ABCs of B2B PLG with Dragos
ABCs of B2B PLG with Dragos Podcast
🎙️(audio-version) Interview with Anurag Goel, founder and CEO of Render

🎙️(audio-version) Interview with Anurag Goel, founder and CEO of Render

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Anurag Goel, CEO and co-founder of Render. Founded in 2016, Render is currently supporting +800k active developers on it platform!

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Anurag Goel, CEO and co-founder of Render. Founded in 2018, Render’s trajectory has been phenomenal, just look at the stats! 

  • +800k active users 

  • Double-digit millions in ARR 

  • +200% NDR 

Most impressive is that this growth has been completely from a self-serve, product-led growth motion without a marketing or sales team!  🤯  

The article below provides a synopsis of the interview. In the interview, we cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • Founder’s story

  • Validating the idea

  • Finding early product adopters 

  • Attracting top-tier talent to your company

  • And way more…

🔉 The full length audio version of the interview is available here

📹 A video version of the interview is coming soon!


🎙️Interview with Anurag Goel, CEO and co-founder of Render 🎙️

A founder’s journey

For those that aren’t familiar with the company, Render offers a platform that has automated and standardized DevOps best practices in a scalable infrastructure solution, allowing developers to focus on shipping products and services as quickly as possible, rather than complex cloud management. Founded in 2018, Render was born out of the friction Anurag experienced while deploying applications to the various cloud service providers, as well as the DevOps sprawl he witnessed during his time at Stripe.

In 2011, Anurag joined Stripe in the company’s early days (employee #8) as an engineer, and later became their Head of Risk. Stripe was in a significant growth phase during his 5 year tenure, where Anurag got to see first-hand the overwhelming necessity for organizations to build out large DevOps teams that support the cloud infrastructure their applications relied on.

In 2016, Anurag left Stripe and started investigating various domains for an ambitious problem he could commit the rest of his career to solving. From healthcare to GPU-backed notebooks, Anurag spent the next two years building and deploying various software applications. While he recognized that none of these domains were his calling, in the process he noticed some consistent challenges across cloud providers. It was through this experience Anurag's vision became clear — to create a platform that eliminates the complexities of cloud infrastructure.

Since its inception, Render has grown to a team of 65, raised nearly $78M in funding and has grown the user base to over 800,000 developers. The company now boasts ARR in the double-digital millions, and an impressive NDR that’s +200%! All of this growth has been completely from a self-serve, product-led growth motion without a marketing or sales team. Anurag credits the strength of the product as the main driver of their growth in its ability to appeal to developers seeking dependable, scalable, and efficient cloud solutions. 

Finding early adopters 

Render attracted its first users through Anurag's personal connections, including friends and past colleagues, and by participating in in-person events and online community discussions. Anurag specifically highlighted South Park Commons, a community of entrepreneurs in San Francisco, as a valuable source for gaining more users. 

The most substantial growth in users came in 2019, when Render was the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF. Winning Startup Battlefield not only elevated the company profile but also provided them with a wealth of product usage data, which was instrumental in refining and evolving Render into its current form.

disrupt winner 1618

Attracting talent

Anurag talked about the difficulties he faced in recruiting skilled people to an early-stage startup that had limited resources and essentially no external validation. He recounted stories of successfully hiring the initial engineers who remain with the company. Notably, using Triplebyte’s resume-blind candidate assessment process, his second engineering hire had an unconventional background with no prior professional engineering experience. Anurag also highlighted the significance of tackling a major problem for an early-stage company, serving as a draw to bring in highly driven and skilled individuals eager to address the problem. 

“One of the things that picking an ambitious problem gets you is that it gets other ambitious people excited about what you’re doing, even when you don’t have social proof or a lot of funding” - Anurag Goel, co-founder and CEO of Render

Targeted leadership search

Render's impressive organic growth meant there was no urgent need to recruit a Sales and Marketing team for expansion. Instead, the company concentrated on enhancing its platform, aiming to support a substantial influx of new users while sustaining highly efficient unit economics. With the company’s unit economics in great shape today, and improving month-over-month, Render is actively looking at hiring their first marketing leader. Admittingly, the unicorn criteria Anurag is looking for will take some time to find. 

“They are very hard hires to make. I’ve heard about so many cases where people feel great about their new marketing hire, and then ask them to leave 6-12 months later. I don’t want to find ourselves in that situation” 

Top of mind is finding an experienced marketing leader with a keen understanding of developers that can optimize every step of the user journey: from increasing awareness of the offering, to optimizing website traffic for sign-ups, to monetizing the large base of existing customers through their wide product portfolio.

To the future and beyond

For aspiring entrepreneurs, Anurag's journey offers insights into the strategic and operational challenges of starting a tech company. For the tech community at large, Render's evolution is a beacon of innovation in cloud computing, promising a future where developers can unleash their full potential, unencumbered by the backend complexities of cloud services.

Anurag Goel's story is far from over, but it's already a rich source of inspiration and a case study on how to build a successful tech venture that remains closely aligned with the needs of its community. Render, under his leadership, continues to push the boundaries, proving that with the right approach, even the cloud's limits can be rendered limitless.

ABCs of B2B PLG with Dragos
ABCs of B2B PLG with Dragos Podcast
Advisor and consultant to B2B SaaS startups focused on marketing and product-led growth.
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