CakeMail launched their public beta last weekend at BarCamp Montreal. The company, founded by serial entrepreneur Francois Lane, is only offering email marketing services through resellers, a pretty contrarian bet in a ?direct from the source? era. It remains to be seen whether or not offering service direct and through resellers would yield superior results, but either way there are some great lessons here for Canadian entrepreneurs.
Get other people to sell it
CakeMail is a white label email marketing platform. They are positioning themselves as wholesalers and doing everything possible to empower their resellers (marketing and web design agencies). I?m not entirely sure what keeping a per email pricelist off their site does when larger competitors publish comparison charts, but resellers probably appreciate the gesture.
Open and abstracted
CakeMail was designed from the ground up to leverage a community of developers. The UI is completely abstracted from the logic. In addition to offering reseller the ability to completely tailor the visual experience, CakeMail has opened up their API to give resellers the ability to extend the platform to their hearts content. It is a cost effective way to add functionality, experiment, and harnesses knowledge that only exists at the end user level.
Abstracting the interface has another benefit, localization. This is one area where Canadian entrepreneurs can really out do their peers south of the border. The company, based in Montreal Quebec, is a team of six, two of which are based in Eastern Europe. Count the fluencies. Localizing software is a big challenge and an even bigger opportunity (check out our recent post on Languify). CakeMail is already running in several languages, supports email in all characters, and is going to be quickly localized by end users.
Get traction? Then funding
Investors are risk averse. There is no better way to increase your funding prospects AND valuation, than by getting product out to paying customers. I asked Francois about the company?s capitalization and this is what he had to say:
?We are currently building a list of interested parties who could provide strategic synergies in addition to capital for rapid expansion into international markets. While we already have paying customers, we’d like to gain a bit more traction before starting funding negotiations in earnest.?
So take note, this guy has a recipe for success.