Boaz Grinvald is the CEO of Revuze, an Israeli AI startup backed by Nielsen and SAP.io. It is an AI-enabled software that analyzes millions of customer reviews and online opinions for customer experience insights and intelligence.
Boaz Grinvald is a top-performing technology business executive with over 20 years of experience, including previous roles as a CEO, General Manager, and Executive. Boaz has founded a bootstrap company that grew to $20M revenue with a single round of financing.
In an exclusive interview with AsiaTechDaily, Boaz says:
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. You need to be resilient and be able to cope with many disappointments. If you don’t think you can handle it, don’t get started. The best advice I got was to know that to get upset at the right person, for the right reason, at the right time – is practically impossible. Be patient.
Try to better balance work-life balance. Entrepreneurs tend to invest themselves in the business, and the business takes it’s toll 7 days a week.
Read on to know more about Boaz Grinvald and his journey.
Please tell me about your personal background, and What motivated you to get started with your company?
Boaz Grinvald: I’m a serial entrepreneur, and this is the 5th company I manage. I love building businesses and solve real-world problems. My background is in computer science, and I started my career in building out technology products but was always drawn to the business side.
What is your current main product, and can you share any previous product pivot story to the current product?
Boaz Grinvald: Revuze Explorer, our flagship product, is the first truly automated solution that turns consumer feedback and UGC into actionable insights. It produces an entire market catalog with all products/topics/likes/dislikes. This approach allows operational roles in brands as well as executives to make data-driven decisions in marketing, product, innovation, monitor new product launches, improve customer service, and eCommerce ROI.
Originally Revuze’s product was built to help consumers make educated buying decisions based on the same technology. Still, as brands who used it liked it so much, the company pivoted to serve them.
How much money have you raised in total so far? When was the recent funding round?
Boaz Grinvald: Revuze raised ~$12M so far. Our last round was in Feb. 2020 and it was our A round.
How have you attracted users, and with what strategy have you grown your company from the start to now?
Boaz Grinvald: What is unique about Revuze is that it is helping operational roles in brands, Mid to low-level managers, and higher-level management at the same time. We focus on a hybrid between insights-driven content marketing, inbound marketing together with an ABM strategy to engage with our prospects. All of our sales cycles are over the phone from our HQ in Israel.
Which has been the best marketing software tool for the growth of your startup, and why?
Boaz Grinvald: We leverage HubSpot heavily. It is super easy to use and a very powerful platform for B2B marketing.
What do most startups get wrong about marketing in general?
Boaz Grinvald: Differentiation is key to any marketing activity, and most startups fail to differentiate themselves well enough to make their campaigns work.
What were the internal decision processes in determining when to begin fundraising, and what were the logistics for this? And how many investors have you met so far, and how did you meet these investors and which channels worked best for you?
Boaz Grinvald: Fundraising, unfortunately, is a lonely job reserved for the CEO and founder/s. It’s their responsibility to find, engage, and close the investors. Today, fortunately, many lists and databases that exist, and there are also capable investment brokers. It is important to keep in mind that a funding round takes around 6 months on average, so you need to start the raise 6-9 months ahead of the need. It is also important to focus on relevant investors that target your company type, phase, and region. You will need to meet dozens of investors, 50-100 is a typical scenario, to close 1 or 2 of them.
What are the biggest challenges and obstacles that you have faced in the process of fundraising? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
Boaz Grinvald: Investors will disengage quickly once they are unhappy with your presentation, supporting data, team, positioning, financial plan, etc. Which is why planning for around should be done carefully. You need to make sure everything is in place and test it out with friends and investors you trust before heading out. This is something I have picked up along the way and was not religious about in the past.
What are your milestones for the next round? And what are your goals for the future?
Boaz Grinvald: We are building a world-leading organization and see a blue ocean. We believe our B round will take place in 2021 following the massive growth we are achieving with our A round funding.
How do you plan to expand globally?
Boaz Grinvald: Our plan is to open up shop in the US for now and leverage partnerships in other areas. We already have partners in China, Russia, India, and other regions. Our sales are made over the phone, which gives us great flexibility in our expansion plans.
What are the most common mistakes companies make with global expansion?
Boaz Grinvald: Typically hiring too fast overseas, mostly in the US, and too senior. It’s easy to get impressed with a US executive and hire them immediately even before you have proven sales methods or proper infrastructure.
How do you handle this COVID-19 outbreak situation for your company’s survival in the future?
Boaz Grinvald: We’re lucky to see lots of interest and scale both from existing and new customers as they focus more on eCommerce and D2C. We are still optimizing our operations and making sure we are not overspending in any area and maintain budget control.
What are the most common mistakes founders make when they start a company?
Boaz Grinvald: The single most important thing is to pick up the right partner/s. This will make or break the company – the quality of the team, the team spirit and collaboration will define the team’s ability to handle crises as they come.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? And What advice do you have for someone who is interested in doing similar things like yours or in a similar direction?
Boaz Grinvald: Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. You need to be resilient and be able to cope with many disappointments. If you don’t think you can handle it, don’t get started. The best advice I got was to know that to get upset at the right person, for the right reason, at the right time – is practically impossible. Be patient.
What are the one or two things that you would do differently to improve your life if you could go back to 10 years ago?
Boaz Grinvald: Try to better balance work-life balance. Entrepreneurs tend to invest themselves in the business, and the business takes it’s toll 7 days a week.
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