Listen Here

| |

Conversation
Highlights

 

Shownotes & Key topics discussed:

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Stoyan Zulyamsky, Co-Founder of Costimize, a finops-powered operating system for the modern enterprise that’s raised $5 Million in funding. 

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Early Tech Aspirations: Stoyan’s interest in technology began at a young age, with ambitions to build his own computer. His early career moves, including working for the biggest bank in Bulgaria, provided him with the insights and experiences that would later fuel his entrepreneurial journey.
  • The Tech Scene in Bulgaria: From being perceived as a call center location to becoming an R&D hub for large tech companies, Bulgaria has experienced a significant transformation. This change reflects the country’s growing startup ecosystem, fueled by an influx of capital and a wealth of educated talent.
  • Addressing Cloud Complexity: Costimize tackles the complex, automated environment of cloud systems, aiming to simplify and optimize operations for businesses. Stoyan’s vision is to provide a systematic approach to managing and reducing cloud expenses while organizing operational playbooks for sustainability.
  • The Genesis of Costimize: The idea for Costimize was born out of Stoyan’s experiences in managing IT operations and witnessing the manual efforts required to control cloud spending. This realization led to the development of a platform that could automate these processes, saving time and resources for businesses.
  • Market Positioning and Growth Strategy: Initially focusing on Google Cloud as a niche market, Costimize is expanding its offerings to other cloud platforms. Stoyan’s strategy involves leveraging marketplace opportunities and partnerships to drive growth, aiming for a tenfold increase in the coming year.
  • FinOps and the Future of Cloud Management: Stoyan emphasizes the importance of FinOps (financial operations) in the evolving landscape of cloud management. He envisions Costimize as a central platform that connects various systems, aiding organizations in automating their cloud finances for enhanced profitability.

 

Actionable
Takeaways

Identify and Address a Specific Need:

Stoyan's realization of the inefficiencies in cloud spending management led to the creation of Costimize. For entrepreneurs, it's crucial to identify a specific problem that is deeply felt by your target audience. Dive into niches where your expertise can offer significant value and differentiate your solution.

Leverage Your Background to Uncover Unique Insights:

Drawing on his experiences from working in banking and M&A, Stoyan recognized the need for more sophisticated cloud financial management tools. This underscores the importance of using your past experiences to gain unique insights into the challenges faced by industries you're familiar with, potentially uncovering underserved areas ripe for innovation.

Educate Your Market:

Particularly in emerging or complex fields like FinOps, dedicating resources to educate potential clients about the significance and benefits of your product is crucial. Create educational content and stories that resonate with the challenges they face, guiding them to understand the value your solution brings.

Adapt Your Positioning as Your Product Evolves:

As Costimize transitioned from a savings-focused tool to an operating system for cloud finance management, its market positioning evolved. This highlights the need for startups to continuously refine their messaging to align with product developments and market expectations, ensuring relevance and clarity in how the value proposition is communicated.

Build for Integration and Automation:

In today's hyper-automated business environment, designing your product or service to easily integrate with existing systems and automate tasks can significantly increase its appeal. Stoyan emphasizes the importance of creating solutions that act as digital agents, capable of performing tasks within a larger ecosystem, thereby enhancing operational efficiency for clients.

Recommended Founder
Interviews

Derric Gilling

Co-founder & CEO of Moesif

Derric Gilling, CEO of Moesif: $15 Million Raised to Build the Future of API Analytics

Tim Kraska

Co-Founder of Einblick

Tim Kraska, Co-Founder of Einblick: $6M Raised to Build the Visual Data Computing Category

Zach Lloyd

CEO and Founder of Warp

Zach Lloyd, CEO and Founder of Warp: $70 Million Raised to Build a Better Terminal

Anish Dhar

Co-Founders of Cortex

Anish Dhar and Ganesh Datta, Co-Founders of Cortex: Over $52 Million Raised to Improve Developer Productivity

Lasse Andresen

CEO and Founder of IndyKite

Lasse Andresen, CEO and Founder of IndyKite: $10 Million Raised to Empower Teams to Move Beyond Legacy Identity and Access Management

Tom Hacohen

CEO and Founder of Svix

Tom Hacohen, CEO and Founder of Svix: $10.5 Million Raised to Power the Future of Webhooks

Matthew O’Riordan

CEO of Ably Realtime

Matthew O’Riordan, CEO of Ably Realtime: Over $82 Million Raised to Build the Future of Realtime Experience Infrastructure

Joshua Aaron

CEO of Aiden

Joshua Aaron, CEO Aiden, $3 Million Raised to Build the Future of Software Packaging and Deployment

Gil Feig

CTO of Merge

Gil Feig, CTO of Merge: $75 Million Raised to Help B2B Companies Build Customer-Facing Integrations via It’s Unified API Platform

James Hawkins

CEO of PostHog

James Hawkins, CEO of PostHog: $21 Million Raised to Build the Future of Product Analytics

Tomas Reimers

Co-Founder of Graphite

Tomas Reimers, Co-Founder of Graphite: $22.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Code Reviews

Omri Gazitt

CEO & Co-Founder of Aserto

Omri Gazitt, CEO & Co-Founder at Aserto: $5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Authorization

Michael Corr

Founder and CEO of Duro Labs

Michael Corr, CEO of Duro Labs: $4 Million Raised to Power the Future of Hardware Engineering

Gary Hoberman

CEO & Founder of Unqork

Gary Hoberman, CEO & Founder of Unqork: Over $400 Million Raised to Pioneer the Codeless as a Service (CaaS) Category

Mike Malone

CEO and Founder of Smallstep

Mike Malone, CEO and Founder of Smallstep: $26 Million Raised to Build the Future of Certificate Lifecycle Management For DevOps

Lukas Gentele

Co-Founder & CEO of Loft Labs

Lukas Gentele, CEO of Loft Labs: $5 Million Raised to Build the Virtual Kubernetes Category

David Siegel

David Siegel of Glide

David Siegel, CEO of Glide: Over $20 Million Raised to Power the Future of No-Code Application Development

Ayal Yogev

CEO and Co-Founder of Anjuna

Ayal Yogev, CEO and Co-Founder of Anjuna: $42 Million to Build The Future of Confidential Computing

Martin Mao

CEO of Chronosphere

Martin Mao, CEO of Chronosphere: $250 Million Raised to Build the Future of Observability

Romaric Philogene

CEO of Qovery

Romaric Philogene, CEO of Qovery: $4 Million Raised to Help You Deploy Your Apps on AWS in Seconds

Tom Trowbridge

Co-Founder of Fluence Labs

Tom Trowbridge, co-founder of Fluence Labs: $9 Million Raised to Build the Future of Decentralized P2P Computing

Dylan Etkin

CEO and Co-Founder of Sleuth

Dylan Etkin, CEO and Co-Founder of Sleuth: $25 Million Raised to Make Engineering Teams More Efficient

Sophie Novati

CEO and Founder of Formation

Sophie Novati, CEO and Founder of Formation: $9 Million Raised to Build a Virtual Fellowship Program for Software Engineers

Ramiro Berrelleza

Founder and CEO of Okteto

Ramiro Berrelleza, CEO of Okteto: $18 Million Raised to Build the Future of Cloud Development

James Evans

Co-Founder and CEO of Co-Founder and CEO

James Evans, Co-Founder and CEO of CommandBar: $24 Million Raised to Build the Leading AI-Powered User Assistance Platform

Yadhu Gopalan

CEO and Founder of Esper

Yadhu Gopalan, CEO and Founder of Esper: $100 Million Raised to Build the Future of Android Device Management

Tommy Dang

Co-Founder & CEO of Mage

Tommy Dang, CEO of Mage: $6.3 Million Raised to Build a Modern Replacement For Airflow

Honey Mittal

Co-Founder, CPO & CEO of Locofy.ai

Honey Mittal, CEO of Locofy.ai: $3 Million Raised to Build the Future of Frontend Development

Ravi Parikh

CEO and Co-Founder of Airplane

Ravi Parikh, CEO and Co-Founder of Airplane: Over $40 Million Raised to Build Better Developer Infrastructure For Internal Tooling

Harpreet Singh

Co-Founder and CEO of Launchable

Harpreet Singh, Co-Founder and CEO of Launchable: Over $12 Million Raised to Build the Future of Software Testing

Johnny Dallas

CEO and Co-Founder of Zeet.co

Johnny Dallas, CEO & Co-Founder of Zeet.co: $6M Raised to Power the Future of CI/CD & Deployment

Paul Kim

CEO of Notifi

Paul Kim, CEO of Notifi: $12 Million raised to Build the Future of Web3 Communication Infrastructure

Costa Tsaousis

CEO and Founder of Netdata

Costa Tsaousis, CEO and Founder of Netdata: Over $30 Million Raised to Power the Future of Infrastructure Monitoring

Evan Kaplan

CEO of InfluxData

Evan Kaplan, CEO of InfluxData: Over $170 Million Raised to Build the Leading Time Series Provider

Matt Butcher

CEO of Fermyon

Matt Butcher, CEO of Fermyon: $26 Million Raised to Power the Future of WebAssembly

Casey Rosenthal

CEO of Verica

Casey Rosenthal, CEO of Verica: $17 Million Raised to Build the Future of Chaos Engineering

Benjamin Wilms

CEO and Co-Founder of Steadybit

Benjamin Wilms, CEO and Co-Founder of Steadybit: $7.8 Million Raised to Build the Future of Chaos Engineering

Hersh Tapadia

Co-Founder & CEO of Allstacks

Hersh Tapadia, CEO of Allstacks: $16 Million Raised to Build the Value Stream Intelligence Category

Mike Long

CEO and Founder of Kosli

Mike Long, CEO and Founder of Kosli: $3.5 Million Raised to Deliver Secure Software Changes at Scale and Deploy to Production with Speed

Chetan Venkatesh

CEO of Macrometa

Chetan Venkatesh, CEO of Macrometa: $38 Million raised to Build the Hyper Distributed Cloud for the Next Generation of Applications

Prakash Chandran

Co-Founder and CEO of Xano

Prakash Chandran, Co-Founder and CEO of Xano.com: $5.4 Million Raised to Build the Next Generation of No-Code Backend Development

Paul Stovell

CEO and Founder of Octopus Deploy

Paul Stovell, CEO and Founder of Octopus Deploy: Over $170 Million Raised to Build the Future of Deployment Automation

Ben Kliger

CEO and Co-Founder of Zenity

Ben Kliger, CEO and Co-Founder of Zenity: $21.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Security and Governance for AI, Low-Code, and No-Code Development

Ori Keren

CEO and Co-Founder of LinearB

Ori Keren, CEO and Co-Founder of LinearB: Over $70 Million Raised to Build the Future of Software Delivery Management

Paolo Fragomeni

CEO of Socket Supply

Paolo Fragomeni, CEO of Socket Supply: $3.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of P2P Computing

Tom Tovar

CEO and Co-Founder of AppDome

Tom Tovar, CEO and Co-Founder of AppDome: Over $26 Million Raised to Build the Future of Mobile App Security

Suresh Mathew

Founder and CEO of Sedai

Suresh Mathew, Founder and CEO of Sedai: $18 Million Raised to Automate Cloud Management for Critical Decisions

Alan Shreve

CEO and Founder of Ngrok

Alan Shreve, CEO and Founder of Ngrok: $50 Million Raised to Help Devs Deploy SItes, Services, and Apps

DeVaris Brown

CEO and Co-Founder of Meroxa

DeVaris Brown, CEO and Co-Founder of Meroxa: Over $19 Million Raised to Empower Engineering Teams with Better Stream Processing

Marcin Wyszynski

Co-Founder and CPO of Spacelift

Marcin Wyszynski, Co-Founder and CPO of Spacelift: Over $22 Million Raised to Build the Future of IaC Management

Egil Østhus

CEO and Co-founder of Unleash

Egil Østhus, CEO of Unleash: $16.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Feature Management

Eden Full Goh

Founder & CEO of Mobot

Eden Full Goh, Founder & CEO of Mobot: Over $17 Million Raised to Power the Future of Mobile App Testing

Liam Randall

CEO and Founder of Cosmonic

Liam Randall, CEO and Founder of Cosmonic: $8.5 Million Raised to Power the Future of WebAssembly

Yingjun Wu

CEO and Co-Founder of RisingWave

Yingjun Wu, CEO and Co-Founder of RisingWave Labs: $40 Million Raised to Make Stream Processing Simple, Affordable, and Accessible