The Startup Playbook

Connecting you to the best entrepreneurs, investors and resources from around the world

Ep141 – Alex Zaccaria (Co-founder & CEO – Linktree) on viral growth, customer focus and intuition

My guest for Ep141 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was the Co-founder & CEO of Linktree, Alex Zaccaria.

Alex started his career in the music industry. With his brother Anthony, he co-founded Bolster, an agency that specialises in running digital and creative campaigns for music festivals and events.

Through the agency, they identified a problem they kept facing on behalf of their clients, how to effectively share multiple links on social media.

They built a tool to help solve that problem for their clients.

That tool is called Linktree and is now used by over 10M users globally including celebrities such as Selena Gomez and Jamie Oliver and brands like Redbull and HBO

At the end of last year, Linktree announced they had raised their first round of external funding, raising $10.7M in a round led by AirTree and Insight Partners.

In this interview we covered a range of topics including:

  • The importance of understanding why users are using your products
  • How they achieved viral growth to 10M users
  • How Alex developed a partnership with Facebook during the early days of Bolster
  • Managing engineering teams as a non-technical founder
  • Their journey to raising $10M and deciding which investors to raise from
  • & much more!

Show notes:

  • 1.57 – Where Alex’s desire to become an entrepreneur came from 
  • 3.48 – The influence Alex’s family and upbringing had on his career journey and what he learned from them
  • 5.38 – Launching Bolster with some of the largest festivals in Australia as clients
  • 9.45 – How they secured a partnership with Facebook through working around the existing system
  • 11.53 – Alex’s approach to learning quickly and continuously
  • 13.15 – Why meeting a customers needs is the most important step when building a platform
  • 16.36 – How Linktree has changed from the first version and how the idea began
  • 19.14 – Welcoming and utilising big name, early customers of Linktree 
  • 21.10 – How linktree was started as a side hustle and what it would be today if it was started differently
  • 24.45 – The importance of listening to consumers and having conversations to determine their needs
  • 26.32 – Building vitality for a ready to market product
  • 30.35 – Why Linktree prioritises simplicity in product design 
  • 33.38 – Utilising product managers as a non-technical founder to prioritise features
  • 36.39 – Intuitive decision making and having the right people around you
  • 39.40 – Working with a technical lead and development team effectively 
  • 43.01 – The challenges of scale 
  • 46.04 – The process to raising $10M 
  • 49.09 – How to pick the right VC partner when raising 
  • 52.29 – What Alex would do differently when raising capital again
  • 54.51 – The importance of developing a product naturally and authentically
  • 57.51 – Staying ahead of the competition as a market leader 
  • 58.49 – Maintaining culture whilst growing team size

Links mentioned:

Alex’s businesses:

People mentioned:

Previous episodes mentioned:

VC partners:

Special Thanks:

Special thanks to Nick Humphreys, Mike Bywaters and John Henderson for their help with research for this interview 🙏 .

Feedback/connect/say hello:

Rohit@startupplaybook.co
@RohitBhargava7 (Twitter)
/rohbhargava (LinkedIn)
@rohit_bhargava (Instagram)
My Youtube Channel

Credits:

Music: Joakim Karud – Dreams

Other channels:

Don’t have iTunes? The podcast is also available on SpotifySoundcloud & Stitcher Audio Player.

Leave a Comment