What’s successful and Floats?
Float is a real-time, collaborative, resource planning platform. Teams can visualise their future capacity, and plan projects with accuracy, leading to better outcomes for their team, and their business. It can be used across all industries, by agencies, consultancies, architects, and IT services and its benefits are enjoyed by clients in over 150 countries, including BuzzFeed, Hulu, Ogilvy, Deloitte and Intercom.
Float Co-Founders Glenn Rogers (CEO) and Lars Gelfan (CTO) met back in the day while they were both working in advertising agencies.
Advertising agencies, and the professional services industry more broadly, profit from selling their time. They succeed by allocating resources efficiently across projects. But the tools used for assigning work tended to be suboptimal - typically a spreadsheet.
We all know poor planning leads to poor outcomes. And that most of these poor outcomes fall on the team members, in the way of overbooking and overtime. For Glenn and Lars, being on the end of these poor outcomes – well, they knew there had to be a better way.
So they created Float. The resource management, planning and scheduling software used by some of the world’s top teams.
Selling a product for ~$30 a month requires a lot of customers to cover payroll. Glenn and Lars decided very early on that if Float were to survive, they’d need to maintain their day jobs. Their largest investment would be time. Each workday, they’d finish their advertising jobs, get the subway home, and then kick off an evening of work from their cramped New York apartments.
But they were excited to be building something of their own, after a career of building for others.
As they progressed, they’d invest a small amount of their own money, to hire additional engineers to help them scale.
Four years on, they’d hit profitability and quit their day jobs!
A rocket or a tractor?
Let’s let Glenn tell you this story about his funding search.
“Searching for funding is an interesting dance. In hindsight, I wish we’d stayed off the dancefloor.
I’d speak to dozens of VC’s across the first two years. I’d take every point of feedback seriously, perhaps it was a comment about our pricing, or a certain feature requirement. One VC made note of not liking our explainer video voice over. So, we re-recorded it. But it was all just a distraction from the real reason we couldn’t land an investor."
"Later, I’d come to the realisation that our narrative was never going to be a fit for the traditional VC path."
"We’d started approaching investors after we’d had some traction, I could point to a chart that showed growing, compounding revenue. Actual growth, not mindless projections. And that growth just wasn’t…a rocket ship.
Put simply, there was no interest in a tractor like us.”
Floating a Tractor
But a tractor sees value in other tractors.
Float and Tractor Ventures CEO and Co-Founder Matt Allen connected over a social drink, and became excited by the potential, pairing their own momentum, with Matts team's experience, advice and network.
One of the values at Float is ‘keep it simple’. And everything about getting started with a growth advisory relationship with Tractor Ventures was exactly that.
As Glenn says, “What you see is what you get with Tractor Ventures."
Whilst that first interaction was with Matt, Glenn has continually sought advice from others in the Tractor Team as a sounding board for their own Float focussed assumptions. When he’s looking for advice on how to scale the team, Kirsti is there to help. If he’s thinking about Customer Success structure, then he’ll turn to Aprill.
“I’m a big believer in leaning into the momentum when things are working. And since working with Tractor, we’ve been doing just that. We’ve kicked things up a metaphorical gear. Decisions are being made faster; we’ve simply got more quality inputs to drive the outputs,” says Glenn
A Floating Future
10 years in, and with Tractor on board, Glenn feels like they’re only just getting started.
“The freedom to choose the path you drive on is one of the greatest rewards you can have in business.“