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Conversation
Highlights

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 Travis Howerton, co-founder and CTO of RegScale, a continuous compliance automation platform that has raised over $21 million in funding.

  • Travis’s 20-year career in the US nuclear weapons program, where he witnessed firsthand the challenges of compliance in a highly risk-averse environment.
  • The problem of compliance being a major pain point for businesses, holding back digital transformation, and the opportunity to reimagine the process with AI and automation.
  • RegScale’s focus on continuous controls monitoring, an emerging category beyond traditional GRC that Gartner predicts will gain significant traction in the coming years.
  • The company’s early traction with large financial institutions and defense contractors, landing significant contracts by finding visionary customers who shared their passion for solving the compliance problem.
  • The advantages of selling to the government sector, which serves as a high watermark for security and complexity, enabling RegScale to move down-market to private sector customers.
  • The role of content marketing in driving growth, with RegScale positioning itself as the leader of a “RegOps” movement and providing a wealth of open, accessible resources to help companies rethink compliance.

Actionable
Takeaways

Target a Problem You're Passionate About Solving:

Travis and his co-founder Neil chose to tackle compliance because it was the "big, nasty problem" that had bothered them throughout their careers. By focusing on an issue they were deeply passionate about and had unique expertise in, they were able to build a compelling vision and attract early customers who shared their frustration. Founders should seek out problems that align with their own experiences and motivations.

Find Visionary Customers Who Share Your Passion:

RegScale landed its first big contracts by targeting forward-thinking organizations that were excited about the potential to reimagine compliance. While these early adopters understood that the initial MVP wouldn't fulfill the entire vision, they were bought into the long-term journey. Founders should look for customers who are not only feeling the pain, but are eager to be part of the solution.

Use Government Contracts as a Trust Accelerator:

By designing RegScale to meet the stringent security and complexity requirements of the government sector, Travis and his team were able to establish instant credibility with private sector prospects. The logic was simple - if it's good enough for the Department of Defense, it's good enough for a bank. Founders selling to regulated industries should consider pursuing government contracts as a way to set a high bar for their solution.

Drive Adoption with a Freemium Community Edition:

RegScale has seen over 300,000 downloads of its free community edition, which provides robust functionality for smaller-scale compliance needs. This freemium approach reduces friction for users to try the product, while creating an upgrade path for those who need the enterprise features. Founders should consider how a free tier can accelerate adoption and create a qualified pipeline for premium offerings.

Balance Speed with Sustainability in Scaling:

Having experienced the challenges of growing too quickly and ending up "over our skis" in terms of support, Travis advises founders to prioritize smooth, predictable growth over pure speed. While it's tempting to chase every opportunity, a more measured approach can help avoid costly missteps and ensure the business scales sustainably. Founders should resist the pressure to grow at all costs and instead focus on setting a steady pace.

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