HasOffers, the fast-growing Seattle affiliate marketing startup, hit a crossroads in 2012. The 57-person company doubled revenue, pulling in $7.2 million. That’s up from $1.6 million in 2010 and $3.6 million in 2011, with the profitable company looking to hit $20 million in revenue this year. Not too shabby.
But in a blog post CEO Peter Hamilton laid out some of the roadblocks facing the company, describing some of the challenges it has encountered because it has decided to forego venture capital in favor of a bootstrapping approach.
And, at least for now, those bootstrapping ways will continue. Hamilton, who took over the CEO reins earlier this year, writes in the post:
We’ve seen a number of term sheets from investors this year, and we’ve kept our minds open to the possibility of the right partnership, but it hasn’t been easy. When you have a product with four years of historical revenue and a new disruptive platform entering the hype of mobile, you find yourself wedged between two camps.
There are those investors who are interested in scaling our flagship product and those that love the shiny object of the new product. The problem for us is that we see our products as two sides of the same coin. Tracking campaigns for mobile apps is not all that drastically different from tracking performance campaigns on desktop browsers. Sure there are some key identifiers and methods that are different, but it doesn’t change what we fundamentally do.
We are looking to solve for the elephant in the room — advertising attribution for performance marketers — and we are leading the way, so why not continue on our own terms for now?
We continue to bootstrap because it is an option. We grew by another 100% in revenue this year, scaling our team as we go, and we’re able to have the steady growth we need to keep up with client demand so far.
It isn’t always easy but I believe in the long run it is making us more agile and resourceful. I tip my hat to co-founders Lucas and Lee for staying strong this long, and I truly believe it has already paid off substantially.
HasOffers continues to grow, with Hamilton telling us that they plan to add another 30 employees by next summer. The goal is to hit $20 million in revenue in 2013 as it continues to focus on products and engineering, and grows its sales and marketing operations both in the U.S. and abroad. It opened its first office in Israel last year.