Jun 25 • 1HR 17M

Lessons from scaling Ramp | Sri Batchu (Ramp, Instacart, Opendoor)

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Lenny Rachitsky
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.
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Sri Batchu currently leads growth at Ramp, the fastest-growing SaaS business (and fintech business) in history. Previously, he led growth strategy and operations at Instacart and was one of the first 50 employees at Opendoor, where he built, scaled, and managed a variety of business teams, including analytics, sales, and pricing. During his time there, the company grew from $100M to $5B+ in revenue and to 1,500+ people. In this episode, we discuss:
• The surprising tactics behind Ramp’s unprecedented early growth
• A breakdown of Ramp’s current growth org and growth channels
• Why you need to be “failing conclusively”
• Ramp’s unique approach to metrics and measurement
• Examples of Ramp’s “secret sauce”: a data- and technology-driven approach to everything
• Why Sri prioritizes employee autonomy and flexibility over hours worked
• Why team structure is a red herring for growth teams, and what Sri focuses on instead
• How to set good North Star metrics, and why you should have more than one
• Why Sri prefers payback periods over CAC for measuring investment ROI

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Google, Overcast, and YouTube.

Find the full transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/lessons-from-scaling-ramp-sri-batchu-ramp-instacart-opendoor/#transcript

Where to find Sri Batchu:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/sri_batchu

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sribatchu/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Sri’s background

(04:07) Stats surrounding Ramp’s hypergrowth

(06:20) How Ramp set the stage for their remarkable growth

(09:19) New customers vs. customer expansion

(10:20) How Ramp has prioritized data-driven decisions

(12:12) Ramp’s growth engineering team, and how it supports the sales team

(13:41) The structure of the growth team at Ramp

(14:36) The “skunk works” team

(15:49) How Ramp maintains working at such high velocity

(19:11) How Ramp boosts morale and keeps employees engaged and excited

(21:45) How to promote hard work

(25:10) Optimizing efficiency in your growth engine

(27:28) Leveraging PR and fundraising

(29:20) Traditional media vs. newsletters and podcasts

(30:49) Building a repeatable and scalable growth process

(32:28) Examples of good North Star metrics

(37:09) Lower-level metrics

(40:30) When it makes sense to use the North Star framework

(42:03) Why Ramp doesn’t allow signups through personal emails, and how to reach out if you’re in that position

(43:11) Efficiency metrics and volume metrics

(46:49) Payback period vs. CAC for measuring ROI

(48:55) Defining payback period and contribution margin

(49:51) How to sequence growth tactics for B2B

(52:18) Experimentation and the importance of failing conclusively

(58:06) Ramp’s tool stack

(1:00:32) How to hire great people

(1:03:21) The importance of compensating employees properly

(1:06:28) The MECE framework

(1:09:21) Lightning round


• How Ramp builds product, in Lenny’s Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com/p/how-ramp-builds-product

• Eight Sleep: https://www.eightsleep.com/

• Keith Rabois on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/keith/

• Packy McCormick’s article on Ramp: https://www.notboring.co/p/ramps-double-unicorn-rounds-behind

• Gibson Biddle’s framework: https://gibsonbiddle.medium.com/9-the-gem-model-65c89face5de

• DoorDash’s business model: https://businessmodelanalyst.com/doordash-business-model/

• Airtable: https://www.airtable.com/

• Mutiny: https://www.mutinyhq.com/

• Gokul Rajaram on Twitter: https://twitter.com/gokulr

• Claire Hughes Johnson on Lenny’s Podcast: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/lessons-from-scaling-stripe/

• MECE principle: https://productfolio.com/mece-principal/

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as If Your Life Depended on It: https://www.amazon.com/Never-Split-Difference-Negotiating-Depended/dp/0062407805

Stories of Your Life and Others: https://www.amazon.com/Stories-Your-Life-Others-Chiang/dp/1101972122/r

Everything Everywhere All at Once on Hulu: https://www.hulu.com/movie/everything-everywhere-all-at-once-fa320000-8cf3-46fc-8c45-df5ec67b71f2

• Fellow kettles: https://fellowproducts.com/

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.