- Bryant Chou is the CTO of Webflow, a Y Combinator startup that hasn’t taken any investment beyond a modest seed round.
- Chou says that Webflow has slowly built itself into a profitable business, and expects to do $10 million in revenue this year.
- Webflow is a visual website development tool that’s spread through word-of-mouth.
Unlike most of those companies, though, Webflow raised only $2.9 million in a relatively modest seed investment — and then never took another dime of venture capital. In fact, Webflow CTO and cofounder Bryant Chou tells Business Insider that the company never actually touched any of that seed cash, and has been profitable all the while.
The key, says Chou, is taking a slow-and-steady approach to growth. Thanks to positive word-of-mouth, Webflow has grown to 750,000 users in four years, including developers at NASA, Dell, and MTV. Chou says the company is on track to do $10 million in revenue this year, with about 50 employees on board.
Webflow is a smaller company and its growth has been more measured than some of the more famous Y Combinator alumni, which had explosive growth out of the gate. But Chou says that Webflow has come to like it that way — if you get too big, too fast, you run the risk of prioritizing the wrong things, he says.
“You lose focus, or you get distracted,” says Chou.
Similarly, Chou says that not loading up on VC money has let Webflow build exactly the product it wanted to build, without interference from investors. “We would have really needed to focus on short-term metrics” to please them, he says.