Entrepreneur Satej Sirur on Rocketium’s quick rise and a possible favorite among unicorns for content creation

In this week’s 100X Entrepreneur Podcast, Satej Sirur, Founder of Rocketium, speaks about the platform’s B2B pivot that has helped retain $2 million in ARR, and its underlying hack of deeply knowing one’s users.
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Video and visuals rule the world of content, and in times of high engagement on social media – speed is paramount. Satej Sirur, Founder and CEO of Rocketium, has been catering to this dynamic need of marketers and designers through his creative management and video creation platform since 2015. 

Today, the platform boasts of a rich clientele of over 1,200 brands including Bigbasket, cult.fit, Groww, Meesho, Supr Daily, and Urban Company, across more than 95 countries.

But the platform’s success perhaps lies in the fact that Satej wanted a product that was innovative and easy-to-use for himself.

In a conversation with Siddhartha Ahluwalia, Founder and Host of 100x Entrepreneur, he says,

“It was an idea in my head since 2005 and I didn’t care about the market size, whether a real person wanted it or not, but I wanted to build it for myself. It was a very odd sort of product, but it’s still close to my heart. It was a platform to come and create learning content, educational content, any idea that you want to share.”

With drop down and drag and drop features, users with little to no expertise in design and video creation can create content. After playing in the consumer internet space for a few years, Rocketium pivoted and focussed on the B2B market two years ago. 

Know thy users

The entrepreneur emphasises on a deep understanding of one’s user base to truly address the gaps and the problems they are facing. It is also the value that made the young brand comparable to software giants like Adobe. 

“When we are reaching out to people, we are hearing very similar problems for all of them. A lot of them say, ‘Oh, I had no idea this category of software exists’...they are used to today’s Adobe, which is a great set of software, but their (users’) needs are slightly different. It needs a little more specific software. And so, that is what the gap is that we’ve been able to discover and get to this stage,” he explains.

As the startup looks to expand internationally, Satej also shared his plans to move to the US to know the users better. 

“I think it’s important to deeply know who your users are,” he reiterates, adding, “If you are able to spend 30, 50, 100 hours in a month talking to people and you have that opportunity, then today, the world is global enough, but if you are having to stay up till 2 to 3 am every day, then, in the interest of your health and in the interest of your team, it’s better that you’re spending that time in wherever the market is, be it Australia, Europe, Southeast Asia, or the US.”

He adds that while one could very well connect remotely over calls, that cannot equate a walk in the park with the head of monetisation at a $40 billion company and then sharing some of their challenges and seeing where you can help. 

Today, Satej and his co-founder are more concerned with being an expert in the culture, customer, product, and the vision than about writing the best sales email or designing the best product experience, among other things.

In the early days of Rocketium, lack of knowledge about the space to raise funds was the hardest problem, despite having good technology, passionate team members, and compelling customer stories.

“Somewhere, I would say it was a combination of not talking enough to our users and not knowing the problem deeply. In the last couple of rounds that we have done, we have a much better understanding of what the market is like. When we went out into the market, we had to educate the investors…and they wanted to learn why all these unicorns are using the platform when so many softwares existed for decades.”

Today, Rocketium has garnered $2 million in ARR in the last two years, with customers paying $2,000 a month and a strong net retention rate of 110 percent. Satej is also among the few entrepreneurs who could say that the venture has remained unaffected by COVID-19 or any business uncertainties. 

To know more, listen to the podcast here:

00:52 – Initial Intro

05:13 – Pivoting in early years of Rocketium

09:50 – Metrics around ARR and customer base

11:31 – Customers comparing Rocketium to Adobe

18:07 – Company building: Attracting the best talent

22:36 – Principles in Rocektium’s work culture

25:51 – What’s 8-4-5? 

28:02 – Framework while setting internal metrics

30:07 – Playbook behind international expansion

33:45 – Importance of deeply knowing who your users are

39:08 – Fundraising journey: Finding the right investor

Edited by Megha Reddy

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