things that I had to do at the very beginning because I had never done it. I didn't know what to expect. I remember that for every half an hour investor meeting, I would spend three hours preparing. What are all the possible questions that they may ask, make sure that you have them nailed down, what's good, what's not good? For me, it was very hard but mostly because I just had never done it before. It took me, I'd say 10 to 20 investor meetings to then start being very comfortable when I was having those calls and those meetings.
Phil: You talk about wanting 22 investors meetings so you got comfortable, how many meetings did it take to actually raise the money?
Cristina: The first one, not that much, actually. That's because for the first one I spoke mostly with some mentors from TechStars. That was much more friendly and I would say that was raised quite quickly, but then for the subsequent rounds, so the precede, there is where you already go to this very early-stage funds, that was different. For me, the stakes were already higher. I wanted to make sure that I did a good job on those.
Phil: Makes sense. What tips would you have for someone that's starting right now and it's like ready to go the route and trying to raise money? What do you tell that person to help the person get going, something you wish you knew at that point?
Cristina: I think the most important thing is to understand what you want to build in the future, what is that vision that you have for your product beyond what you're building today, and then have a very clear roadmap of what you want to do with the capital that you're trying to raise, and really explaining how you're going to achieve it, how those funds will help you do it. I think bringing that clarity to investors helps a lot.
Phil: That's awesome. That goes perfectly to my next question. Now you have the money, let's go a little bit deeper, how you use that money. Who did you hire first, because you used that money to build our MVP, the first round. Of course, you did further rounds, but let's go over the first one. How you decided to use that money and who you hired first and how things went.
Cristina: The first capital that we raised was to put the MVP to market. The first thing was finding a couple of engineers that would work on the product to build it. I was the product designer and person talking to customers all day long because that is the most important thing that you can do at the very beginning, talk to lots and lots and lots of customers, or prospective customers or people that may know your space so that you can get a lot of feedback. You can make sure that on that first version, you are building something that people actually want and not just maybe your ideas based on your own experience only, which after all is just one data point.
That's very, very important. I would spend a lot of time talking to people and then creating those first designs to then give them to the engineers to build it. That was a very nice moment, went there with some designs that I thought were pretty slim and they told me, "No, no, no, all these things can also go away. These are nice to have," and the reality is that at the time they were nice to have. We decided to remove them and really only bring to market what we thought would enable that first bit of value that customers would benefit from.
Then after bringing this MVP to market, then I was a solo founder at that point so the most important thing for me was then to find someone that would help me from a co-founder perspective. Brought that person in, Brad, which I'm very proud that he joined because he's very strong on the whole go-to-market and partnership side of businesses. He also has a very, very strong operational mind. I'm delighted that he decided to join Cledara.
I think that's again, one of those important things. Now, I think it's good to know what your weaknesses are so that you can bring someone that can complement them. Sometimes maybe at the very beginning of a company, you don't really know it, but once you already have something on, you have clarity and you really know what you need to succeed. After the co-founder, the first hire was a junior person in marketing, Pablo, he's still with us and he's great.
Phil: That's awesome. I really like your approach to bring your co-founder. Many times people want to do like early, early days. You build something, you figure out what you really need and then you went to look for the co-founder, do look for it called founder. Do you believe that made it easier to find the co-founder to bring that person in? Maybe he had a job and had to leave that job too. Do you like that delay approach to bring a co-founder, do you think? What's your opinion of that?
Cristina: In my opinion, it worked very well for me and I was very determined to just get started. I was not going to wait to have a co-founder ready to get started. I do think that it helped us move very, very quickly at the time because in the end, what do you need early on? You need to talk to customers and build product. Everything else, I mean there is no need for anything else.
Then as soon as we had the product that we could sell, then well we needed all those skills that we didn't have in the company and that was the perfect moment. In the end, again, it depends on who you bring early on, but in my case, it worked very well. I have to say that of course when I was talking to investors very, very early on, a lot of them wanted me to have a co-founder, and if it was a [unintelligible 00:12:22] cofounder, even better. I just disagreed with that approach and that's fine. In the end, there are investors that don't think that all recipes need to work for everybody.
Phil: Yes, I think that's a great insight. You did it in a different way and it work for you. I can just see in the room the investors giving you pushback because they didn't have that person yet. I can also see how bringing that person later is a great advantage for you because you brought the right person and the person already knew your vision when they come on board. Like you say you're ready to take customers and then you went to look for that person. Talking about being ready to take customers, who was your first customer? How you got the first customer and then how you got the next 10 and the next 100, if you could walk us through the process?
Cristina: Yes, so the first customers, so when we launched our MVP, we decided to do it at the conference called SaaStock in Dublin, which is the main SaaS conference in Europe. Then we did it on stage because we signed up for their startup competition. I thought, "I'm going to join the competition and I'll win, so I'll be able to do it on stage." Very confident there, and luckily everything went my way. I did win it and I could announce the launch of our MVP. From that, obviously, there was an audience, so I spoke to some people afterwards and that's how we found our first customers.
Then also from network people that we knew that we knew had the problem, they offered to help us essentially by using the product, giving us feedback, what they would like to see, whatnot. I would say for the first, yes, 10-15 customers came from that event and from network. Then after that, we started doing a little bit more of trying to be on social media, trying some outbound emails. We were trying things and that didn't really, nothing really worked very well at the beginning, I have to say, but events were working well. What we realized is if we spoke to people and we explain them the problem that we were solving, people would identify very well with it.
Then what we realized is that while the product had to evolve a little bit more for us to be able to really sell it through other channels. Then I would say, so the first 50 came more like let's say slowly as we were continuing to build the product with more features and making it a bit richer. Then, yes, we started creating our go-to-market function after we raised our seed ran in November 2020. From there, we just created an outbound team that's done a great job of taking us from those about 60, 70 customers to almost 800 today.
Phil: That's awesome. I love your launch ideas. You're like, "I'm going to join this competition, I'm going to win," and everything went your way. That's awesome. In what stage? In the biggest SaaS conference that was happening in Europe, is that correct? That's the biggest SaaS conference over there?
Cristina: Yes, that's correct.
Phil: That's awesome. You went and people love it, people saw it. I love the idea because you really leveraged the opportunity to be in the stage to see people your industry and looks like that's how you kept doing, right? You went to events where that were related to your industry and that worked for a while. I saw that work well with many other SaaS to the early stages.
If you have events in your industry, you can keep going there. I like how you also say that when you first try outbound or other marketing, it didn't work because your product wasn't ready for it yet. Then you had to improve your product, and then eventually if the right product you're able to really scale for over 600 customers. Congrats. That's pretty impressive.
Cristina: It is right that something didn't work early on, now it's working very well, right? That's why you always need to try again. Like never leave it as, "Oh, no, no, that will never work." No, "Hey, things have changed, we've evolved, so let's give it another shot," and it worked very well so it's working very well.
Phil: Awesome. That's an amazing site, and you were listed by Forbes by one of the 20 womens that's changing in Spain. How did that help you or didn't help you hiring, bringing customers, grow your business?
Cristina: These type of awards or public recognitions by companies like Forbes, what this helps is a lot with building trust with companies because in the end, when they look for you, they find that we are a serious company, we are recognized by what we are doing, that we are doing something that's impactful for businesses all over the world.
The way in which companies work today is changing, therefore we are building a solution to help those companies that are changing with the new technologies and by adopting SaaS. I would say the thing that it helps the most is building trust with your customers, with your audience. Then obviously for me personally, I'm very proud that they decide to look my way to give that recognition.
Phil: Yes, that's amazing. Congrats. That's pretty impressive.
Cristina: Thank you.
Phil: What has been your biggest challenge to date? We talk a little bit about early days, your company now, it's been going for four years, and what has been the biggest challenge to date?
Cristina: I would say the biggest challenge for a company that's going very well and that is growing very fast. We are growing 20% month on month. It's just crazy, so we are just scaling, changing constantly. We need to hire people all the time. We need to make sure that as we continue growing our customer base, that we can continue providing them with a great service, a great product.
Obviously, the more customers, the more diverse customer base that you get, even though we try to be very targeted to which type of customers with, but still, you want to make sure that, that you can have a product that will work for the majority, but the more customers you have, the more that you need to look closely at what you have to adapt it.
I think for me that is, this is one of those biggest challenges that we are facing, I would say, constantly is those growing pains of just, "Now we have more customers so we need to increase customer support and now we've released this feature, but this feature needs some assistance." It's all these constant changing, which I love at the same time. I love the challenge so that's actually good for me that it's a constant thing.
Phil: That's great, so the scaling and then making sure you can serve the different customers. At what point did you build something that people love and that would last?
Cristina: When I started it.
Phil: Whoa.
Cristina: Yes, so as soon as I said "I want to build Cledara, I want to build a product that will help companies manage their software in their companies and scale with it," I knew that we were building something that was needed and that was needed for the long term. It was not like a hype thing, like something that we'll use for the next five years, and then we'll disappear. We are here to build a category-defining business that will last years and years and years. That's what we set up to do. We are changing an industry. I just knew that it would last forever.
Phil: That's great. You never had in your mind, do I have product market fit? Am I building something that people want? You knew from day one because of your experience that people really need the product and you already in your mind, had the product market fit.
Cristina: I knew that people wanted it even though they didn't know yet. When I was speaking with customers early on, people were like, "No, we only have 10, 20 subscriptions It's not an issue." The reality is that that wasn't true. Maybe you think you have 20, but actually, you have 45 so you do need it. I think within these four years that we've been building Cledara, the market has changed and now the market recognizes that they have an issue. Companies recognize that they have an issue with their software and they are looking for solutions.
Again, I had that clarity when I started and I knew that it was just a matter of educating the market and building a product that would truly help companies When companies were ready to recognize that they had that problem. Now is obviously that moment. Now what we need to make sure is that we continue building this great product that continues helping customers over time. Then you say, product-market fit, that's different. One thing is having the certainty that we're building something that will last. The other one is once you reach product market fit.
That, of course, took longer because at the beginning, the product was very basic. It was only those crazy early adopters, who were the ones that would use it. It was perfect because in the end, when you need these people that believe in your vision and that they're willing to give you or dedicate you their time to help you shape your ideas and help you uncover situations, paths that you had not yet thought of.
For us, product market fit, I would say, came, it depends on how you define it, but for us it came, I say, after the seed round, which is where we really started selling more. You would talk to someone, show the product they would buy, and then it was now we just need to scale this. That was the moment that we knew now we definitely have product market fit because you just have more conversations with more customers and you just sell more. Then for us, that was the moment.
Phil: Yes. I like the separation. You knew even before product market fit, you were building something to last. You were very confident that you just have to figure out the features and what people need and how to improve the product. You were extremely confident out of the way, "This is going to last. I'm building a product that people really need. I'm going to educate them and I'm going to keep improving." It was never a question, "I need to find product-market fit to know I'm going to last, I'm going to last, I just need to find product-market fit and this is going to scale." It looks like that's the approach that you took.
That's awesome. How has been as you keep growing and going to new raises, how it's been your relationship with your investors and how much do they help you along the way?
Cristina: It's been great. I love my investors. They are very helpful. I would say I speak with them definitely every couple of weeks. We always have a chat about where we are, things that we need, things that we are thinking of. I would say that the closer you can keep your investors, the better because then they can help you even more. Then they understand the decisions that you take. After all, investors, of course, they want you to grow like a rocket ship but equally they know that the path is not a straight path.
It's important to build that trust so that you can really call them if you need to ask a question, "Hey look, we are facing this and how have you seen other portfolio companies address this in the past?" They've invested in many companies before. They've seen a lot. We leverage that a lot. I personally do. Also for good things. When something great happens, I give them a call, "Hey, look what happened. It's fantastic. Somebody that we really wanted to hire accepted an offer or we just hit the 800 number in terms of customers." I think this is important to build that relationship. I would say that I'm lucky that I have great investors with now the Anthemis and Notion.
Phil: That's awesome. Thank you for bringing that up. I think, again, you give people a great advice here, like stay closer to your investors so they understand what's going on. They can help you when things get harder. They can help you when things are going well too. That's great insight. In the early days, what was your biggest fear?
Cristina: Early days, biggest fear? If I think about it, I would say first those investor meetings, because I said, right. I was preparing for three hours to be able to go to one of those. I wanted to make sure that I did a good job because, in the end, the company depended on that funding to be able to continue. Then the second one would be the customer calls because, again, I was never in a sales position before. I remember the first time I had to give a demo to a customer, I was so nervous. I wrote a whole script for myself. I said these are all the things that I definitely want to touch on as I'm going through the product to show it to them.
Then I realized that writing a script doesn't really work. I just had to have bullet points to remember that these are the key things that I want to make sure I say, but I don't need to write it verbatim. Mostly because those are very important moments. Those are interactions that I'm having with people outside of the company that it's very important that we look professional, that people trust us, that we are prepared, that we are ready. Then we may not be for them, from an investor perspective or from a customer perspective, maybe you are not the best company for them, but that's okay as long as you look presentable and you are prepared and you can answer questions.
Every day I was just paranoid about preparing for those calls that I had just never, I didn't have experience. I even asked one of my early angel investors to join me on a few of the customer calls to give me feedback afterwards as to how could I improve? Otherwise, how do I improve if I don't see it? If nobody's there. He very kindly offered his time and he gave me great feedback and yes, so now I'm very comfortable in front of investors, very comfortable in front of customers. I actually love talking to customers.
Phil: I love how you took your fear and you work on it. You were afraid of going to those meetings with the investors, then you prepare three hours for it. You work on it, you did something about it. You want to improve your demos and how you did show the demo, the software, you invite your investor to give you feedback. I think that's a great insight. Just because you have fear doesn't mean you shouldn't move. Unless you move, you can think about what can I do extra? How can I prepare better? How can I get strong at this thing that I'm weak right now? It's today a little bit later, it's not your early days anymore.
You're like, Yes, I love shop investors, I love customers. Now it's a strong suit for you. I think again, that's an amazing site for people. If you're afraid of something when you're starting SaaS, just go heads on, prepare more, get someone to give you feedback, and eventually going to get better at. That's an amazing insight.
Cristina: Absolutely. I think as a founder, you have to have a strong learning mindset. You need to know that you will not know everything and that it's impossible that you know everything and therefore you just need to learn as much as possible. For those things that you can't learn or that it's not the best investment of your time to learn, then you just hire great people around you to help you with those.
Phil: Then you learn to hire great people. You have to learn something too.
Cristina: Yes. That's the other one. That's very important.
Phil: What do you think it's something that early-stage SaaS founders should start doing that you don't see most founders doing?
Cristina: I would say that founders need to be talking to customers all the time, or at least people that know about your sector, the product that you're trying to build, a problem that you're trying to solve. Very early on, when I was designing the first version, I was almost always at home because you are three people. You talk, but you don't really need to see each other because you're very focused on just getting those things. Let's say my case, those designs forward. Then at some point, I realized but I'm just designing based on my own thoughts, that's not good.
Then I set myself a KPI to talk to at least five people every day. Then whether it's mentors or investors, or this is even competitors or people that work in a tangential area, just have conversations and learn how people talk, how people think, what do they think? Why would they buy, why not, why they object? With that, I learned many things. I learned that sometimes the way I communicated what we are building wasn't clear. People thought we were building something different. It's helped me wholly start. Then it also helped me realize what was really the language that they were using so that we could incorporate that language in the product.
I would say those things that are early on is very important. I don't think early-stage founders do it enough because I include myself so I had to be conscious about it before starting doing it. We just get caught on let's just get stuff done. Sometimes having this conversation is getting stuff done is advancing your thinking.
Phil: Yes, I agree with you. Is the concept that Stephen Blank call getting out of the building. Let's get out. Let's talk to people. Of course, nowadays, it could be jump on a Zoom call, but let's chat with someone and just not be building alone. I love that advice. What founders should stop doing the early days that you see maybe people doing and they're like, "That's a waste of time."
Cristina: I think and again, here, maybe I have a different approach, I don't know, but I will say anything that is not talking to customers or building product, forget about it. It doesn't matter early on. Sometimes people get too caught into metrics and things because they go to an investor meeting and investor asks, "Hey, look." That's great that they asked them they want to know, but actually, that doesn't necessarily advances you on your building of your product and being able to offer that service or product to your customers.
I would say, of course, you need to keep an eye if something is terribly wrong. If it's terribly wrong, then you will definitely want to look at that, but don't just do things that are nice to haves. Just do things that are must-haves, that truly advanced you that have a massive impact. I would say that's my recommendation that we are on because we are very skilled at creating work for ourselves. Make sure that the more you create really, really advances, and maybe the one that really moves through the uncomfortable one. Like me, demos. I had to do demos, and I didn't like them most of the time, because I didn't know how to do them. I felt very uncomfortable but well, I just did them, and then that helped us a lot.
Phil: I really like what you just said, I think when you think about nice have and must have, it's a skill that as a founder you have to develop. Even from the beginning, when we met with your engineers and they help you really find out what was the must-have, I think we don't say no enough as a founder. We have to get more familiar with saying no to the things that we shouldn't be doing right now, and like you say, challenge yourself to do the things that you have to do, that you must do it. It's easy to get yourself busy, but not be doing the things that's going to really move the needle and that's an amazing Advice.
Now let's talk about more specifically you. If you could go back in time and meet Cristina from 2018 and give her one advice, you have 30 seconds, what would you tell her?
Cristina: Focus, always keep your focus. That's what I would tell her because it's so important, because it helps him with the same now. If you know what you're building, if you know where you're going, if you're talking to a lot of customers, obviously customers will ask you for things that maybe don't fit your vision and you just need to be confident in saying no.
Phil: That's awesome. Could you share a little bit an example where you wish you had to stay focused and then you had to come back and refocus yourself?
Cristina: Yes. For example, early on, we are building a product, which is to help companies manage software. Of course, companies pay for a lot of things and want to manage a lot of things through our platform. Sometimes those are not software. Sometimes it can be tempting. Why wouldn't you do it? You talk to investors and they tell you, "Yes, why wouldn't you do it?"
Then you start thinking, "Why would I not do it?" Then you start, or I started thinking too much about it. Then even some small features we created to accommodate for some of that but then very quickly, we say, no, no, no, this is diverting us from the bigger vision of the product. Maybe today it feels good, but on the long term is going to be a hassle. Doing it will be much harder so then we just said no.
Phil: That's awesome. Yes, for sure, and making those decisions, thinking about the future. It is a challenge and we always keep learning and keep getting better at. Cristina, it was amazing to have you on the show. I think we touched on a lot of topics that will really help those early-stage SaaS founders. I have only two more questions before we go.
The first one, it's what book are you reading right now or if you're not really anything right now, what book you've read lately that you recommend that everyone should read, the founders should read.
Cristina: The book that I'm reading right now is the fiction one. I think that doesn't apply for it. Is called Violeta from Isabel Allende, but the one that I would recommend for the audience of this podcast since it's for early-stage SaaS founders is one called The Great CEO Within from, who is the author is Matt Mochary, I think. It's one book that I bought back in 2019, and still today, I carry it everywhere I go with me because it's a very practical book.
It talks about the different topics that you need to be able to grow a company in a very succinct way and sometimes I just need to say, "Okay, what about this? Let me just quickly look for the chapter that talked about this. These two paragraphs," and then it just gives you direction again. For every stages, I think it's a great book.
Phil: That's awesome. I'm going to pick it up that book, sounds like a CEO manual. What it's supposed to do now?
Cristina: Yes, exactly. It helps you.
Phil: That's awesome. What are you currently excited about and motivated by?
Cristina: The US. We started selling in the US at the beginning of the year. We already have customers. The US market is growing by 30-40 % so it's crazy. We don't even have a team on the ground there, which is why I'm very excited. From September, we will be relocating there and we will start building a team on the ground. I think that's going to be an amazing moment for Cledara and the team and our customers on the ground there.
Phil: That's very exciting. I'm excited to see you guys keep growing here in United States. Again, thank you very much for your time today. Congrats on the amazing product you're building.
Cristina: Thank you very much, Phil. It's been great chatting to you today. Ciao.
Phil: Awesome. Ciao.
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