2 years ago, we decided to forego our revenue and to give access to Forest for free. The reason was simple. We wanted to learn with you, not at your expense.
At the time, we were in San Francisco and we had almost no money left in the bank. We had the opportunity to raise our seed round but we decided not to. It was counterintuitive and sounds like a stupid move, right?
Find out how we won our bet and raised $3M
But, that completely propelled the company to the next level. 1 year later, we announced our $3M seed round with Connect Ventures and Xavier Niel.
Beyond the No Pricing Manifesto
1 year after the No Pricing Manifesto, we released a set of Pro features to deliver more value to operationally intensive businesses.
Offered as part of a paying plan, these Pro features were targeted at companies with more structured operations. It didn’t make sense to charge smaller projects for features they didn’t need.
Applying our company values to all our users
We still want to be extremely cautious when we think about our pricing strategy to stay transparent and in line with our philosophy.
One of the most important priorities for us is to provide the same customer experience to all of our users. This must be true for enterprise-grade companies as well as early startups.
Today, our customer segmentation has never been so clear:
- We work with early stage startups that require all standard features to run basic operations.
- We also work with growing companies that are structuring their operational processes.
- And finally, we work with mature companies that require Enterprise-grade features and services to scale their operations in the long run.
A few months ago, we realized the frontier between our customer segments 1 and 2 was not well enough defined.
The complexity of a company’s operations drastically increases at specific moments in its life. And naturally at these moments, they need five-star customer experience to tackle their new operational challenges.
A five-star customer experience for all users
At Forest, we are always fighting against time to satisfy each of your requests, regardless of the price you pay. We have never left anyone behind.
We know this philosophy is appealing but it can’t scale. The customer experience will necessarily decrease over time if we persist in this direction.
Companies that have reached the salmon-rectangle stage simply require a more advanced level of customer service to reach the same level of experience.
Spending more time to fit these companies’ requirements means we are at risk of deteriorating our paying customers’ experience.
And of course, we don’t want to deteriorate anybody’s customer experience!
Your back office, redefined.
Our mission is ambitious. We want to replace the back office developed in-house in all web-based companies. And this is just a first step.
Then, we want to leverage the full value that a SaaS brings for the back office. In other words, creating a Back office as a Service provides new perspectives to achieve operational excellence at each stage of a company.
And we know educating on a new class of product is the most difficult challenge for us. Our users must project themselves into a product that is no longer a simple alternative to their homemade back office.
We can’t blame early stage startups for not seeing all the power of our Pro features since they don’t need them at this stage.
But recently, we noticed that a certain segment of free users had operational problems that would easily be solved by our Pro features. For this specific group, the free plan is no longer suitable as it doesn’t provide the full value that we promise with Forest.
Everybody has a full access to the back office in the early days of your company. And it’s perfectly fine.
But from the moment you start growing, you will need to manage different access-level to keep control over your data. This is true of any company.
As your company grows, your operational processes involve more and more people.
We designed a collaboration module into the back office to smooth the interaction between people and make the operations more efficient.
The more you grow, the more your data is split amongst a myriad of SaaS.
We leverage your data from third party services by reconciling it with your application’s data and providing it directly to your back office. All your actions can be performed at the same place, bringing additional intelligence to your back office and ensuring consistency.
Releasing our new pricing strategy
To fix these issues, we needed to rethink where we set the limit between our Free and our Pro plans.
So, we decided to turn to our data to more precisely identify our customers in the salmon-rectangle area. Based on our analysis, we have decided to limit the Free plan usage to 10 seats and to 10,000 activities /month.
Our new pricing strategy is here to insure we can preserve all of our users’ customer experience and we can give them the right features at the right moment and maximize their operations’ efficiency as they scale.
We are convinced this is the best move for our clients and for Forest as we strive to keep delivering five-star service day in, day out and continue on our journey to Redefine your Back office together!