SaaS Founder Interview with Patrícia Osorio, Co-Founder & CMO of Birdie
Birdie is an innovative startup that helps companies understand millions of consumers opinions, transforming unstructured data into actionable insights.
Tony Zayas 0:20
Hey everybody, welcome to the SaaS founders Show! I’m Tony Zayas. I’m joined with Andy Halko. Andy, how are you doing this cold, staying warm?
Andy Halko 0:31
There’s a lot of snow out there. I’ll tell you that I was up yesterday morning at like 4am shoveling. So that’s exactly what I want to be doing.
Tony Zayas 0:40
I was like shoveling wet snow, so not. Yeah, pretty much rehabbing. So, well, very cool. We have another founder here with a ton of great experience. And I’m really excited to talk to you here today. So, we have Pat Osorio, she’s co-founder and CMO at Birdie. So Pat, how you doing?
Patrícia Osorio 1:02
Hi, guys. Good morning. I’m doing great. Good morning, the sunshine state. So, I don’t have problems with snow at all.
Andy Halko 1:02
We have a couple team members in Florida. So, they usually rub it in when we snuck you know when we get snow and all that. So very cool. Well, thank you for taking time out of your busy day to talk to us. We’re super excited to hear all about, you know, you got a really impressive background a lot that you’ve done. But I just want to share a little bit about the description of Birdie. So, it’s a SaaS company with a powerful AI platform that captures consumer feedback from numerous sources and generates real time actionable insights, enabling consumer brands to prioritize areas, they’ll have the most impact on the business. So really cool. And I guess typically, we like to start out with, you know, the origin story. So where did Birdie come from?
Patrícia Osorio 1:53
Cool. So um, I used to work at a company that I’m a partner of, and this company is a martec provider for Fortune 500 companies, it pretty much automates all the process of producing, approving and starring campaigns. And one of my roles there was to lead product development, innovation, and new business development. And while he was doing some research on trends and new things that we could do, for this previous company, we I saw some data about how the number of reviews online was growing. And the number of consumer feedback available online was higher and higher. And I started thinking about how brands could use that, to benefit themselves in the sense of learning about what consumers are saying, learning that somehow to their, to their own. And I kind of got a project I presented to our CEO at the time, and me and him and another person from the company, we were so passionate about that idea that we couldn’t stop speaking about talking about it, discussing about it. And it ended up that the three of us decided to leave this previous company and start birdie from scratch, to focus on that to focus on that opportunity.
Tony Zayas 3:24
Very cool. That’s pretty interesting. I think. Being in the you know, I like to say it’s the post information age, right? Like, we don’t necessarily the information age was having the access to all this information, right. And that was super exciting. When we first gained all those insight to that information. And then we got to the point, I feel it’s kind of the post information age where it’s how do we make sense of that information? And how do we make it usable? So, it sounds like you’re addressing a really challenging problem that a lot of companies face?
Patrícia Osorio 3:59
Yeah, we like to say that our two main two main things, the two main pillars that make birdie important and relevant, one of them is exactly what you said it we call it infobase City. So, there’s so much information of it so much data available, actually that most of us actors, most of people struggle with really turning that data into something that’s really actionable into something that’s really insightful. And the second we call the validation economy, and the validation economy is pretty much people today they are not buying anything anymore based on what brands are saying. They are worried about other people’s validation. So, combining two things like we need to get validation for consumers, and we need to try to make sense out of data. That was the perfect storm for us to just start. It’s great, right?
Tony Zayas 4:48
It’s great. Great.
Andy Halko 4:49
So, what did the you know, you talk a little bit about the origin story, but you know, how did the the product come to life? Was it you know, bootstrap? Did you have someone on the team that was technical? How did you actually bring it take an idea to reality?
Patrícia Osorio 5:06
Cool. That’s an interesting thing. So, in a previous company, that the one that I mentioned before, it’s at bootstraps We always have to today, it is still bootstrapping, I’ve never raised money. And when we started already one of the things that we said is that, okay, I want to have the experience of being VC backed. So, we started bootstrap. But because we had a lot of relationship with some VCs, and some, some investors, angel investors, we after less than one year, we already raised a seed round. And this helped us to grow the team. But before that, me, Alex, my co-founder, we are not technical. Hood. rigo, who is our third co-founder is technical, but he’s not a data scientist guy, he is more product management, user interface. So, he’s more in that space in the in the front-end part of things. And we needed someone that was really, really good with data science, we artificial intelligence, we stayed for probably four months talking to a lot of connections, trying to find someone that was not only technically good, but also had a very strong cultural fit with us. Because you know, that for you to have like, a partner or someone that’s going to be with you in our journey is not only about the technical part, it is all about what you want to be you having the same dreams, the same views. And it took us a while we spoke to a lot of people until we were connected to a guy named Alberto. And as soon as we met him, like every question we asked him, the answers were like, exactly the same like things that we thought about the same vision, the same dreams, same, wanting to build something that is really disruptive. And then we say, okay, we found the right guy, we know you’ll get goosebumps when we were talking to him. And we say okay, this is the guy, then we managed to convince him to leave his own his previous company and join us. And that’s when we started developing everything. Wow,
Andy Halko 7:11
Wow, how did you develop that initial vision and, and make it something that you all agreed on was there Did someone kind of write it out, I was just sitting down and talking about it. You know, I’m always interested in how you kind of take things that are in your head. And there’s probably so much and pare it down to something that’s like a plan.
Patrícia Osorio 7:34
We had two main moments and that the first one was ever the one with the ego pretty much developing like the backbone of the concept. So, they developed a few crawlers, because we needed to capture the information. Then they built the AI models, the basic AI models to process and structure that and then just a basic dashboard. So, it was started showing those insights from the crawlers. And that was the first the first practice that we had from there, or started presenting to a few companies to people to get the perception. And we one of those presentations. We presented it to people in Samsung, inside Samsung. And they invited us to join an acceleration program that they had. And this was the second stage because after we joined deceleration program, we were able to get some money from them to increase that improve the development of the product. And then we hired a few interns. So, in the beginning, it was pretty much Everton, and interns that were helping him with doing the crawlers and the machine learning model. Until we really had something in place that we could start getting in the hands to the hands of the clients and say, start testing start give us giving us feedback and tell us what you know. Building a new product, building a product actually is an ongoing thing. You guys know that, like you’re always improving, you’re always learning, you’re always getting feedback. So, one thing that we did is that we started to use bi platforms just to build faster prototypes that we could give to the clients get their feedback before we really develop the product. So, we are iterating a lot with that. And that give us more time and make give us the certainty that when we are putting it into the product. It’s something that’s really validated by the by the customers.
Tony Zayas 9:33
So I like to ask, I think there’s a number of things that dive into there. But as far as their customer feedback and nominal product, right? It’s an ongoing thing. And it’s all so important to hear what your users are seeing. What do you guys have in place to capture that information? And then how do you organize it prioritize that? Etc.
Patrícia Osorio 9:58
We, we have to improve a lot on that process. Today we use our own platforms or our platform has a CMS in the back. So, any feedback that consumer gives related to data quality of the sentiment, quality of the context of the site. So, if that makes sense or not, they give feedback in the platform in our own platform. And that goes to our CMS, and that CMS fits the model. So, it’s a constant process of improving the model, you know, like that. Artificially, intelligence needs to be built from somewhere. And it’s built, in our case, from the collective crowds for the feedback of consumers. And that’s for the data for the features. So, , for product features for the front, they, we have weekly specials with some of the clients, and they tell us what they’re missing when they tell us that. So, , it’s, that’s not we don’t have an interface or something like intercom when it plays that they share. When they tell us that in the meetings, we use notion to organize stuff to prioritize pretty much based on some criteria is how many clients are asking how crucial that is for the clients, how scalable that is, for us as a as a feature that we can use for others. And we use that to define what we’re going to choose to start developing. That’s great.
Tony Zayas 11:23
I’m kind of curious, you know, we usually talk about this towards the end, but vision of the company in the future, like what where do you see things going not only for, you know, birdie, but also the industry and the trends that are coming up.
Andy Halko 11:24
I’m kind of curious, you know, we usually talk about this towards the end, but vision of the company in the future, like what where do you see things going not only for, you know, birdie, but also the industry and the trends that are coming up.
Patrícia Osorio 11:42
For the industry, starting with the industry, we think we are in a very special moment, because there’s a lot of m&a is happening, a lot of investment happening in this space of consumer insights and artificial intelligence, customer service. So, , there’s a lot happening there. And I think that that’s a good moment Exactly. Because of what I said in the beginning, right? More than ever, consumers are buying online, they’re using other consumers feedback to make their decisions. And that is generating a lot of uncertainty for brands. These brands need to as fast as they can get customer feedback in a scalable way, learn from it, so they can finally improve their products, make changes to their service and anything like that. So that’s a very special moment. And we’re happy to be like exactly working on that space in that moment in the right time. For us, what do we have as a visions that we started just capturing and processing user reviews, but we want to go much further than that what we see ourselves becoming is a system of intelligence, and a system of intelligence pretty much a layer that connects into systems of engagement, things like customer service platforms, social listening tools, any any advertising platform, or anything that is in between the client and the end the brands where they are having conversation service tools, things like that, and systems or records like a CRN eirp any place that they are storing information. So, , the system of intelligence enters as the layer that’s plugging into this two types of sources, that is plugging into the third party sources you and that’s making sense of all this data, that’s making sense of everything that’s being said. And we see ourselves becoming the one place where a brand goes to learn about everything that their consumers are thinking everything that their customers are seeing everything they’re expecting from the brand, by connecting all these other sources.
Andy Halko 13:53
I’m also would love to explore because this is something that we’re talking about with some other folks even right now. But you know, how do you balance that vision with reality? And what I mean is, you know, the speed of adoption in the industry, the you know, capability of customers to be able to integrate your speed at being able to acquire or build product. So how do you I you know, I know as visionaries, we have this idea in our head and the future and what it could be and the potential and then there’s, you know, all those, those challenges of reality, how do you how do you balance that as a leader?
Patrícia Osorio 14:33
That’s really hard. Sometimes you want to do something, but the markets not ready or you need to have like something before to for that to make sense. I think in the beginning, it’s a little harder, because before you get your first customers, it’s a lot of guessing right is a lot of what should I do next? Will this be the feature that will give me product market feed in the future that will that will make my customers stay and stick with our product? And we made a lot of mistakes in the beginning like we wanted to do one thing because it was cooler or because this was the platform of, of the moment, you know, so there are even personal reasons all I love Reddit. So, let’s do read it first. So, we had, we made a lot of mistakes like that in the beginning, I think that once you start to get the clients, you can use them a lot if you have a good relationship with them. And we are talking at radius about an enterprise SAS company, right. So, we have a few enterprise clients that give us a lot of feedback that we have very close relationships with. They help us balance and understand what is more critical now. So, we are constantly making changes in the roadmap, and sometimes bringing something that was planned to happen in the future to now based on what they mean. So just to give you two examples that are happening right now, we were planning on adding new countries new languages by the end of the year, but we had one client that requested for us to process Chinese actually have a few, but one of them was almost like a required feature. And because the Chinese markets growing a lot, the consumers in China are very different for them. So, they really need to get this feedback. And we decided to bring that to q1. Exactly, because this is something that I needed. So, they help us to tune in bring things to either now or bring it later, based on what they’re requesting. And the same thing happening we fund integration with Medallia is a serving platform that’s very, very big. And we are integrating with them now. Because there was also request from a few clients that use their solution.
Andy Halko 16:58
I think, you know, a lot of founders before they get started and even early on, don’t realize sometimes. So those requests that come in and you decide that put them up front, mean, something else probably comes off the table, you know that you may have planned and thought for the future. And I see that all the time is you have to make these decisions that maybe something gets prioritized. But that means something else can you prioritize? How do you balance that as part of your vision, you know, making sure you’re prioritizing the right things, and especially when they’re requests from clients, versus also the long-term vision of the product?
Patrícia Osorio 17:41
That’s, we need to have like, I think that’s when the power of the team comes, we have a very diverse and complementarity. Some of us are more optimistic. So, we always think that we can do things, some of us are more conservative and like, really try to use on paper and see if it’s possible to fit you to deliver two things at the same time and things like that. So, I think normally when we get to this moment, or we have a request, here, we have an idea there we sit together, everybody will try to balance all their opinions and see if we if we can really identify what is the one thing that needs to be prioritized. So, you gave a perfect example, like when we brought Chinese, we needed to postpone something. And then postponing something means needing to go to the clients and tell them that you’re not going to deliver something that you promised to deliver before means talking to your team who was focused on delivering that as an OIC ER and say, no, that’s not the focus anymore. So, there’s a lot of communication that needs to happen. But I think that as long as everybody in the team understands that agrees that that’s the best solution. And buys, get the buy into that idea. It’s easier. I there are some times where we add a new thing to the roadmap. And we don’t postpone anything. So, we say no, we have to deliver those two things at the same time. And we try to, to explain that to the team. The reasons why. And normally this comes from the business side. Normally this comes from me, this comes from Alex and the technical thing they need to say, Okay, I understand we need to evolve let’s let’s find a way. So, it’s it’s a lot of conversations, a lot of meetings, a lot of alignment between between the team, but that’s something that’s really important, but I think to make it easier, I’m the CTO has to have an easy way to show to everyone else why it needs to replace something with something why he can’t do two things at the same time. I think sometimes the problem is that happens is because somebody can’t communicate can explain why it’s not possible to choose two things at the same time. If that makes sense.
Andy Halko 20:13
Yeah, definitely. That’s a challenge.
Tony Zayas 20:17
For sure. Yeah. I’d like to hear more about the dynamic amongst the team. So, first of all, how do you guys have, you know, what does the team look like right now? How many people and what different roles do you have on the team?
Patrícia Osorio 20:30
So, I’ll start with the leadership team we have Alex is our CEO. I’m this year also are more and more focused on bringing revenue when in keeping the clients. Then we have Rico, the CPO he’s, he’s the owner of the vision. He’s the owner of the roadmap. And he is the owner of everything that we are prototyping and iterating. With the clients we have ever done the CTO, he is the one that that builds everything that we deliver. And we are we are the four founders, then recently, we brought you news active to the team, one is fat is our CEO. And he’s pretty much very close to the clients and the projects, doing part of customer success, making sure that the quality of the products, his product is delivering what our clients request. And recently, Fernando, the CMO I was into a few months ago responsible for both marketing and sales. And now I’m only with sales is more with marketing. Our team is probably 45 people now, we are growing a lot. We grew a lot in the past, I think until three or four months ago, we were with 30 people now we’re almost with 50. Most of them are in the technical team. So, we have one person in HR, we have one person helped me with sales, we have one person in marketing, and then everybody else is in product, technology or operations, making sure that we’re delivering this product.
Tony Zayas 22:08
How do you communicate that vision and the strategy and the decisions that you know, when you’re there’s a feature that you have to you know, table for time being because there’s another one that comes on that you guys got to focus on? How do you communicate that with the team? Like, do you guys do a lot of consistent communication amongst, you know, leadership? And then, you know, share that with the team? What does that look like? Just curious, for, as you mentioned, you know, the real positives about the team, and especially the fact that it’s growing.
Patrícia Osorio 22:41
We are a remote team, and we were always remote. So, before the pandemic, we were already remote we have. I’m in Florida, Alex is in California, Ted is in Dallas. So, we’re all over not only the West, but most of the team is in Brazil. So, we the communication needs to be very good. Because we are not in the same room all the time, you know, So, we have different time zones. So, it’s not easy in that sense. So that’s why we focus so much in communications. And what we do first, every week, we share a report with team about the results. We had we use okrs. So, we have goals for the quarter. And every week we share how are we performing on each of the OPR. So, everybody can know how the other teams are going. Every month, we have an all-hands meeting, where the CEO where Alex brings more information about our strategy, the decisions we made, how things are going. And we also have like specific means between each team’s every week. So, these are the three main things that we do to communicate. When we decided this year, for instance, when we define it, the company goals for the year and for the quarter, everybody got together, to discuss to see and to and to validate those okrs before we started to focus on all that. So, we’ve always tried to do something that’s also very collaborative. We use discord as our main communications to we used to use like, the technical team prefer Discord. So, we moved to Discord. And we have a lot of five channels there. We have a lot of different channels for people to enter and participate into a specific conversation. So, it’s a very open culture, where we share a lot of what’s happening.
Tony Zayas 24:30
Yeah, my culture side of things. I’m imagining, you know, with more people working remotely and virtual teams and all that, I think that is is more challenging. In that case, virtual people aren’t in the same rooms. They’re not seeing each other physically every day. So how do you guys how do you emphasize culture and how do you build that and grow it?
Patrícia Osorio 24:57
For me, emphasize beauty and emphasizing culture is every small act that you do like everything that you do every day is either reinforcing or going against our culture. So, this is one thing that we are very concerned as founders. We do we have a few programs, so just to share a few, a few of them. So, we have a weekly meeting where one of these actors presents how their area works, how their area is going. So, everybody can enter and participate and see. So, to bring this open, open koecher, everybody’s calendars is open. So, anybody from the company can enter and see what I’m doing with Who am I talking, they are allowed, if they want, they can, pretty much jumping the meeting, to participate and in give their thoughts on that. So, we try to promote that a lot. We also have some a lot of integration activities. So, every 15 days, we bring in specific groups from the company together, so they get to know each other better, we try to do like, some, some games, some three years, so they can have this not working moment. So, they can really get to know each other because we are very, we believe a lot that you need to know your colleagues well. So, you can know how they work, we can know how they function, and you can build a real relationship with them. That goes beyond pretty much working. So, we try to do all these small things that are for the team to participate. But we also as individuals, think of everything that we’re doing and try to be very aligned to what we reach as a culture. So just to give you one example, we had a meeting last week, where we were talking about it one on ones with the team, we have one on ones with every team member every 15 days to give us give them feedback about what they’re going ask about what they think about the company. And in this review that we did as leaders as actives. One of us brought like, Guys, we have teammates that are complaining about how long it’s taking for us to give feedback or to answer something, when somebody from the team asks, and one of the things that we want to be very responsive. So, he brought this problem, everybody in the same day started to be more responsible, responsive with the team because we need to be the first ones to be responsive. So, we can request that from our teammates.
Andy Halko 27:37
Yeah, I always find culture interesting. For me, I’ve always believed that it’s, it’s one of those things that the word means something different to everybody. It’s like, you know, a sandwich, for one person is, you know, full of meat, another person might want this and what they have in their head. And it’s I’m kind of curious, you know, what challenges you kind of got into a challenge with culture. But what other challenges have you faced from a cultural perspective? And how do you see that of, you know, what, what other people think and feel culture is in an organization?
Patrícia Osorio 28:17
First thing that came to my mind when you were saying that was, we recently had a coach Ruth challenge, I would say, we are most of the team is Brazilian. And that was our first American in the team. And it in the beginning, it was hard for us to like we Brazilians are all most of the times late. They’re much more informal. They you know, like they take a while to go to the point sometimes, like in a meeting and Americans are a little more straightforward. You will never see a 15 minutes meeting in Brazil, that’s almost impossible, right? And here is very common. So I think in the beginning, we needed to learn how to work with the American culture, just to bring an example that’s not like necessarily company culture. But it goes even even beyond that. Yeah. And I think that culture is also a live thing, right? Every time you bring a new team member, they are helping to shape that culture. And I think that’s happened to us. And even like, you have different moments in the company when we were in the beginning. We needed to be totally dynamic, totally responsive, the processes were not that important. Now that we’re growing like with almost 50 people with more clients, we need to have a better process in place. So for us as a company, we always need to know how that will affect her coach or how we will occur a coach or affect that. So I think maybe one of the reasons why it’s sometimes hard for people to have similar understandings of coaches because coach has a coach It’s live and it’s changing all the time. So I think challenges will come. And the strongest is your culture, the stronger his or her the stronger it will become after a new challenge appears because it will it will kind of shape the culture to to become better based on what’s happening at that moment.
Tony Zayas 30:23
Shifting gears a little bit. So you guys have raised money, correct? Yes. And then I also see your co founder of gv angels, so an angel investment group. So obviously, I’m imagining you probably have some great insights into, you know, how do you position yourself, you know, to give yourself the best shot to really tell your story, and, you know, impress investors.
Patrícia Osorio 30:51
Yeah, it’s interesting to be on both sides. Because I’m always learning. As an investor, I learned a lot how startups sell themselves, like what are the other types are other startups are doing as best practice in different areas since reporting, or going through challenges. So, I learned a lot with the startups that I invest or the startups that I that I analyze. And as a founder, I am able to think, and see how investors evaluate companies. So, it for sure helped me a lot to improve our pitch, to improve what we’re doing. And even become more tolerant, as an investor with startups as a startup with investors, you know, because there’s always like, sometimes startups, Judge investors, sometimes investor judge startups and, and when you are in both sides, you understand the other parts much better, I’m probably the best insight that I would give, the best advice that I will give to founders is you need to build a relationship investors are like any other relationship that we have, either with teammates or with clients, the worst thing that you can do is think about raising money only when you need the money. And then like just trying to sell your company to everybody else, like adding people on LinkedIn and sending your beach and the cold call approach. You need to start building the relationships, you need to research about the VCs, see if they make sense if their thesis aligns to your proposition as a company, because otherwise you will never, you will be evaluated like everyone else. And investors today they receive, I probably receive, I don’t know, 10 requests every week, from companies who want to present their startup to me if that’s it. And that’s because I’m not like, actively investing. I’m just like part of this group. But I imagine other investors, how many startups that reach out to them. So, if you don’t have anything to stand out, if you don’t have the relationship, you don’t have anything built with them, they probably will be much harder for you to get the money from anybody else.
Tony Zayas 33:15
Yeah, so of those that reach out to you, which are the ones that stand out kind of what are the approaches that you know, different, you know, really stand out from the others that somehow differentiate themselves and say, Wow, that sounds like I would like to talk to them.
Patrícia Osorio 33:33
I remember one startup I didn’t, didn’t invest, I actually never spoke to them, but they send me reports every month of how they are growing. So, this shows they’re organized, this shows that they control what they’re doing this show that they have a process in place to show that they’re concerned about keeping the relationship and I like to follow I open their updates all the time I follow them. So even if they don’t know, I’m getting closer to them, because they’re there, they have a very good way of presenting themselves to everybody else. And this is the one company that I always think about when I’m thinking about investing when I think about fundraising because they have this very mature process of communicating with investors. So, I think it’s more than the first impression. The first impression is good, but it’s about the consistency, you know, so they, they were able to not only reach out to me, but you keep sending me updates and say, Hey, I’m doing better. Remember last month I told you that I was going to do this I did. Here’s what’s happening. So, I think this consistency and proving that you’re working is something that stands out because a lot of startups say it’s said they say they’re doing everything. They say they have everything but they go away and they never tell you anything else because they probably didn’t deliver it. So that’s one thing that stands out for sure. I think the other is being concise like give me a showing your value proposition very fast, very quickly in a very easy to To understand, wait, I don’t like companies that try to approach not saying they’re trying to pitch to you, you know, I like to have you in my network. Oh, let’s talk about whatever. And after you start engaging with them, the first thing that they ask for is money. So, I also like people who come to get advice. So, start building the relationship. I think that’s important.
Tony Zayas 35:42
That’s some really good insights.
Andy Halko 35:45
How do you balance you know, as you’re looking at at folks, because and I think this topics really interesting, around investing in investors, but what about the tangibles versus the intangibles of folks? Like, you know, obviously, the tangible is what’s the addressable market? And what’s your plan and all, you know, how much existing funding and how many customers, but the intangibles of their kind of personality and their drive their background? You know, how does, how do you balance that and, or is there one stronger than the other?
Patrícia Osorio 36:27
I think the person who is most of the times more important, and that’s that might be a lot of people might not agree with that. But especially in the early-stage company. One thing you know about any company is that they are going to do a lot of things wrong, is that they’re going to assume a lot of things that don’t make sense is that they’re going to build a lot of things that are not what customers want, and they will need to pivot and change. And they will face a lot of challenges in them in their, in their lives who their best. And if the person who is leading that company is not resilient, if the person who is leading that company doesn’t have a clear vision, if they are not coachable. So, if they can hear feedback, and improve really fast based on that, it doesn’t matter. How good is your idea, it doesn’t matter how big is your market, you won’t be able to, to, to get to where you need? So, I think founders are one very important piece of the startup, especially in the in the early-stage ventures, because the earlier stage you are, the less you have to show the less deliverables you have. So, you need to believe in that person, you need to see if they will have the strength to get where they they’re saying they will get if they will be able to go through this journey and not give up. So probably I would say that that is 60 to 70%. Because a good founder can have a very wrong idea. But if he’s good, he will notice that fast and he will be for the product and he will build something else. And he will be successful in that. And then it’s better to have a successful product in maybe a little smaller market than to be in a one in a huge market and keep with that idea. So that’s my personal opinion. Of course, everything else is very important. And the later you get in this role, the more you need to prove that you are delivering otherwise, then you don’t have the right product.
Andy Halko 38:46
Yeah, that makes perfect sense. What about what about deal breakers on both sides for a founder looking at investors are there any things that you think should be or they should consider as deal breakers. And then same thing the other way, you know, an investor looking at a founder, you have something that’s kind of like a that can’t don’t want to touch this.
Patrícia Osorio 39:11
For me, the deal breakers are related to culture again, so similar to having a co-founder, you need to have somebody that has the same values as you have, they have the same goals as you have. Otherwise, you have problems. Every journey has a lot of problems, either between co-founders and between our company and an investor you have a lot of fights, you have a lot of disagreements. And if you don’t have a glue, something that’s stronger than any of those things, you have problems in the future. So, I think that the one deal breaker and that’s why building the relationship is important. That’s why getting to really know who you’re dealing with is very important. For me, this is the one deal breaker for both sides. So, if you don’t feel comfortable with the investor or the founder if you don’t see yourself having a good relationship with them. If you don’t see that the conversation is flowing, or if there’s anything that doesn’t match, probably that will become a problem in the future and there is no money that will hide that there is no money that will make that go away in my perception. One deal breaker as an investor that I learned is, most of the times, it’s very hard for the single founder. You know, like, we already had cases where you had one founder, this founder was the guy that did everything. And he wasn’t able to really build a team. And normally, if that person is not able to build a team, they will go, they will get to the second step. But there’s a point that if you don’t know how to build a team, if you don’t know how to hire people that are better than you, or at least as good as you, you won’t be able to scale, we won’t be able to reach to the next level. So, and we had cases I had investments that I made that it was a single founder and the guy at some point, he couldn’t handle everything. And he threw the cow. I said, Okay, I give up, I can do it. So it’s not a deal breaker. But every time I look at a company, and I see that that guy’s like, the, the, it’s him for everything, I get a little concerned, I prefer when there is more, there are more people like sharing the experience with them, because it’s really hard to be to be a founder, and owner yourself all the time. And as a startup, we always look for investors that want to go beyond the money, we want the money, but we want to learn. So, our current investor, one of one of the reasons why we chose them, is because they are like references in building sales machines, their references and building great products. So, we have meetings with them all the time, where they give us a lot of feedback, they teach us a lot. And having this this exchanging just knowledge is worth much more than any money. So, if you don’t see that the VC has more to add to your company, then money. Probably that should be a deal breaker because you can find money anywhere today.
Andy Halko 42:23
I think it’s a great point to reiterate, because it’s something I’ve actually always given advice that you know, founders that have come around is is money is not the only thing you want to find some other benefit to having an investor is can they bring new customers, or some unique insight or something else? So, I think that’s a great point to kind of reiterate.
Tony Zayas 42:47
Just to talk a little bit about the co-founders since there’s four co-founders on your team. Correct. So, I’m curious as to what you mentioned, you know, there’s going to be fights, there’s going to be, you know, you guys are all going to be passionate about different aspects, and there’s going to be some conflict. And there’s from time to time, what is the dynamic look like, between the four of you? And, you know, how do you guys grow the relationship and stay on the same page? And how do you approach that ?
Patrícia Osorio 43:23
First thing is being really close, I think the first thing that we wanted to do and for us, it was a bit easier because three of us we know each other for 15 years, almost so is the company has three years, but our relationship is longer with Brink been through a lot. But first thing is viewing this disconnection and trusting the other part, and knowing that anything they say anything we do anything they believe is not against you, is not for them is for the company. So, we have like we everything we say everything we do, we state that to each other, like we don’t need to think of ourselves, we need to think about the company. And if we all say and, and try to focus on what’s best for the company, we should never have a fight that is critical, because we know that we’re fighting for the same goal. We’re fighting for the same thing. We just believe in different ways of getting there. And it’s great that we have different point of views. Because when we show this different point of views, we always find something that’s better. So, I think the first thing is trusting. And the second thing is knowing that what everybody is doing is for the best of the team. That makes it much easier. that removes the personal like feeling that they are things to you or about you is not and the other thing is knowing yourself a lot. I think I I’m learning about myself a lot. I’m learning water and my weaknesses. Where are the places where I need to step out and say okay, I have no idea? I think that’s the best thing but everyone knows that better than me because he knows about, I don’t know why I’m giving you my opinion, but I’ll trust that he will make the best decision. So, the more you know yourself the more you more confident you feel about yourself at the same time, because you know that okay, this is not for me, this is for me, and you don’t feel like personally attached to anything. And you know, what’s the time to step out and let the other make the decision?
Tony Zayas 45:38
Andy Halko 45:40
Yeah, I’ve had varying opinions of, you know, co-founders and partners over the years, I’ve had my business for 20 years, and I’ve met a lot. And I’ve seen some really horrible situation. So, I’d always had mixed feelings. But I think what I’ve learned over the years is, and I’m curious in your insight to it is, when there’s co-founders that seem to have different and complimentary skills, it’s very helpful. But when there’s overlap, it seems to really break apart and fall apart that I found. So, do you see that with your co-founders? And generally, do you think that that is important is that there’s, you know, that people have their focus kind of their lanes that they’re in, and their expertise, and that works well together versus having folks that may have similar, you know, capabilities and background and knowledge?
Patrícia Osorio 46:40
I never thought about that. Now that you said, it makes a lot of sense. I agree with you. I think maybe the reason one of the reasons why we get along so well, is that we are very different. So, we all have our field of expertise. We all have common experiences a few things, but I’m best with a better one thing I like to another degree or another and Everton with another. I think that at some times, like depending on the overlap, I’m thinking now we do have some overlap. So, let’s say me and Fernando, I used to be I used to lead marketing. And we brought Fernando chose to lead the marketing team. And one of the reasons why we brought him is because he knows more about marketing than me, right? Because he’s been working with that for years. And I’m not an expert in marketing. He was he is, and in the beginning mean him. He came from the industry, he came from traditional companies or his has a more much more structure than planned way of thinking, why was a door, like, let’s do it, let’s make mistakes. And then we do it again, there’s no problem. So, for me, in the beginning, the problem was not having this this overlap. The problem was more that my way of doing was very different from his I remember our first week was like, No, we should just this way we should did it that way. And then at some point was such together, and we said, okay, we brought you I told him that we brought you because we want us to do things differently. So, if we don’t let you do, there’s no point in in bringing wealth, I think sometimes the overlap is not as much as a problem as trying to keep things the way they were. When you were leading that or when you were responsible for that sometimes it’s hard for you to detach. So, for me, that was an experience that when I said okay, no, you’re right, let’s do things your way, it was much easier. And then he could also grow and occupy his space. And now the relationship between everyone is much better.
Andy Halko 48:55
If you’re going to bring on smart people and not let them run, what’s the point of bringing those smart people? Exactly.
Tony Zayas 49:04
So just curious, Pat, what is? What is the rest of the year look like for birdie? What is the game plan? What are some of the goals things you guys are hoping to accomplish this year?
Patrícia Osorio 49:16
It’s going to be a busy year. We have a lot of we have an aggressive growth plan. We plan to raise a series a round right in the beginning of next year. And as I told a few times here, what as we want to raise next year, we were starting to talk to VCs right now. So, besides everything that we’re doing to sell everything that we’re doing to develop the product to accelerate because our clients want to go global, and we’re still only local to the west. So, there’s a lot of things like that is growing in several directions. We are also starting to invest some time in fundraising. Because we want to start relationships with companies with VCs now, for when we’re ready. We know them already. They know us they saw our growth, and they were with us in this journey. So, it’s going to be very busy we expect by the end of year. Who have grown more than three times we expect to be with clients that are global, we already have clients that are not in the US, but we’re still serving them in the US market? And soon we will, it will be global. And we are also growing the team a lot. So, we’re now with almost 50, people probably will have 7080 by the end of the year. So, there’s, there’s different efforts happening everywhere in the company, which is good, which is exciting. This is what we signed up for when it when it started. So, we’re really excited for what’s about to come. Very critical.
Tony Zayas 50:52
Andy Halko 50:55
What do you see is some of your biggest challenges that you face coming up? Like, you know, those are the plans, but you know, what, what are the challenges to growth and to, you know, achieving the goals that you have?
Patrícia Osorio 51:09
The main challenges are still related to being a young company, which means we don’t have a strong brand. And we sell to enterprise companies. So, lots of these companies are still a little more conservative when it comes to selecting vendors, like they prefer to hire to hire a company, I don’t know, when SAP, then a small company that maybe delivers the same thing. But they don’t know, you know, because a lot of people in this companies are conservative and build on our risk their jobs, so they go with the safer option. And that’s one of the challenges that we still face, we already had in the past a lot of companies that say that’s great, but we already have two here that does something that’s not quite what you do. But I don’t know if I’m able to prove, you know, so we need to choose to break this barrier. I think that we’re about to break it because we got our first enterprise clients, we’re building great use cases with them. So, once we were able to show that I think will be much easier, but that’s the barrier that’s going to hold us off for a while. And the second is the long sales cycle that all enterprise products have. So, we have companies that we’ve been talking for three, four months, and then suddenly the guy that we’re talking to he leaves, or they have any changes inside the company, and then the cycle extends for more 346 months. So that’s another thing that we are always fighting against the clock. How can we make our sales cycle shorter?
Andy Halko 52:50
Yeah, it’s so important. So, I’ve been asking the same question to everybody towards the end of the shows. And what I’m curious about is if you were too able to go into the past, you know, right before you started the business, and sit down with yourself and have some coffee, what advice would you give yourself about the future and what you’re about to embark on?
Patrícia Osorio 53:19
Probably would be not to be so anxious, and about everything and enjoy things more. We sometimes put a lot of pressure over a sale because we want to deliver something that he didn’t happen, we want to grow faster when sometimes we forget about enjoying everything that’s happening in this journey. So, I learned so much I grew so much. But I remember a lot of moments where I was really stressed or concerned, or thinking that I don’t know, if we’re going to make it you know, and I feel that some of these moments, I could have enjoyed more like remembering. We have some photos of the first office that we rented. And we were just the four of us. You know, so like, this is all things, the first person that we hired and I would like to have enjoyed that a little bit more.
Andy Halko 54:18
Yeah, that’s great. And I think I we’ve had that conversation with a couple folks throughout this is the whole journey versus the destination and you know, I’ve got a lot of entrepreneur friends and it’s a common topic is sometimes you’re so focused on the destination and hitting something and you know, reaching a certain level or achieving a certain goal that you forget about the journey, you know, and you’re not really living in the moment. So, I think that’s such a you know, great insight to be able to give to yourself earlier on.
Tony Zayas 54:52
Yeah, so how where can our visitors go to learn more about you and Bertie and pay attention what you guys are up to?
Patrícia Osorio 55:01
Perfect they can visit bertie.ai very simple or our website, and they can probably message me on LinkedIn. It’s LinkedIn slash in slash Patricia OMG like, Oh my God, that’s my last name. And they can send me messages, they can ask for information, any, any anything that I can help with. It will be a pleasure.
Tony Zayas 55:29
Awesome. Well, thank you so much. This has been great. We really appreciate you spending the time here with us. And I know our visitors certainly do as well. So, thank you.
Patrícia Osorio 55:38
Yeah. Thank you for having me was a pleasure being with you.
Andy Halko 55:42
Yeah. Thank you. Bye Bye.
Tony Zayas 55:45
Have a good one. And everyone, take care and we will see you next time.