Broadlume: How an Ex-Googler Built a $220m Vertical SaaS in Flooring


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An ex-Googler built a $220m company by creating software for flooring stores.

They scaled to $10s of million in revenue in just a few years.

The wild story you've never heard of...

Broadlume is an all-in-one marketing and management platform for flooring retailers.

Today they have 3,500+ retailers on the platform.

But Broadlume started out as a very different business before a crazy pivot.

Meet Todd Saunders, the founder and CEO.

In 2015, Todd was working at Google helping companies grow with Google Ads.

They became great at optimizing accounts.

He left with a coworker to found AdHawk to help more companies optimize ads.

Over 3 years they grew to 50 employees.

But their retention wasn't great.

A generic adtech company wasn't anything special.

Their biggest customer was in flooring.

Retention was 95% in flooring and 80% with everyone else.

Todd went to a flooring conference to learn more.

They told him to stand on a step stool in the corner and talk.

He found a $90 billion market that hadn't been touched by technology.

There was an opportunity to become the vertical software company for the flooring industry.

Their biggest customer, FloorForce, offered a variety of digital services for flooring companies.

Not just ads.

They bought it in December 2018.

They had no background in the industry.

FloorForce's founder was happy about the sale.

During 2019, they set out to become the all-in-one flooring platform.

They fired their non-flooring customers.

Revenue dropped from $6m to $3m.

It was tough. The full pivot took a year.

Growth Through Acquisition

In 2020 & 2021, they grew their product offerings through acquisition.

Each purchase leveled up their suite:

- Retail Lead Management (CRM)

- Creating Your Space (Websites)

- Freetail (Product Visualization)

- RollMaster (ERP + Payments)

- FloorForce (Websites)

- Banaboom (ERP)

Step 1: Unconventional Go-To-Market

Industry Conference

Start the premier flooring conference to gather the industry in one place.

A fancy conference was unheard of in the boring industry.

The first one was digital and they got 3,000 attendees.

The majority of their sales come from it.

Facebook Group

They built a 4,000-member flooring community called "Beat The Box Stores"

Todd used his personal Facebook to friend all the members. He responded to every single post / comment to get it off the ground.

It's responsible for 20% of all their inbound leads today.

Website Wedge

They use their website platform to get customers in the door and make it easy to show their products for sale.

Customers either don't have a website or it is horrible. Value clicks right away in the demo.

Then they need to upgrade to keep up with the new leads.

Result: It worked!

After dropping revenue from $6m to $3m with the pivot.

They grew to $22m in revenue in just a 2-year period.

And raised a $60m Series B from PSG in 2022.

Broadlume Growth Playbook

Niche down to grow - Examine what your best customers have in common

Gather your industry - Digitally with groups & physically with in-person conferences.

Find your wedge product - A suite is overwhelming. A simple website is a great stepping stone.