My guest for Ep160 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was the Co-founder & CEO of Kasada, Sam Crowther.
Sam launched Kasada as a 19 year in 2015 to help protect businesses from bots.
Fast forward 7 years and the company is now used by many Fortune 50 companies and has gone on to raise $39M in funding from leading international and local investors such as Reinventure, Our Innovation Fund and Malcolm Turnbull (the former Prime Minister of Australia).
Despite all of these successes, there have also been plenty of challenging moments and in this interview Sam shares some of those challenges including the period where he doubted his own abilities that ultimately led to him stepping down from the CEO role.
In this interview we discussed:
The customer insights that led to Sam pivoting his first business, USig, into Kasada
How Sam landed Sportsbet as their first customer and their approach to enterprise sales
How they raised funding from investors like Malcolm Turnbull
The structures Sam has put into place since returning as CEO that make him a better and more confident leader
& much more
4:53: Sam’s background
6:15: Sam discusses joining Macquarie Bank after graduating from high school to join their fledgling Cyber security department and the early concept that led to Kasada
8:12: The journey of launching USig and the insight that led to the pivot
10:13: process it took to go through for the actual pivot
11:14: How to attract your early hires to the company
14:50: How they landed SportsBet as their first customer
18:40: How to effectively qualify enterprise sales leads
20:39: How to tease our importance and understanding of the problem by the Enterprise customer
22:20: How to move beyond your own network
25:13: Kasada’s fund-raising journey and how he brought on investors like OIF and Malcolm Turnbull on to his cap table
31:41: How founders can do their own DD on investors
34:41: Why Sam stepped away from the CEO role
40:37: How founders can create the right structure around them
42:58: How a CEO coach has helped Sam
45:27: When and how to bring in team leads/build structures and how to hire for Its
50:03: How to mitigate against bad hires
A big thank you to our podcast partners for this episode
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