Dante Labs was founded in 2016 and has grown from a small startup into a company that generates over $100M annually in revenue. This happened in six years. Andrea Riposati, CEO and co-founder of Dante Labs was interviewed recently about the company’s success.
Riposati claims that Dante Labs has been profitable since 2018, only two years after it was founded. Two founders still hold over 90% of the company. This feat is rare among startups looking to raise as many investment funds as possible in their early years. Andrea Riposati offers wise advice to startups who want to succeed in the lean years where investors are scarce.
Andrea Riposati Offers Advice to Startups
Logan Plaster’s important point is that Andrea Riposati (and his partner) still own 90% of Dante Labs, and still generate revenues in the region of $100M. Andrea Riposati offers advice to new startups about this strategy. We decided to expand Dante Labs and pay more attention to revenue rather than attracting investors. We decided that diluted shares would not be beneficial to the company. Instead, we focused on scaling the business using the resources at our disposal. Riposati also advises startups to keep their eyes on the customer. Riposati advises startups to “focus on building a product people want to buy.” However, it is important to limit investment once revenues rise. He says, “Then you can take on investments without diluting shareholder ownership.”
Riposati gives an example of how they didn’t have a lab at the beginning to run the sequencing. We would have been left with a very small lab and few tests if we had made investments in the lab. Waiting allowed us to grow our business and do A/B testing. Only after they had reached enough sample volume to be able to run a full lab, did they hire an investor to help build the lab. Riposati says, “This is the only way you can run a laboratory in a financially sound way.”
Use a Microscope to See Investment Results
Andrea Riposati advises startups to measure the returns of certain types of investments. Riposati says that it is easy to measure the return of a marketing campaign or the ROI of new technology in today’s digital age. Riposati also emphasizes the importance of working with investors who share your beliefs. Riposati says that investors will become a part of your company, and you won’t have to fight to get them to do anything.