I Began My First Enterprise At 12 Years Outdated. Now, My Good friend & I Run A

Posted on

Hiya! Who’re you and what enterprise did you begin?

Hello there! I’m Oleg – the serial entrepreneur with a technical background, and together with my good friend Andrii, I’m operating an online scraping service – ScrapingAnt. The first purpose of this service is to supply a capability to overlook in regards to the dealing with of your knowledge extraction infrastructure and get all of the wanted knowledge from the net utilizing our easy-to-integrate API.

Most of our prospects use our API to get knowledge from NFT marketplaces, Amazon, Walmart, Reserving.com, and so forth., so our device helps companies make selections based mostly on knowledge. Generally, our service’s ideally suited buyer is an organization or a personal entrepreneur who can combine the information storing answer with our API (an organization has an individual with programming data or an entire group of programmers). Nonetheless, we additionally present customized options (implement and run the information gathering code on our servers, so a buyer receives pure knowledge because of this).

In December 2021, we made a 7.1k $ revenue, nevertheless it wasn’t the common month, as we received an amazing one-time knowledge extraction job. A typical month is averagely twice much less in cash.

What’s your backstory and the way did you provide you with the thought?

I’m consistently making an attempt to create some enterprise, and I suppose this annoying behavior is part of my character, so I’m used to it. I’ve tried totally different thrilling areas, like blockchain, AI, IoT, and {hardware}, however I by no means tried to suppose large whereas constructing tasks in these areas.

My first enterprise enterprise was a slight seasonal stationery store inside my mom’s store once I was 12 years outdated. My father inspired me to strive my very own self-funded enterprise based mostly on a seasonal demand of workbooks, pens, and pencils earlier than at first of a brand new college yr, so I went by means of a number of large stationery shops in my city, in contrast costs, and fulfilled the availability for all my financial savings (made by pocket cash, after all).

The tip of my first season was fairly apparent – I’ve provided myself for the entire research yr with the leftovers due to poor market analysis. Nonetheless, it was the one first-year drawback, as I’ve already discovered how a lot of every specific stationery I’ve to arrange for my prospects.

The principle thought whereas doing what you are promoting is to seek out out the “thingy”. It’s a legendary entrepreneurship stack of area of interest, advertising, and positioning that brings you prospects who like your product.

Proper earlier than the entire story with COVID lockdown began, I began a number of e-commerce tasks that closed rapidly as a result of provide issues, so I began new areas. And my shut good friend Andrii advised me that he’s in search of a brand new job. I quickly scheduled a name with him to speak about creating a brand new knowledge supplier for the playing business.

Nonetheless, Andrii was skeptical in regards to the scope and proposed to begin from a small piece of this data-providing journey – knowledge scraping. My good friend labored for a number of years on establishing extremely scalable infrastructures for knowledge gathering, so it took about 1 month to create a easy answer based mostly on AWS Lambdas.
Whereas the MVP implementation, we additionally discovered a number of startups that already proved this concept, so we immediately went to the market.

Take us by means of the method of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Our essential product is SaaS (Software program as a Service), so the entire course of of making a product begins from the purchasers’ suggestions. All of the enter is gathered in a consistently refined pool and remodeled into backlog duties.

Whereas we’re utilizing Kanban as a software program improvement methodology, we prioritize these points relying on the frequency of asking by prospects, our high-level imaginative and prescient for the product, and complexity. Then we’re simply taking it one after the other, implementing, deploying, notifying our customers in regards to the change, and shifting ahead.

After 2-3 months of the energetic improvement section, we’re taking a break to look backward and consider the effectivity of made selections and applied options. Primarily based on that data, we’re tuning our refinement course of and beginning the entire course of once more.

To launch the MVP, we spent just a few weeks and round 100$ on web site builder subscription and internet hosting. Since our group is include builders, we’ve created all the pieces on our personal and the primary publicly accessible scraping answer was based mostly on sluggish and unstable, however free proxies.

To keep away from pre-paid servers we’ve used AWS Lambda, so we have been in a position to scale as a lot as wanted with out shopping for servers. For sure that our MVP wasn’t a aggressive and worthwhile answer in any respect, however we needed to begin our knowledge business journey!

Describe the method of launching the enterprise.

Truthfully talking, we weren’t adequate on the launching section. We solely knew that our product can be an API at first of this journey. We weren’t positive about any strategy of SaaS enterprise launch, so we have been in search of a strategy to begin it as a lot as potential with the minimal effort.

Throughout some analysis, we discovered a unbelievable API market – RapidAPI. It means that you can monetize your API by proxying it to the purchasers utilizing their billing platform, so that you don’t have to create any further software program besides the one one – your API with a enterprise logic (net scraping API). We have been in search of a strategy to convey some prospects to it, so we created a touchdown web page utilizing WordPress and a codeless plugin for creating customized designs. Our present touchdown web page is just like the unique one (we’re engaged on the redesign proper now, so it is going to be out of date):


Additionally, to draw preliminary prospects utilizing web optimization, we created a web page the place we shared a listing of free-to-use proxy servers. It’s nonetheless accessible, and it makes use of the know-how we’ve got made to collect these proxy servers from the web.

All of the financing of this enterprise remains to be from our pockets, as we’re each software program builders with a cumulative expertise of greater than 20 years and the precise improvement of the know-how is our most important expense. We haven’t spent any cash in the course of the launch besides shopping for a website identify and a subscription for the WordPress codeless design creator.

Since launch, what has labored to draw and retain prospects?

We tried to launch social media adverts and Google Advertisements, however we haven’t managed to work them correctly, so commercial was the primary attempt to get preliminary prospects (the one confirmed technique at that second I’ve discovered from e-commerce).

e targeted on creating open-source tasks at Github and writing significant technical articles for technicians to indicate the benefits of our know-how and the way it may change the information gathering circulation. Nonetheless, we’re each software program builders and consultants within the knowledge area, and we are able to share our expertise with the World. Generally this technique is named “Content material advertising”, however I’m not 100% agree with this time period. I’d insist on calling it “Giver advertising” as whereas making an attempt to assist and share, you possibly can construct extra belief and powerful relationships with shoppers. Because of this, folks organically discovered our service by open-source instruments that use our API without cost and Google.

Our second purpose is to supply the absolute best buyer assist even for non-registered or free subscription plan customers. We consider that an individual we’ve helped as soon as can be extra loyal to us personally regardless of how our opponents are cheaper (they aren’t, truly). As founders, we attempt to hold answering emails immediately after receiving them, so many of the responses to us began with “Thanks for a fast response” or one thing comparable. Such phrases make us really feel that we’re doing the suitable issues, even by being a two-person firm.

Blind luck wouldn’t let you repeat all of the discovered classes and begin a brand new profitable enterprise once more. It’s onerous and demotivating typically, nevertheless it’s the one strategy to study one thing and it’s the one strategy to do one thing large whereas ranging from small.

In fact, a few of our prospects cease utilizing ScrapingAnt after a while and we’re in search of a strategy to collect extra suggestions about causes, however at first, we’re checking the standard of information offered to them whereas utilizing our service to seek out out the issue with out interplay after which solely we talk with them about additional steps.

We haven’t carried out an excessive amount of to this point to aggressively promote our present service, as we’re concentrating on to re-imagine the entire knowledge assortment for giant firms. Nonetheless, with out speaking with just like us builders, it might be onerous to grasp the ache factors and obtain belief.

How are you doing as we speak and what does the longer term appear to be?

Yeah, we’re worthwhile. All our revenue is reinvested into the corporate once more: new proxy swimming pools, freelance writers, and so forth. We’re making an attempt to spend money on know-how as a lot as we are able to as we speak.

The principle thought whereas doing what you are promoting is to seek out out the “thingy”. It’s a legendary entrepreneurship stack of area of interest, advertising, and positioning that brings you prospects who like your product. We’re nonetheless within the progress of the “thingy” search, however every day we develop into nearer to this goal as we’ve got extra alternatives to speak with our prospects and web site guests.

Lately we signed a collaboration contract with a software program improvement firm Codery. I’ve labored for a number of years with a few of the staff from there and I could be 100% positive in regards to the offered high quality. Codery is a know-how firm targeted on serving to various-size firms throughout a number of industries create distinctive software program merchandise of any complexity with the help of cost-efficient distant employees augmentation. This partnership permits us to leverage capability by involving high-performing professionals inside a short while.

By way of beginning the enterprise, have you ever discovered something notably useful or advantageous?

Oh. We spend a whole lot of time ready for our first prospects at RapidAPI as a substitute of making our platform. Additionally, fixing authorized stuff like firm registration took a whole lot of our time as a result of COVID flights restrictions. I’ve discovered a number of good mantras that assist me daily. You shouldn’t suppose that somebody would cowl any specific a part of what you are promoting and allow you to do your half – It might result in a failure. Everybody ought to have full management over the state of affairs.

Additionally, whereas beginning this enterprise I hoped to haven’t any random luck whereas doing one thing. Blind luck wouldn’t let you repeat all of the discovered classes and begin a brand new profitable enterprise once more. It’s onerous and demotivating typically, nevertheless it’s the one strategy to study one thing and it’s the one strategy to do one thing large whereas ranging from small.

What platform/instruments do you utilize for what you are promoting?

We’re each tech guys, so all our tech stack is a self-made highly-scalable infrastructure based mostly on a Kubernetes cluster. The answer is at present hosted in AWS, as we’ve got began with AWS Lambda, however our technical purpose is to attain a bare-metal deployment quickly.

Expertise can’t be purchased, and the simplest strategy to earn cash is to discover a job, so solely follow and dedication matter right here.

Most of our infrastructure relies on open-source options, besides the associates program, which is hosted at Tapfiliate, fee and a subscription/fee gateway utilized in ScrapingAnt is Paddle. All emails are despatched utilizing Sendgrid, however I’ve no strict preferences, so I can recommend any e-mail sending system that may suit your pocket and enterprise wants.

What have been probably the most influential books, podcasts, or different assets?

Throughout my complete enterprise expertise, I’ve all the time been impressed by my mother and father. They all the time tried to earn some further cash for our household and began companies whereas doing their common full-time job. I feel that the motivation they gave me was probably the most influential expertise in my life.

I’d like to say the podcast Construct Your SaaS by TransistorFM. I discovered them randomly whereas ready for my flight once I visited Poland for the primary time (our headquarters is positioned in Warsaw). One of the best factor I’ve discovered on this podcast is honesty, together with the simple speak about critical elements of rising your SaaS firm.

Recommendation for different entrepreneurs who wish to get began or are simply beginning out?

I’ve tried a number of totally different companies, and all of them have been impressed and focused with totally different targets and functions.

Usually, I’d say that if you wish to begin incomes cash first, then I’d recommend ending up with rising what you are promoting/startup if after 2 years you haven’t reached 10k MMR per founder (I suppose I discovered this tip at “Construct Your SaaS” podcast).

In any other case – simply do it and don’t surrender till you end up assured sufficient to begin a brand new enterprise with a distinct thought that may achieve success.

Expertise can’t be purchased, and the simplest strategy to earn cash is to discover a job, so solely follow and dedication matter right here.

Are you trying to rent for sure positions proper now?

We’re consistently in search of technical and non-technical content material creators to jot down articles for our weblog. It’s a superb alternative for anybody who wish to begin their content material profession, swap from the software program improvement routines or co-operate with the ScrapingAnt model.

It’s a project-based alternative, so we’d be comfortable to listen to you at [email protected]

The place can we go to study extra?

You probably have any questions or feedback, drop a remark under!

Extra data could be additionally discovered right here.
And right here.


Founding father of ScrapingAnt

Uncover the very best methods of profitable enterprise house owners

Be a part of our e-newsletter and obtain our handcrafted recap with the very best insights shared by founders in Starter Story every week.

Helpful, handy, and free:


Do you know that manufacturers utilizing Klaviyo common a 95x ROI?

Electronic mail, SMS, and extra — Klaviyo brings your advertising all collectively, fueling development with out burning by means of time and assets.

Ship extra related e-mail and textual content messages —
powered by your knowledge.
Klaviyo helps you flip one-time patrons into repeat prospects with all the facility of an enterprise answer and not one of the complexity.

Be a part of Brumate, Beardbrand, and the 265,000 different companies utilizing Klaviyo to develop their on-line gross sales.

Attempt Klaviyo without cost proper now ➜

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.