In this episode we have on-call Daniel Hazman is the CEO and co-founder of Nimbly Technologies a SaaS company developing mobile solutions for automating and improving operational efficiency for enterprise. We’ve invited him on to talk about building a SaaS company in Southeast Asia and driving digitalization for frontline operations or last-mile execution of […]

S03E14: Nimbly CEO Daniel Hazman on digitizing last-mile operations for businesses and driving SaaS adoption in Southeast Asia

In this episode we have on-call Daniel Hazman is the CEO and co-founder of Nimbly Technologies a SaaS company developing mobile solutions for automating and improving operational efficiency for enterprise. We’ve invited him on to talk about building a SaaS company in Southeast Asia and driving digitalization for frontline operations or last-mile execution of enterprise. 

Highlights and Timestamps

  1. 00:27 Paulo introduces Daniel Hazman from Nimbly;
  2. 01:39 How Daniel met his co-founder Jonathan and started Nimbly; “I was just very, very surprised that something like that process hasn’t really been digitized and hasn’t really moved much.”  
  3. 04:16 How Daniel zero-ed in on process automation as go-to-market for Nimbly; “I was asking [business leaders], how do you actually ensure that what we call last-mile execution, whether it’s in the store level or shop floor or plantation really matters? Because at the end of the day, all these well thoughts out strategies in HQ comes to basically their graveyards in the store level and that last mile execution.” 
  4. 06:26 How Nimbly got its first customer and expanded into a hundred more; “We thought, “Okay, hey, that was easy. Let’s try all the other agriculture behemoths.” So we started down that path and then we came to the realization enterprise selling really takes a while.”
  5. 08:38 What enterprise has been looking for with digitalization post-COVID; “To the extent that these [processes] could be digitalized and the data is validated, so it’s not being gamed and it’s not being frauded, then it’s something that they’re definitely looking to do.”
  6. 10:53 Changing of the old guard for conglomerates in emerging markets and the impact on SaaS adoption; “We’re seeing particularly in Indonesia, and other emerging countries too, that you have this changing of the guard from the older generation to the younger generation…they’ve been more exposed to technology, even this concept of SaaS.” 
  7. 11:59 Defining SaaS through Nimbly and how customer success accounts for nuances across customer segments; “With my previous startup, it was creating 15,000 highways for 15,000 people. For SaaS, what we’re looking to do is basically create this main artery, this main highway for those 15,000 users, clients, or what have you.”
  8. 13:00 Nimbly’s three core value propositions; “We always say that it’s sort of like Salesforce and Zendesk having a baby. That’s what Nimbly is…So you have the monitoring verification, you have the instant insights, and then the third piece is case management.” 
  9. 14:30 Case study of how Nimbly impacts operational efficiency and end consumers; “What most people don’t realize is that consistency on quality, on product, and customer experience actually hinges on tons and tons of checklists running in the background.” 
  10. 16:38 The role of data in Nimbly’s product growth; “We get a glimpse of the overall trends of what’s happening…For example, we see folks maybe measuring things differently after COVID…”
  11. 17:53 Aligning marketing, sales, and CS to drive SaaS adoption; “The cadence part is very, very critical, aligning [marketing, sales, and CS] together…It’s really, really critical to…make sure we’re continuously marching to the beat of the same drum.”
  12. 19:23 Daniel on competition posed by conglomerate IT teams; “It’s just different when you have a company that only focuses on that day in and day out, night and day, whereas their company, they have 500 million things they also have to look at.”
  13. 20:32 What Daniel brings into Nimbly from his past experience at Fortune 500 companies; “Having had exposure and experience with those Fortune 500 companies, we’d like to bring that discipline…know-hows on how to run certain things, but at the same time, we want to make sure that we continue to be nimble like any startups and scale-ups.”
  14. 21:53 Daniel’s next five years for Nimbly; “We believe that we’re going to be a global company…and we would really like to be a household name in terms of workflow automation solutions.”
  15. 22:20 Rapid Fire Round;

About our guest

Daniel Hazman is the CEO and co-founder of Nimbly Technologies, a SaaS company developing mobile solutions for automating and improving operational efficiency for enterprises. A seasoned executive, he’s had over 20 years of experience in retail, supply chain management and sustainability, FMCGs, and tech startups across 30 countries, including Walmart and General Mills. He established the Indonesia country office for Clinton’s Global Health Initiative and is a Fulbright MBA scholar. 

Nimbly also recently launched a customer feedback product to get organic and deeper insights across customer segments, especially for retail and F&B. You can book a consult here to learn more: https://hellonimbly.ac-page.com/book-a-consult

Transcript

Paulo: So now I want to dial back and go back to when you guys started Nimbly and for you to share with the listeners how you came together with your co-founder Jonathan? And I think this was two, three years ago. What were the factors that led to this decision to start this new venture, especially coming from your previous venture before Nimbly?

Daniel: That’s a good question. So Jonathan was introduced to me by one of our US investors and this US investor’s name is David. We’ve known each other since childhood because when I was 10 years old, I moved from Indonesia to the US and I didn’t speak any English. And David’s mom was actually my first ESL teacher in the US and across decades, basically of friendship, I decided to invest in Nimbly and he has his own boutique IT consultancy in the US and he’s worked with Jonathan before, so he introduced Jonathan to me. And that’s how we met each other.

With regards to, how did we start on Nimbly — because you’re right. We did have a previous startup and it was a gamification platform. I think we were just too early for that in Indonesia. To be honest, it was before GoPoints and all of those things. What we realized was it was something that was more of a consultancy. We had to educate our clients about gamification and things like that. Obviously, things have changed since then. And we thought this is just going to be a small company and we didn’t quit our cushy jobs to build something small. We want to build something scalable and repeatable. And so that’s how we started actually going towards something like Nimbly and maybe this kind of covers sort of the genesis of Nimbly as well.

About three years ago, I happened to be visiting 7-11 in Dallas in their headquarters And when we pitched them our gamification platform, they said, “Hey, Daniel, this is interesting and all, but to be honest, we have a much more dire issue in our hands. And that is, we have 11,000 stores and we still send an army of 3000 people every week to just check if they’re following the SOPs correctly. Are there sneeze guards on the hot dog rollers? Are the bathrooms clean? No loiters in the parking lot.” And interestingly enough they’re still doing this manually. This is 2018, 7-11 US.

And I told them that’s really strange because 17 years prior to that, in 2001, my first job, I actually worked as a factory certification for Walmart. So we basically send auditors out into factories that produce for Walmart suppliers and all that. And then in a few weeks time, they would send me a big package of Polaroid photos for those of you who are too young, it’s one of those photos that you shake and it’s pretty instant. And then photograph copies of timesheets. And then I would rate them whether it’s probation failed and so forth. I was just very, very surprised that something like that process hasn’t really been digitized and hasn’t really moved much.  

“I was just very, very surprised that something like that process hasn’t really been digitized and hasn’t really moved much.”  

Paulo: This whole story with 7-11 actually reminds me — it’s quite similar, I would say, to how Appier started, cause I think that the story went that they were also pitching like a gaming sort of games to different publishers in different companies, but then these publishers had a different pain point that they wanted solved, in the same way 7-11 in your story pointed out that there’s something else that they wanted solved. And you realize that it was an inefficiency that had not been addressed for a really long time. 

And when you decided to start working on Nimbly, I was just wondering why you decided to focus primarily on process automation and zoom in on that particular part, cause there are many things that you can actually digitalize when it comes to enterprise. And it can be quite a decision to actually figure out where do you start, what’s the most effective way to do things and work with these complex processes and big organizations. So how did you zero in on that?

Daniel: We thought, “Okay, 7-11 was a good start. We wanted to see whether or not those same pain points actually exist in Southeast Asia.” So when I came back to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, I started speaking to a lot of decision-makers, business owners, et cetera. And I was asking them, how do you actually ensure that what we call last-mile execution, whether it’s in the store level or shop floor or plantation really matters? Because at the end of the day, all these well-thought-out strategies in HQ come to basically their graveyards in the store level and that last mile execution. Because I’ve been there. I also helped run a Walmart SuperCenter. I’ve seen it happen. When I asked them that, they said, “We tried to gauge things through our POS, so sales.” Okay, great. I used to look at sales figures every hour, but then that’s for one store. But what happens if you have hundreds of stores or thousands of stores, how do you see the issues that actually impede your revenue generation or that are actually hitting your bottom line? And for most folks that we talk to, they pick up the phone and call the regional director, who then picks up the phone and calls the area manager, who then calls the store manager and asks. So we’re still playing telephone in 2021 even. And what we’ve seen is that the solutions that are being utilized, it’s sort of smashed together. It’s disjointed, clunky. People use email, phones, faxes, even, and Excel sheets. And so we want to unify that into one platform, make it very easy. 

“And I was asking them, how do you actually ensure that what we call last mile execution, whether it’s in the store level or shop floor or plantation really matters? Because at the end of the day, all these well thought out strategies in HQ comes to basically their graveyards in the store level and that last mile execution.”

Paulo: Yeah I really like the way you phrase it as the last mile problem because when you talk about last mile, people are more familiar with last-mile delivery and logistics. But I think this whole focus on last-mile transcends a lot of different industries, last mile insurance distribution, and now last mile operations as well when it comes to enterprise.  

Definitely from what you’ve found in the market, a lot of companies seem to have resonated with that same pain point that you first saw in 7-11. And because now Nimbly is being used by more than a hundred organizations across several markets as well. My question is how did you eventually get to this point where a lot of different organizations are using Nimbly or were there different factors that helped internally and maybe were there any tailwinds that also helped you guys get to this point?

Daniel: There are different factors at play. I want to say that actually our first client is the huge agriculture conglomerate based in Southeast Asia and they’re part of the global Fortune 500, I think it was. And it was just catching up with someone that I’ve worked with before, and she’s the GM. And I showed her basically, this is what we’re thinking when she asks me, “What are you doing today now that you’ve left your previous employment.” “So this is kind of what I’m building. What do you think?” And she said, “I could bite my fist right now. This is something I needed yesterday.” And I thought, wow, really? I wasn’t even pitching to sell to her. And then what ended up happening is that we actually sold to this company without even having the product, based on PowerPoint. So then we start building it. Obviously they started with a three-month pilot and then a one year contract, and then now they’re on a three-year contract with us. 

Then we thought, “Okay, hey, that was easy. Let’s try all the other agriculture behemoths.” So we started down that path and then we came to the realization enterprise selling really takes awhile. The sales cycle is quite long. Maybe we lucked out with that one timing-wise and we were bootstrapped, so we couldn’t continue down that path without getting funds. Fortunately a month after that first customer, we also started piloting with a big retailer. I would say they’re probably the second largest one here in Indonesia. They have about a thousand stores when you count all the counters and all that. We piloted with them for three months and we realized that this also hits their pain points. And so we started, really pitching to retailers, which then kind of branched out to F&Bs as well. And we realized that with them, the sales cycle is much much shorter, sometimes down to one hour. 

“We thought, “Okay, hey, that was easy. Let’s try all the other agriculture behemoths.” So we started down that path and then we came to the realization enterprise selling really takes awhile.

Paulo: Quite interesting that there’s that difference between working with that agricultural company and then with retail is actually much faster.  When you talk to the agriculture company and then 7-11 as well, it seems like these are problems that they want to have solved for a long time now, probably just didn’t realize it until you pointed it out to them that they needed to solve. And so how did this attitude or mindset change over the pandemic, how did it change the mindset of enterprises and the kind of solutions that they were looking for?

Daniel: So for enterprise, they want to do what they’ve been doing, but now remotely, and that’s a real challenge for certain tasks that need to be done so if they can accomplish that at the end of the day, they’re actually going to save a lot of money because all the travels that they get to save.  When we talk about agriculture, they actually fly for hours and hours, and then they are in the car for hours and hours. To the extent that these things could be digitalized and the data is validated, so it’s not being gamed and, and all of that, it’s not being frauded, then it’s something that they’re definitely looking to do. And we also see that some folks are rethinking about maybe pen and paper was just working well but now they’re seeing they really do need to modernize their tech stack and their processes. 

Paulo: That’s great. And that only helps you in terms of getting more customers.

Daniel: Yes for enterprise, definitely. When you look at different customer segmentation like mid-market and SMBs, they’re in this kind of holding pattern in terms of they need to survive or they’ll see what happens with COVID. So they’re not going to be the ones that are investing so much in terms of digitalization, but enterprises definitely are.

Paulo: Obviously for enterprise, they do have the cash or the resources to actually spend on these things, but what would it take for more mid-sized companies or even smaller companies to actually take on these kinds of services? Is it really just like a price point affair or are there any other ways around it?

Daniel: One is the price point, definitely. And when we first started, we were more flexible. Now we’re pretty clear cut on pricing, just because it impacts your business. And we really leveraged word of mouth. We show here’s kind of the value we’ve extracted for different clients that are their peers. And I think that helps, not so much create that FOMO, but really in terms of seeing what their peers and competitors are doing and that they’re not doing and somehow maybe they’re not doing something right. That’s something that we try to articulate and communicate. 

“To the extent that these [processes] could be digitalized and the data is validated, so it’s not being gamed and, and all of that, it’s not being frauded, then it’s something that they’re definitely looking to do.”

Paulo: Once you realize that all the businesses, for example, as an SMB, all the other suppliers and distributors are also on that and that will probably also convince you to hop on as well. We’ve talked about agriculture. We talked about retail. I was also wondering what are the trends that you’ve seen in the past few years, in terms of the type of verticals, the businesses that are keener to use this type of solution or less keen to use this type of solution.  What have you seen in the landscape in Indonesia in particular, or even regionally?

Daniel: I would say there are very, very traditional industries like manufacturing, agriculture. They’re not as easy, but if you have really strong and visionary leaders, that opens the door. And we’re seeing particularly in Indonesia, and I’m sure in other emerging countries too, that you have this sort of changing of the guard from the older generation to the younger generation. Maybe they were educated abroad, et cetera, so they’ve been more exposed to technology, even this concept of SaaS. It’s so hard for, and not to be ageist, but for older folks to understand. I’m just renting. I don’t want to rent. I want to buy it. No, it’s different because you’re continuously enhancing the product. You’re maintaining the product. It’s software, it’s not hardware.  

“We’re seeing particularly in Indonesia, and other emerging countries too, that you have this changing of the guard from the older generation to the younger generation…they’ve been more exposed to technology, even this concept of SaaS.”

Paulo: Speaking about educating people about the concept of SaaS and really the product aspect of it, I think a lot of people sort of confuse SaaS with simply providing services, like very customized services. For SaaS, it’s really about scalability. You really want a template that you can just sell to various customers regardless of the situation. So maybe you could illustrate that for us in terms of Nimbly’s app and software.

Daniel: Sure. So with my previous startup, it was creating 15,000 highways for 15,000 people. For SaaS, what we’re looking to do is basically create this main artery, this main highway for those 15,000 users, clients, or what have you. Of course, there are nuances in different industries like agriculture. We’ll have certain nuances that may not be found in F&B, for example, but I would say over 90% of our features are actually the same. It’s just that the use cases are different and how it’s configured, it’s slightly different. So that’s where our customer success team comes in and helps to configure and for them to be able to implement it. But we’re definitely not customizing every single product for every single client. We can’t do that. That wouldn’t be SaaS. 

“With my previous startup, it was creating 15,000 highways for 15,000 people. For SaaS, what we’re looking to do is basically create this main artery, this main highway for those 15,000 users, clients, or what have you.”

Paulo:  I was just curious — what are the most used features or solutions within the software that you provide to customers?

Daniel: So there are three core value propositions to nimbly. Number one is to ensure that your folks who are out there, the frontliners, are actually doing what they’re supposed to be doing properly and at the right time. Secondly, to get these instant insights, because all the checklists have been basically digitized. We always say that it’s sort of like Salesforce and Zendesk having a baby. That’s what Nimbly is. Because Salesforce is well-known to digitize ledgers and accounts, help sales teams and other teams as well.  Whereas we digitize all these manual checklists that need to be done at the store level, shop floor, plantations. And then the whole power is basically the analytics. You get these instant insights of what’s happening in your operations. How can you improve the operations, where are the opportunities, et cetera.

So you have the monitoring verification, you have the instant insights, and then the third piece is case management. So an issue comes up. This is where Zendesk comes in? I know Salesforce has Lightning, too, but this is where our third core value prop is. So for any issues that are found it’s actually automated in terms of being sent to, let’s say you find that one of the food items has expired. As soon as you report that issue, that issue gets alerted to the health and safety team. And they have let’s say within four hours to fix that, if they don’t fix that within four hours, then it will automatically escalate to their superiors. And we cracked this, right. How long it takes, who is it stuck with? So then they can basically do a feedback loop to see where they can optimize their operations. 

“We always say that it’s sort of like Salesforce and Zendesk having a baby. That’s what Nimbly is…So you have the monitoring verification, you have the instant insights, and then the third piece is case management.” 

Paulo: It’s really interesting that you mentioned the Salesforce plus Zendesk combination because you don’t just tackle the backend, but also the front end experience as well. And how the front liners can really resolve issues that happen in real time.

And we’ve talked about a product and our listeners actually love hearing customer stories and some case studies especially when it comes to these products so maybe you could share an example of the kind of impact that Nimbly has for these businesses and how it ultimately also impacts the end consumer of your customers.

Daniel: Sure. So that’s a two-part response. How does it impact our client and then how does it impact their customers?

So I will choose one of the companies we’ve been working with now for almost a year and a half. They’re a public company. It’s a large F&B, global brand. And essentially what we’ve been able to do over this year is that we’ve been able to save them roughly 19 man-hours per month per store. So they’ve rolled it out across 300 and some odd stores. So I think the savings are up to 6,000 – 7,000 hours per month. And not only that, but before they didn’t analyze any of what’s happening in the stores from an operations standpoint. So now they’ve created a separate room, a war room if you will, where they’re just looking at our dashboard to see what’s happening in any of their stores. And we also track how compliant their different stores are. So they were able to basically confirm that over 98% of all the stores have done the right things. For folks who really care about sustainability, we’ve basically have them gone paperless. Before they were buying paper, printing paper, and all that. Now they don’t need to do that. So that’s from a client perspective. 

Now what about their customers, you say? Well, customers can now expect a cleaner environment more consistently, better service, folks who know the product better, the right temperature. If you’re talking about food, some foods are better at this temperature, cold or hot, making sure food safety issues are mitigated, and all of those things. So that’s how the customers actually benefit because at the end of the day, customers come in and they expect a certain service and a certain product, but what most people don’t realize is that consistency on quality, on product, and customer experience actually hinges on tons and tons of checklists running in the background. 

“What most people don’t realize is that consistency on quality, on product, and customer experience actually hinges on tons and tons of checklists running in the background.” 

Paulo: It’s pretty clear that it’s not just about bringing them online or putting their checklists or paperwork all in an app, but it’s also really about making them more efficient with how they use data, and making them more data-driven as a company, which really helps in the end benefit the consumers as well. 

And working with all these clients, you’ve actually amassed a lot of data as well on how they work and it’s essentially a gold mine for you guys. So how does this actually benefit Nimbly as an organization and as a company moving forward?

Daniel:  First thing is that we understand what parts of our product they’re actually using the most and which ones they’re not using. So it helps us with regards to crafting our product roadmap and tech roadmap. That’s number one. 

The second part is that we get a glimpse of the overall trends of what’s happening sometimes.  For example, we see folks maybe measuring things differently after COVID. We no longer want to use this checklist. We want to use this checklist. Why is that? And you start seeing patterns across sub-sectors, not just F&B — dine-in versus grab-and-go or chicken versus coffee versus bubble tea, et cetera. So you start getting that granularity, of course at aggregate levels, cause we don’t look at each individual accounts or anything like that, but you start seeing those types of trends and that really helps us to think about how else we can help our customers. 

“We get a glimpse of the overall trends of what’s happening…For example, we see folks maybe measuring things differently after COVID…”

Paulo: It really helps you pun-intended become nimble as an organization and really adapt. You mentioned the COVID example and obviously the demands and the needs certainly will change. Now I also want to talk about the other element that really makes up the SaaS companies, which is the enterprise sales team. So what has been your approach to building a strong enterprise sales team?

Daniel: Sure. I think I should be honest that we’re still learning how to do this, to make sure that our revenues are predictable,  but what we’ve seen is we’ve implemented some of the best practices around structure. For example, sales dev reps that do outbound marketing that brings inbound leads, account executives who actually close the deals, and then the customer success who actually helps onboard the clients implement and expand right along with sales. We see that marketing, sales, and CS have to be seamless because the customer doesn’t care whether it’s CS or the sales department. To them, you’re Nimbly. And so I think the cadence part is very, very critical, aligning these three departments together around certain accounts, strategic accounts, bigger accounts, et cetera. It’s really, really critical to have that cadence and make sure we’re continuously marching to the beat of the same drum.

At the end, we need the right folks with the right skill sets, in the right seat. And that’s difficult because as you know, the market here is growing and when the market grows, that means you have the Series B, Series C companies, big companies from US, Europe coming here. They’re also trying to hire the same people. That’s the part that I would say is challenging. It’s always hiring, whether it’s sales or engineering. It’s definitely challenging.

The cadence part is very, very critical, aligning [marketing, sales, and CS] together…It’s really, really critical to…make sure we’re continuously marching to the beat of the same drum.”

Paulo: Yeah, I really liked your point about creating that seamless connection between marketing, sales, and CS.  You also mentioned SaaS becoming an emerging sector here in Southeast Asia.  What’s your take on that? That whole thinking that you mentioned of why don’t I just build it myself? How then does a SaaS company create that moat that defends against conglomerates, for example, just building that solution for themselves, if they really want to pursue that?

Daniel: We face this all the time. In fact, when investors ask us, who’s your number one competitor, I would say, in this region, it’s the IT team of these companies. And we say, “Hey, it’s okay. We don’t have to beat everybody.” And we said, “Go ahead, choose to do that.” Look, having worked at Walmart, I understand how these things work. Even if we have a C-level sponsorship, IT will just look at you as another project. “Take a number. Okay. Now we’ll build your product.” And then after a product is done, they go onto another initiative. And what about the maintenance? What about the enhancements? What about the feedback from the users?  They’ll say, well, “Take another number, And meanwhile, all the users are saying, “Ah, see, this is something that doesn’t work. So I’m going to go back to pencil and paper.” We’ve seen probably roughly 20 to 25% of the folks who said they’ll build it themselves. A year later, they come back to us and say, “All right. Hey, let’s talk. We tried it, it failed.” 

Paulo: Yeah, I guess for some, for some clients, it might be “learn it first on your own and then realize that you need a more sustainable solution”, because as you mentioned, Nimbly has that ability to constantly evolve its product to whatever the needs of the companies are and whatever the trends are in the market. So that’s definitely a plus 

Daniel: It’s just different when you have a company that only focuses on that day in and day out, night and day, whereas their company, they have 500 million things they also have to look at. So I think it just makes a difference on the product. 

“It’s just different when you have a company that only focuses on that day in and day out, night and day, whereas their company, they have 500 million things they also have to look at.”

Paulo:  Exactly. And feeling that exact pain point that your customers are feeling having worked at Walmart, General Mills, all of these different FMCG companies, could you speak a bit more about that past experience and how it has helped you lead and build Nimbly as a company? 

Daniel: So we tried to take the best of both worlds. We know we’re not corporate. We know we’re in a scale-up situation. But having had exposure and experience with those Fortune 500 companies, we’d like to bring that discipline, that process established know-hows on how to run certain things.

But at the same time, we want to make sure that we continue to be nimble like any startup and scale-ups. So we try to combine those two. Now it’s always a work-in-progress. You bring new people, you try to obviously inculcate them in your culture. It’s always a work-in-progress, but we look at having both sides of the coin, this kind of corporate discipline and thought processes and all of that, but with the agility of a startup, scale-up. 

“Having had exposure and experience with those Fortune 500 companies, we’d like to bring that discipline…know-hows on how to run certain things, but at the same time, we want to make sure that we continue to be nimble like any startups and scale-ups.”

Paulo: I definitely think that’s a great mindset and obviously easier said than done. And just to wrap up this part of our call we always ask our founders about their long-term vision, where they see their company in the next five years. So where do you see Nimbly in the next five years?

Daniel: In the next five years, Well, we believe that we’re going to be a global company, not just Southeast Asia or APAC, but also the Americas, Europe and so forth. And we would really like to be a household name in terms of workflow automation solutions and things like that.

“We believe that we’re going to be a global company…and we would really like to be a household name in terms of workflow automation solutions.”

Rapid Fire Round 

If you were to be in the shoes of a CEO / leader for one day who would it be? 

Daniel: Elon Musk, just wanting to see how he manages so many different companies all at once.

Top Three Skills of a CEO? 

Daniel: Empathy, sales, and connecting the dots quickly

Advice for founders raising their first round? 

Daniel: A few, I would say first, make sure that your company’s investible. Know your metrics really cold. Reach out three to six months before you have to raise. Create the relationship first. And then lastly, this one I just learned from the last round of fundraising. If you already have the first tranche and you haven’t closed your round, I would highly suggest you to actually announce it in the press, because then actually will bring quite a number of other folks who potentially want to invest in you. 

What did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid?

Daniel: No, actually I wanted to be an architect. I thought designing houses seemed really, really fun and Interesting. I think I watched a movie about an architect, I can’t remember, I think it was Steve Martin and I just loved that whole process of how they design houses and things like that. 

Favorite Southeast Asian delicacy? 

Daniel: Bakmi Yamien (Ayam). I know for non-Indonesians you won’t get that as basically noodles with chicken and you can make it sweet or savory salty. And you add the Southeast Asian meatballs, not the Italian kind to it as well, and a little bit of broth. It’s good stuff.

Where did the name Nimbly come from? 

Daniel: We were looking for a name that basically communicates to folks what the value is and we thought, we’re actually going to help companies move. So we looked at different types of names quickly and all that. Well, that’s a bubble tea brand. Okay. Can’t use that. Right, And finally we found nimble or nimbly and it wasn’t because we wanted to have that “.ly”. A few years ago, everyone wanted to get the “.ly” and I was like, “That seems to work really well.” And we thought it was short to the point, helping people understand what it is and what we can do. 

What do you do to de-stress? 

Daniel: Well before it was travel. So I couldn’t do that anymore. So swimming, reading fiction in this case, and also just reflecting. Now I actually built in a time in my calendar to reflect on a daily basis, these 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the afternoon. And then even half-day on Friday, not only to reflect but to actually execute on things, cause usually, you’re in meetings. You don’t get a chance to execute on them. 

Anything else to share?

Daniel: Yes. Actually, we just launched a customer feedback product. So Nimbly is primarily for internal operations. But what we also see is that there’s value in getting, obviously, your customers to provide that feedback as well. So we launched that earlier this week, so we are approaching our existing clients and say, “Hey, we have this, especially if you run retail or F&B, so you can actually now utilize this product to get insights from your customers that will automatically be compiled and you can see different regions, different types of stores, what their feedback has been. Definitely for those who are existing clients, please reach out to your Nimbly customer success and stay tuned for our announcement. 

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