Sarah Daniele says she believes firmly that less is more.
Mydoma Studio founder Sarah Daniele
That’s why the $275,000 in funding she secured this week for her fledgling SaaS company, Mydoma Studio, is more than enough.
“We should be able to hit the market and grow our business. If we don’t then something is not right,” she said, adding that she and Thomas Martineau, her husband-turned business partner, started the company with less than $50,000 from friends and family.
The Capital Angel Network and two private investors were part of the funding and the Wesley Clover Foundation came in at the last minute to push Mydoma over its $250,000 goal, Ms. Daniele said from her new, empty office space in the St.Laurent Business Park.
The funding helped get the new space and will also help Mydoma add up to three more people – in sales and marketing, development and operations – to its staff which currently consists of Ms. Daniele, her husband, and one other staff member.
Ms. Daniele’s story is not a new one. In fact it sounds a lot like the stories of Shopify’s Tobi Lütke or The Better Software Company’s Steve Cody, who both came up with solutions to their businesses, only to find these solutions themselves would be better businesses to pursue.
Ms. Daniele was working as an interior designer, frustrated by how inefficiently she was communicating with her clients. She asked her web developer husband if he could help her design a solution.
With Ms. Daniele being active in the interior designer online community, it wasn’t long before other designers discovered her solution and suddenly, Mydoma Studio was born.
The software allows designers to set up what Ms. Daniele calls an edesign studio, a personal portal where designers could create projects, upload critical files, and then invite their clients to join the project. The solution organizes the designers communications with their clients, and helps them build a client base, Ms. Daniele said.
By January 2014, Ms. Daniele had “made the pivot” from interior design to running a SaaS company and in April 2015, just as their product was coming out of beta, Mydoma was accepted into the L-Spark incubator for enterprise software.
Ms. Daniele said she first heard of L-Spark through Twitter, and had also run into L-Spark’s Marco Janeczek at a couple events.
“You should probably apply,” he told her.
Her L-Spark entry came at a critical time for her startup, she said.
“We had worked so hard with our heads down doing what we thought was best,” she said. When they “came up for fresh air” and entered the incubator, their eyes were opened to the other things they should be doing to get Mydoma off the ground.
“Advisors, access to investors, pitching opportunities, sides of the business we weren’t thinking about yet. We were heads down in development and planning, right?
Ms. Daniele’s goals for 2016 include working with strategic growth partners and ecommerce partners. She wants to integrate ecommerce into the Mydoma software.
“That’s going to help us expedite and improve our revenues,” she said.
As for her former interior design career, Ms. Daniele said she still accepts work from repeat clients if she can fit it in.
Her full-time job now, though, is running her tech company.
“You’ve got to be willing to be flexible,” she said. “I was never planning on doing this.”