In conversation with Heather Cooper

  • 10-10-2023
  • Article
Main interviewed Heather Cooper (CEO at Cloud Coach) to discuss future growth prospects and how Main can contribute to reaching those ambitions.

We are very thankful to have Main Capital’s knowledge and expertise to help guide us through those growing pains and achieve our goals!

- Heather Cooper, CEO of Cloud Coach

This year, Main acquired Cloud Coach, marking its first entry into the North American market since opening its office in 2023. A leading provider of professional services automation solutions, Cloud Coach was one of the first companies invited to be on the Salesforce App Exchange in 2011. What started out as a basic project and task management tool has grown over the years into a full-blown enterprise SaaS solution serving companies around the globe. Their tool serves the Onboarding, Project Services Automation (PSA), and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) markets, offering all the bells and whistles they require. Their primary clients are in Health Tech, High Tech, and Commercialization, including Hostess Brands, McCormick Spices, and Fidelity Investments.

“Our mission is to help companies scale through improved processes. We believe that if end users truly enjoy and see value in their daily experience with Cloud Coach, they will actively engage with the solution, resulting in better data and reliable metrics, which in the end, help the company improve their processes, make sound decisions, and scale efficiently. And if they scale, we scale.”

Heather came to Cloud Coach as what she calls a “recovering litigator”. After years practicing as a corporate defense attorney she later found her way to software:

“I was discouraged by the time and money wasted in so many legal disputes. I founded a law firm dedicated to helping companies reduce risk by implementing collaborative legal processes to get ahead of legal issues before they start, or at least deal with them as efficiently as possible. It was so inspiring to see how a well-designed process could positively impact legal risk and manage outcomes—leaving people with measured expectations and feeling satisfied. Very different from the feeling I had leaving courtrooms in years past. After consulting many start-ups on legal systems design, I was introduced to Cloud Coach and fell in love with the product. Cloud Coach attacks process improvement from a different angle, and because it is SaaS, the reach is so much greater. I jumped at the chance to join as General Counsel, moved to COO a couple of years later, and took over as CEO last year.

Being CEO of Cloud Coach is a great honor. I’m surrounded by some of the most intelligent, hard-working, creative people in the industry. Although we derive from many different career backgrounds, from all over the world, we hold a few things in common—we are smart, we are capable and we are incredibly driven. As CEO, my goal is to make sure that every single employee of this company feels seen and understands exactly how their role directly impacts our company’s goals, mission, and vision. Then, I do my best to show up each day and support them.”

What interests you about software?

“I grew up in the 80’s, so had the fun of being one of the first generations to get to use it (I’ll never forget the frustration of losing floppy disks or buying Microsoft Word from a box). I’m so grateful to be living in this age where possibilities are endless and software continues to push us forward, expanding what we can accomplish. At Cloud Coach, it is so energizing to see a customer feature request go live—so much of our product has come from the creativity of our employees and customer feedback. It is ever evolving, and I still get excited about each release!”

How was the partnership between Main and Cloud Coach formed?

As a bootstrapped company, Cloud Coach realized that there was a ceiling on how fast they could grow, especially when they started gaining traction with Fortune 500 companies. Feeling a strong sense of responsibility to find the right partner to help them scale up in a fiscally responsible manner and continue to meet the needs of their customers they were on the look-out for a strategic investor.

“We hired Tequity Advisors, an M&A firm that specializes in Salesforce ISV’s. They helped us put together a pitch deck and circulated an investment memorandum to a selective number of potential investors, which thankfully caught Main Capital’s attention. Main holds a strategic approach to growth and we were not interested in venture capital or taking on huge risks. Being backed by Main Capital has already had a noticeable impact on our position in deals, especially ones where we may have previously been disqualified due to company size. Their Performance Excellence team has been incredibly helpful in analyzing our current pricing model and go-to-market strategy to help us maximize revenue. Main’s reputation is solid in the enterprise software industry and their decision to invest in Cloud Coach provides instant credibility to who we are and what we can do. This is true for our internal team, potential clients, and competitors.”

Looking ahead, what is Cloud Coach’s five-year plan?

“Our goal is to invest in the current organic measures that are working, and then gradually partner with other companies to bolster our offering and expand into other geographical locations. My hope is that over the next 5 years, we will increase our ARR many times over, strategically acquire at least 2-3 companies, and maintain our company culture. That last part is crucial. We are very thankful to have Main Capital’s knowledge and expertise to help guide us through those growing pains and achieve our goals!”

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Esmée Knijff

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