In my last article 6 months ago, the plan to reach 100,000€ MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) was clear: We needed to expand our technology for developers. The plan was to get traction on PHP frameworks while keeping our customer base growing on CMS like WordPress and Shopify. But nothing usually goes according to plan, and in our case, it surely didn’t: our PHP integrations were not performing so well, we got a few installs but less than we expected. In the meantime, our existing integrations with WordPress, Shopify, and other CMS were overperforming.
So we decided to branch out from the original plan and focus all our efforts on what was already working: WordPress and Shopify.
After 6 months, this strategy paid off as we finished our best semester yet and surpassed our objective by 10K. We have reached 110,000€ in MRR at the end of October, and our team keeps growing!
In May, after 2 months working on our PHP integrations, we released the Symfony bundle and the Laravel package. These integrations allow anyone who uses one of these two frameworks to translate their website using the Weglot API.
We started telling the world about it, as we did with CMS in our beginnings. During the first weeks, we had a few installs directly from our Github repository. But quickly the numbers started to stagnate. The growth was not what we expected.
Without any plugin/app store to easily distribute our solution, it was harder to get people to discover and install it. Moreover, as these frameworks have official documentation about how to make a multilingual website, developers would be reticent of using any other method, even if it was more efficient.
Once we realized this, we decided not to try to force it. We would let these integrations live, as they work nicely and some users are enjoying it. But we wouldn’t spend too much effort on developing them for the moment. Instead, we would focus on what was working the best: CMS integrations.
Improve your strengths
In June, 95% of our users were coming from CMS, mostly WordPress & Shopify. The funny thing is that we didn’t spend much effort on marketing, we had only focused our efforts on development. Yet, this was the segment that was the most successful.
As things evolve, Augustin and I had less and less time to do marketing & communication. We decided it was time to hire a full-time person to lay down a real marketing strategy: we hired Eugène as CMO. With him on board, we are finally launching our affiliate program (contact him at email@example.com to participate). We also sponsored WordCamp Europe in Belgrade and will be increasing our sponsoring budget in 2019.
The product also got better. We released a major new version of our WordPress plugin following WP-VIP best-practice. This version has a lot of hooks and functions for developers to extend the plugin’s capabilities.
On Shopify, we also improved the interface and the performance of the application.
After 6 months focusing on our strengths, it paid off: it’s a lot easier to improve something that already works than to try making something new work.
A nice place to work
From the beginning with Augustin, we changed offices a lot: My apartment, a shared office for a few months, our 25m2 office in Gare de l’Est, our 45m2 in Cité Paradis. In July, the place became too small with the team growing quickly and we decided to move into a new office yet again!
Finding the right place is hard, by the way—we clearly underestimated the time it would take to go on visits, make decisions, file paperwork, etc… But we are finally in an awesome place near Sentier, Paris. With 180m2, we should be able to stay more than a year this time!
Investing in a nice office was important for us as we want our team to be in the best possible environment to work and have fun at the same time.
So what’s next? Over the coming months, we will keep increasing our presence on CMS, especially WordPress and Shopify. Working on these 2 CMS will be our main focus. And what about people building their website without CMS? Well, we have something coming for you guys, more on that later.
In terms of MRR, the objective is to reach 150,000€ MRR in the next 6 months.