As Capillary turns 15, I am reminded of a story from my childhood. This story is over 2,000 years old but it resonates with me every day.
When the water in the pond began to diminish, the frogs that lived in it had two choices. Stay in familiar waters and wait for the rain, or go out into the unknown on the hunt for a new home.
Only one of them, a wise old frog, decided to take the road less travelled. It landed on the brink of death several times but never once did it stop. It took on unfamiliar terrains, hid nimbly from hawks, staved off snakes, and found its grand prize: A large pond brimming with water. For all the risks that frog took, it finally got its rewards.
The lesson here is that sometimes the only way to thrive is to do what is difficult. Capillary has always done exactly that; it embraced the motto: ‘Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional’. The company knows that dry spells don’t just stop, you have to find a way out of them.
And life hasn’t always been easy for this company but it let go of fear, embraced change, and experimented. When going after retail was not enough, it extended its offerings to hospitality and aviation, while its competitors acted as services businesses, it switched to a product view. No hurdle could halt its march from India into Singapore, China, the Middle East, and even the US. By gamifying its software, it has managed to lock in customer loyalty for itself and the companies it works with, making it one of the few companies across the world with high LTV but low CAC.
All of this was done with the singular mission of creating value for the customer.
Fifteen years is a long time to create value and Capillary has generated an abundance of it for its stakeholders.
For VCs, whether they funded Capillary or not, the founders’ willingness to push the envelope has been so exemplary that investors ask new founders to replicate it.
For its employees, Capillary has been a rock. During COVID, when the company had to make hard decisions, it made sure everyone was treated fairly. In better times, Capillary made sure its employees aren’t just comfortable monetarily but spiritually too. A 10-day vipassana leave is automatically sanctioned.
In its 15th year, this CRM company is not only profitable and cash-positive and this has encouraged investor interest, despite a funding winter, Capillary still manages to tell an engaging story and recently raised another round. It is very rare to find a company(and its founders) generate so much excitement in the investor circle, be a rock for its employees, and an inspiration to the ecosystem.
I don’t think Aneesh and the Capillary team are done surprising us yet. There are many more rewards to lay hands on, many more ponds to discover. And I’m sure that they will do so with utmost grit, clarity, and finesse.