Startup News

Start-Up Chile alumni Doist reaches $20M+ ARR

LatAm ListDoist, a company that develops productivity software to help simplify and organize daily tasks, recently joined the US$2M+ MRR club. Founded by Amir Salihefendić, Doist masters remote working through the development of tools like Twist and Todoist. Aside from Start-Up Chile, the company never accepted outside capital and states that it doesn’t have an exit strategy, becoming a leader in the remote work, bootstrapping and mindful work communities.

Hugo Faquenoi, in charge of Doist’s Product Growth, posted a tweet storm announcing the company’s achievement. He explains that by increasing Todoist’s prices by 30% on its Premium Plan and doubling the price of the Business Plan, the company managed to increase its Business revenue by 170%.

“They had been historically low priced, and didn’t move in almost 10 years. It was time to reflect the real value of our plans,” says Faquenoi.

The growth is also in large part due to a change in its billing method from US$36/year to a US$4/month fee (right now on iOS and Android).

“I felt we were not giving an alternative to people who wanted to try without committing too much. Also not good for tighter finances,” says Faquenoi.

Salihefendić‏ responded to the tweet storm and shared some of his reflections and core principles via Twitter:

“We don’t operate by KPIs, and we are not data-driven, but data informed. The $2M in MRR indicates that we are on the right path, but it was never a goal.

We’ve never raised any money, and it’s our customers that have funded us from the beginning. Being customer funded gives us incredible freedom and alignment.

Building the best products that have a global impact drives us. We are continually pushing the level we operate at, and we are never satisfied with the status quo. When somebody tells me that Todoist is perfect, I just laugh…

We are picky about who we hire. For some jobs, it takes us months to hire a hell-yeah candidate, and for some postings, we go through thousands of applications.

We compete against huge corporations (Google, Microsoft, and Apple), and we thrive because we have skin in the game. For them, this is one of the thousands of things they do, and for us, it’s our livelihood.

We value a work-life balance with perks like 40 vacation days per year. Most of our work is creative, and it’s a big advantage that people can disconnect, recharge and come back with fresh perspectives.

A playbook does not exist for remote-first companies, but this isn’t bad as we can think from first-principles and reimagine how work should be done in the 21st century.

Our work is far from done given the chaos that surrounds organization and communication. We have only scratched the surface of what’s possible, and we have a lot of ideas on how to improve things further.

I have spent over ten years working on this, and I never had an exit strategy. Full commitment and long-term thinking are invaluable when most others are focused on the short-term.

With all the above said, we still have burning fires and things we need to get much better at. Doist isn’t a perfect place to work at and it probably never will be.”

Doist’s next steps will be to bring monthly billing to the web, macOS and Windows, and to switch to a value-based business model. This means, instead of having 20+ features under paywalls, they’ll offer a more generous free plan and find the right limits.

To learn more about Doist, listen to these podcast episodes featuring Amir Salihefendić, and the Doist’s Head of Marketing, Brenna Loury.

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