Founder’s Deep Dive S1 E10

Being an Ally who brings purpose, happiness and productivity to work via OKRs with Vetri Vellore of Ally

19 May 2022

After his 14 years career with Microsoft, Vetri Vellore started Chronus, an enterprise mentoring platform which got acquired by a PE firm. He later started Ally, an OKR software, which he scaled from a team of 15 to 250+ in less than 3 years, helping 1000s of customers in bringing purpose, focus and happiness to work and unleash productivity gains of 2x to 4x.

Ally had raised series C funding and was on the path to further scale up and raise another round at a Billion dollar plus valuation. That’s when Microsoft approached them, resulting in an acquisition within 3 years of starting Ally, at a revenue multiple close to 100x.

Tune in to learn what it takes for the transition of an engineer who used to work on the transport layer of the Microsoft operating system to a business person who built a modern operating system for running a company, who’s on a mission of helping unlock human potential, as Suresh Sambandam deep dives into OKR practice, M&A nitty-gritty and more.

Tune in to this episode to learn more.

About the host

Suresh Sambandam

CEO, Kissflow

This episode’s guest

Vetri Vellore

CEO & Founder, Ally
Key Takeaways
  • 9:23 Advice for hardcore engineering background on how to become great at business
  • 16:16 Why he decided to build an OKR software?
  • 17:39 How Ally helps companies unleash productivity gains of 2x to 4x?
  • 19:24 What is a modern operating system for running a company?
  • 20:33 How they framed ICP and how did it change over time?
  • 24:50 How customers and investors think of product category?
  • 28:26 Leveraging customer interviews to sharpen Demand Generation
  • 32:39 How to optimize for CAC in SEM
  • 34:43 Sales team size and structure
  • 39:46 Managing churn as OKR software requires new habits and culture change
  • 48:04 How to hire super human senior talent in customer success?
  • 50:17 How to set a change management practice to success?
  • 53:51 Role of Chief of Staff
  • 56:55 What’s a ‘Modern work experience’?
  • 57:52 Insights on acquisition by Microsoft
  • 1:00:34 M&A Integration risks & cultural fit
  • 1:01:41 M&A Negotiation tips
  • 1:02:06 Choice between Independence v/s Impact as an entrepreneur
  • 1:12:14 Tips on scaling team from 15 to 250+ in 2 years