Vikas Jha
Vikas JhaDigital Entrepreneur & Ex- VC

What are some startups that never raised money from VCs or Angels and still made it?

I am planning to research all these companies and find if they had some common traits
Your recommendation
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13 recommended
  1. Vikas Jha
    Vikas JhaDigital Entrepreneur & Ex- VC · Written
    Primary reason for not raising : As a founder, I have no interest in exit or liquidity. I am in business to run a business, not to run away from it. Or as Warren Buffet puts it: Our favorite holding period is forever.
  2. Tejas Kinger
    Tejas Kinger20SaaS Product Marketing @ Freshworks Inc · Written
    MailChimp, a marketing automation and email marketing service founded in 2001 is yet another bootstrapped behemoth. It has a user base of approx. 450,000 users who send over 10 billion emails using the platform.
  3. 2

    Unified customer service platform

    Tejas Kinger
    Tejas Kinger20SaaS Product Marketing @ Freshworks Inc · Written
    Founded in 2001, Kayako is a customer service platform company that is bootstrapped. It has 30,000+ customers around the globe, 150+ employees, $5 million in revenue and rivals Zendesk, Freshdesk, etc.
    • Ben Holz
      Ben HolzSoftware Developer

      I wanted to like Kayako, I really did. I recommended it to one of my large clients who performed a full integration. We were excited about the chat feature. The problem? Well it just doesn't work. We wanted to turn off the requirement for an email, doesn't work. We wanted to show our agents were online and happy to help - nope, kept saying we would be back later to answer their questions even though we were online. These are basic 101 features of chat and they weren't working, very frustrating. Also wanted to add, I had a chat conversation with one of their agents/employees (Gary C.) and it was ugly. He told me this "the fact that you don't appreciate the feature speaks volumes about your help desk knowledge". Seriously. Note, I was asking about allowing someone to initiate a chat without requiring their email address. Apparently he didn't understand that the vast majority of of visitors to websites just want a quick question answered and don't want to handout their email address.

  4. Tejas Kinger
    Tejas Kinger20SaaS Product Marketing @ Freshworks Inc · Written
    FusionCharts: JavaScript charts for web & mobile, is another successful bootstrapped startup. Founded in 2002, the company currently has 27000+ customers in 118 countries.
  5. Tejas Kinger
    Tejas Kinger20SaaS Product Marketing @ Freshworks Inc · Written
    Quick Heal Technologies Ltd., was founded in 1993, is an IT security solutions, having partnered with Microsoft and Intel. With a global spread of offices. Quick Heal has grown on the global footprint with a string of new offices recently set up in the US, UAE, Kenya, and Japan. Since the inception, Quick Heal has more than 24 million product installations and today they have an active license user base of more than 7 million.
  6. Raj Anand
    Raj AnandChief Lantern at Goodman Lantern · Written
    I believe hunter in it's own right is making it big and they don't want to raise money. Here is an interview with the founder Antoine Finkelstein who confirmed that they are profitable and not looking for any funding:
  7. 3

    Live, Web-Based Browser Testing.

    Halim Muhammad
    Halim MuhammadLets decentralize this world! · Written
    Their tech is brilliant even Google's engineers love it, they are awesome and they are raking in millions .
  8. 2
    Basecamp 3

    The best version of Basecamp ever made

    Tejas Kinger
    Tejas Kinger20SaaS Product Marketing @ Freshworks Inc · Written
    Basecamp (37signals) the maker of web based productivity tools, founded in 1999 is another successful bootstrapped startup.
    • Johnathan Holland
      Johnathan HollandI truly obsess over helping others..

      Basecamp makes it much easier to manage the tasks your remote team is doing in a clean UI so that you get a good view of what is happening in the organizing. Amazing product!

    • Matt Pliszka
      Matt PliszkaCEO & co-founder @

      One of the more complex apps for managing projects, a good one for keeping your team updated about the activity on each project/task.

  9. Tejas Kinger
    Tejas Kinger20SaaS Product Marketing @ Freshworks Inc · Written
    Wingify, the makers of VWO (Visual Web Optimizer), the world's easiest A/B testing tool is also a bootstrapped firm.
  10. 2
    Instant 5.0

    Personal analytics, now with a new dashboard & goals

    Shashwat Pradhan
    Shashwat PradhanCEO/Founder @emberify · Written
    Shashwat Pradhan made this product
    We monetised early on and invested in user growth. We also diversified into other niches.
    Comments (2)Share
  11. gokul
    gokulNot a fanboy. Tech enthusiast. · Written
    Best tech news aggregator.
    Comments (1)Share
  12. 2
    Nomad List 2.0

    Find the best cities to live and work remotely

    LeandroCo-founder, Unubo · Written
    Created by @levelsio, a one man startup.
  13. 2
    Design Pickle

    Unlimited graphic design services for flat monthly fee

    JohnProduct Manager @ Design Pickle · Written
    The most helpful creative company in the world. Design Pickle was founded in 2015 by Russ Perry to help small businesses find a reliable graphic designer with an easy-to-use system to submit design requests. To date, Design Pickle has completed over 100,000 design requests and currently staffs over 85 people across the world.