Over the years, I have cultivated strong relationships with entrepreneurs and investors alike and have been involved in some fantastic opportunities. I have played various wide-ranging roles, most recently helping companies including Brightedge and Salesforce traverse that critical path from well-established startup to efficient $100M+ market leader. I have found all of these experiences gratifying as they have allowed me to shape new industries and markets. I have also learned through my fair share of successes and failures that I am a builder and that I genuinely enjoy scaling companies to deliver outsized results. These opportunities come by rarely, and one needs to seize them whenever they come along.
Five years ago, I had the opportunity to advise Narvar after they had just raised their Series A from Accel. Since then, I’ve watched as the company has truly established a new category by focusing on the post-purchase experience, and I am excited to announce that I am now joining Narvar as CFO.
When 2010 rolled around, it was clear that enterprise SaaS was going to change the enterprise software industry. It made perfect sense — it is cheaper to buy software subscriptions vs. perpetual licenses, and the advantages of continuous improvement and innovation are unmatched. The SaaS industry is predicted to be at $157B by 2020 in total annual revenues, which is double that of 2014.
Perhaps the most critical attribute to being successful with the SaaS model is customer retention, which is key here at Narvar. The model works well if retention is core to a company’s business strategy. I was at Salesforce in their early growth stages, and this worked beautifully for them — SFDC has increased its market cap from approximately $8B to $164B in the last ten years. Narvar now serves more than 650 brands worldwide and has achieved over 76% CAGR over the past 4 years. Part of my role will be to help the team maintain its focus on customer retention as we accelerate toward $100M in annual revenue.
When I first met Amit, the founder of Narvar, I could easily relate to his vision of engaging customers post-purchase. Like most online shoppers, I had experienced several frustrating experiences dealing with broken order and returns processes. Narvar makes it easy for retailers to engage customers through thoughtful and relevant communication. As a finance person, I also loved the idea of transforming the industry by taking the core DNA of SaaS — customer engagement — to the retail category. As a customer, I can no longer tolerate shopping on websites with weak delivery updates or substandard returns options, since Narvar really has changed the landscape of ecommerce experience and what customers should expect.
It was equally impressive to see the roster of clients — ranging from Levi’s and Sephora to Neiman-Marcus and Home Depot to Warby Parker and Glossier — that Narvar amassed in a short period of time. In just the last couple of years, over 100mm people have leveraged Narvar’s enhanced shopping experience in the US alone. For a point of comparison, that is on par with Amazon Prime’s estimated subscriber base. Narvar has the opportunity to create a Prime-like experience of convenience for everyone else, helping both traditional and emerging retailers compete and win in an increasingly Amazon-dominated market.
I am excited to be kicking off this decade with Narvar. I have been very impressed with Narvar’s people and all of my conversations to date. The team has established Narvar as the thought leader in the industry, bringing some of the most innovative products to market. Narvar is well-positioned to control its destiny by driving pragmatic growth versus chasing growth at all costs. I am thrilled to be a part of this journey ahead!
Jim is CFO at Narvar. He brings over 20 years of financial leadership, helping companies like Brightedge & Salesforce traverse that critical path from well-established startup to efficient $100M+ market leader.