Each year, LinkedIn releases a list of the top 50 U.S. companies on the rise. On September 22, LinkedIn named Gravy Solutions the twelfth best startup in the country. Gravy Solutions is a “virtual retention” company that “helps subscription-based businesses retain their customers through remedying failed payments.”
“More than 2 out of 3 businesses lose 17% or more of subscription profits due to customer churn.” Customer churn is the rate at which you lose subscriptions that are canceled or forgotten. Many businesses are hurting the lifetime value of their business because they are unable to retain customers over time.
Self-made entrepreneur, Jamie Dana said, “When we hired Gravy, it was such a huge burden lifted off [our] shoulders knowing that our team was being taken care of, that I didn’t have to worry about that side of the business anymore, and that our customers were feeling supported.”
Typically, only 15% of failed payments are retained, but Gravy has built a model for payment retention that recovers 80% of failed payments.
The Atlanta area startup is headquartered in the suburb of Alpharetta and led by Founder & CEO, Casey Graham. Graham launched the company in 2017 after exiting his previous business to private equity.
About the Founder
After graduating from Samford University in 2003, Casey Graham moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to plant a church with some friends. As the church grew rapidly and excelled in recruiting volunteers and raising money without capital campaigns, people consistently asked Graham and the other church leaders to teach them the things they didn’t learn in seminary. After five years of working in the church, he launched The Rocket Company.
During his time at The Rocket Company, he taught church leaders how to communicate well, raise money, and recruit and retain volunteers. Graham built the business on a low-cost, recurring subscription basis.
Started by Solving Problems
In 2014, a private equity firm was interested in purchasing the company, but during due diligence, they found a churn problem. Graham quickly came to realize that the retention of customers was key. He said, “Within 10 minutes, we lost millions of dollars because of our retention problem.” Over the next two years, Graham fixed the problem using “people, processes, and technology.” The retention rate increased from 15% to 85% and he exited making five times the initial offer.
Graham completed his time at The Rocket Company burnt out and exhausted. A year later, he built Gravy using the same criteria that saved his first business, “people, processes, and technology.”
A Purpose Beyond Profit
For Graham, building Gravy Solutions is about more than making money. As a founder, he is focused on starting a company where his adult children would want to work. This is about creating a meaningful workplace that solves real problems.
Despite this, Gravy Solutions has recovered $352 million for subscription-based companies. By the end of 2022, the company hopes to save its clients $30 million in annual revenue. And, the startup is on track to total $1 billion in recovered revenue by the end of 2023.
While many startup companies offering software as a service have attempted to replace people with software, Graham strongly believes in hiring leaders who move fast and are committed to building the business.