20VC: Klaviyo’s Andrew Bialecki on Going Public in an IPO Winter, Is Klaviyo Under-Priced in Public Markets and Why, Why Every VC Turned Klaviyo Down in the Early Days & How Shopify’s Partnership Changed the Game

Posted on 26th June 2024 by Luca

Andrew Bialecki is the Co-Founder and CEO of Klaviyo, the platform that powers smarter digital relationships for businesses and their data. To date, Klaviyo has raised over $778M from the likes of Accel, Summit Partners, Sands Capital, and Shopify, and raised an additional $700M after its IPO in September 2023. 

In Today’s Episode with Andrew Bialecki We Discuss:

1. Founding Klaviyo: The Aha Moment

  • What was the aha moment for Klaviyo?
  • How important does Andrew think it is for founders to stick with their initial vision vs when is the right time to pivot?
  • Does a great product sell itself? If you build it, will they come?

2. Bootstrapping Klaviyo to $1M ARR

  • Why did Andrew decide to bootstrap & not take VC money with Klaviyo?
  • Does Andrew think Klaviyo would have been successful if they raised a seed round? What would they have done differently?
  • Why does Andrew believe companies should take their time to find product-market fit? What are the most common mistakes founders make?
  • What is Andrew’s advice to founders on fundraising?
  • When did Andrew decide to raise a seed round when he did? 

3. The IPO: Advice & Lessons

  • Why did Andrew decide to take Klaviyo public in a bad public market?
  • How was the IPO roadshow process? What were Andrew’s lessons from it?
  • How has Andrew’s role as CEO changed after taking Klaviyo public?
  • Does Andrew think Klaviyo is undervalued today?
  • What is Andrew’s advice to founders on secondaries?

4. Behind the Shopify Partnership

  • How did Klaviyo’s partnership with Shopify happen? What were Andrew’s lessons working with Tobi Lütke & Harley Finklestein?
  • How does Andrew define a win-win partnership? 
  • What does Andrew mean by “Partnerships are like a tug of war?”
  • What does Andrew think are the most common reasons partnerships go sideways?

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