Taking On $17.3M Debt And Buying Out Investors (Wistia)

Is there such a thing as overscaling the company? Is growth at all costs a good thing or can it actually harm the company and its culture?

Meet Wistia, a Cambridge-based video marketing platform for businesses which was founded in 2006. with a vision to create a competition website for filmmakers, and which later evolved into a fully customizable video solution for businesses with various editing and marketing tools at the user’s disposal.

The story of Wistia is not the story of your average scaleup. Our hosts, IBB and Mia Biberovic, had the opportunity to talk to Wistia’s CTO and co-founder, Brendan Schwartz, who shared the experiences of scaling rapidly and investing heavily in growth and the lessons behind the strategy that almost bankrupted the entire business.

Brendan gave us an insight into the decisions to go the standard VC route, why other paths were not as common a decade ago, as well as other challenges that he and his co-founder, Chris Savage, faced along the way. He talked about the importance of pivoting and how Wistia did it early on, and how working with experienced people affects the culture in the beginning when the team is still searching for product market fit.

One of the key moments for Wistia was when its co-founders started receiving offers to sell the company. After much deliberation, they decided not to do it but to instead raise $17,3 million in debt to buy out the investors and employees who had the equity. Schwartz also talked about shifting strategy from growth to profitability and how this move is especially important in 2024. when profitability is what everyone is talking about.

This episode of podcast puts special emphasis on open communication and transparency within the company, as well as the value of creative projects and long-term investments into content marketing. Join us as we share the unusual story of Wistia and share the business lessons that drive sustainable growth.

Interested in the whole interview? Click the video below or find us on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or Pocket Casts!

Global Developer Content Expert

Marko Mudrinic

Global Developer Content Expert