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The journey of growth: How KPI Media crossed SG$1M ARR in less than three years

The journey of growth: How KPI Media crossed SG$1M ARR in less than three years

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This post is sponsored by KPI Media.

KPI Media was founded by Yashwin Naidu, a former regional performance manager at one of the world's largest global agencies. He was also actively involved in Singapore's start-up ecosystem and had previously founded and sold another company. 

In his conversations with the start-up community, he noticed a common problem. In order to acquire new customers and meet investors' targets, most start-ups operate on lean budgets and teams. This results in start-ups resorting to engaging agencies instead of hiring in-house staff due to their limited resources.

However, Naidu observed that most of the agencies selected by start-ups were either too expensive, performed poorly, or didn't care enough.

"Most agencies refrain from working with start-ups as they are typically more demanding and have smaller budgets. When all they really need is a partner who truly believes in their vision." 

Yashwin saw this challenge as an opportunity and decided to take action by building an agency dedicated to scaling venture-backed start-ups. Since its inception in 2020, KPI Media has been committed to delivering start-ups with world-class performance marketing strategies to support them in achieving their business objectives. 

Over time, news about the independent agency spread, and they began attracting high-growth start-ups as clients. KPI Media partners with start-ups with a minimum advertising budget of SG$5,000/month, and helps them grow to a point where they can comfortably spend hundreds of thousands while maintaining profitability.

With the agency's help, many start-ups have continuously hit their yearly investor targets, quadrupled in size, and some have even been acquired.

As a result, KPI Media has quickly become one of Singapore's leading media agencies. Their dedication and success led them to win the 'Local Hero' award for the "Media Agency of the Year" category at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's AOTY Awards 2023.

The first year – crossing the SG$100,000 ARR hurdle

In its early days, KPI Media faced numerous challenges as a relatively unknown start-up in Singapore's competitive advertising market. However, the company secured several clients within its first year thanks to personal connections and positive word-of-mouth referrals. 

The COVID-19 pandemic played a part in KPI Media's growth, as the demand for digital marketing services increased significantly. Having been founded amid the pandemic allowed KPI Media to operate as a fully-remote company.

The cost savings from a physical office space allowed them to allocate their resources more strategically, allowing them to invest in top-quality employees from global ad agencies who can deliver exceptional results for their clients.

The second year – reaching SG$600,000 ARR

Building an award-winning agency, which is a partner of Meta, TikTok, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Google, is no easy feat, and this led to many more referrals over the year - some of which were from enterprise companies and MNCs.

In 2022, the team size doubled from 7 to 14 staff, and this team expansion proved beneficial as the company needed to service many more prospective clients. 

In addition to striving to boost the company's ARR, the primary obstacle faced throughout the year was maintaining a harmonious equilibrium between clients and staff. The team dedicated their efforts to ensuring the company's growth and upholding the standard of work, which necessitated meticulous planning and management.

Despite the hurdles, KPI Media surpassed half a million dollars in annual recurring revenue (ARR) and ended the year with 18 clients.

The third year – crossing the coveted SG$1,000,000 ARR mark

For the second year running, KPI Media clinched the "New Kid on the Block" 2023 AOTY award, which goes out to emerging high-growth agencies in Singapore that have been in operation for less than two years.

On top of that, the Singapore independent agency also won 'Local Hero' for the "Media Agency of the Year" award, which had massive competition from global media agencies such as Havas, OMD, PHD, Starcom, The Media Shop, and Zenith.

Their growth over the past year resulted from their continued commitment to delivering stellar results for their client's campaigns, which fuelled more partnership opportunities and client referrals.

As of July 2023, KPI Media currently works with 28 clients and has officially surpassed the SG$1,000,000 ARR mark. Through first-hand experience growing KPI Media from SG$0 to SG$1,000,000 ARR, Naidu and his management team are confident they can do the same for their clients.

When asked what's next for the company's growth, Naidu added that they are working on some considerable partnership deals, building their internal martech software, and looking to expand to other countries besides Singapore and Indonesia.

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