Bootstrapped SaaS Startup TrackJS Is Growing Up Organically


Raising investment capital certainly isn’t the only way to grow a tech company if TrackJS has anything qualified to say about it.

While the whole self-starting and self-sustaining notion is lost on some entrepreneurs, others are all about lifting themselves up by their own proverbial bootstraps.

Formed in 2013 by entrepreneurs Todd Gardner, Eric Brandes and Nick Pelton with a specific focus on JavaScript error monitoring and debugging, the tech product came about based on their first-hand experiences in providing clients a similar type of service over and over again.

“We’re doing the same thing for all our clients,” Gardner reflects. “Maybe we should just make it once and sell it to them, which would actually be less overhead for them and more scalable revenue for us.”

Expanding on that notion, they realized that just about anyone in the world with a web presence could benefit from such  service, so they started and ended up acquiring their first paying customer — Major League Soccer — within the first year.

“They were big, and really pushed our limits to help us grow the product fast,” he recalls. By 2016, all three partners were in the business full time.  (Pelton has since departed and Jordan Griffin joined as a partner)

Since that first customer, TrackJS has grown to almost a thousand like them, counting 946 currently.  Gardner explains how they deliberately churned a lot of low-profit customers in exchange for higher profiting and less consuming ones, for example:

The five year old company has grown revenue every quarter since the cash started flowing and profitable since 2016 with ARR growth up 13.6% to $960k from July ’17 to July ’18 year over year based on current pricing that starts around $50/month for the service; gone is the way of freemium.

And now “a fair number of investors” have been finding their way to the company, Gardner says. “I think we’re higher profile and more connected,” he says, “but at this point we’re totally satisfied without raising any outside money.”

It wasn’t that the company shunned the investment idea out the gate, rather they explored the option but realized that they would be better suited on their own when push came to shove around their focus:

“We did spend some time and effort, probably more than we should have early on talking to investors and preparing decks. The market wasn’t interesting or big enough enough for them.  So we decided to grow it ourselves…and by the time we got to the $10,000 monthly recurring revenue were glad it never happened in retrospect because we got through the hard part and are now 100% in control of our destiny. What we get to focus on and what our priorities are — customer first always – and I think we can grow as fast as we’re comfortable with now. We keep our team small and our operations profitable, built for the long haul. We’re going to be around as long as JavaScript applications continue to generate errors.”

$1m ARR is the next milestone for TrackJS, anticipated to occur before the end of 2018.