Interview with erxes COO and co-founder Nauren

This interview was given during the Startup Week Ulaanbaatar 2021, as part of the Startup Grind Mongolia. Startup Grind is the world’s largest community of startups, founders, innovators, and creators. They bring 3.5 million individuals together through local events, flagship conferences, startup programs, partnerships, and online media. Here are the summary and key points from the interview. 

Nauren is the co-founder and COO of erxes Inc. Nauren worked at many leading banks and firms in Mongolia and the UK with almost two decades of finance experience. Previously she was the CFO of the New Media Group (NMG), a digital media agency, before becoming the CEO of NMG. She has an incredible ability to dig deep on a wide range of issues and solve them fast. She holds an MBA from the Charles Stuart University of Australia and a PG Diploma in Management and E-commerce from the London School of Commerce.

Difference between open and closed, or proprietary source software

  • Proprietary software requires careful planning and architecture. So, its use case is bound to the structure. As for open-source, the end-users can customize it according to their needs.
  • Sometimes in regulated industries, some companies cannot use the software as a service platform (SaaS). In this case, they need to choose software that could be self-hosted on their servers.
  • The speed of a software product development correlates to the number of people working on the project. So, when it comes to open-source software, the velocity and rate of product development could be unlimited, as it allows for anyone outside the organization to contribute.

erxes Continuous Securities Offering (CSO)

CSO is a new type of fundraising model. This model is more accessible compared to the traditional models. Anyone globally and any accredited US investors can become an investor and get stakes at a very early stage startup. Another advantage is that the whole process is possible through the company’s website. 

I enjoy this model as it relieves a good part of the CxO workload when fundraising. It is less bureaucratic and requires relatively little effort to become an investor. It automates a lot of the fundraising process.

The preparation before the CSO launch took the most effort and time. We worked with Finvisor for our evaluation and it is based on the future projection of our revenue. 

erxes Business Model

As you know, we have two versions of erxes: open-source and SaaS. When it comes to the open-source version, we recently changed the license to fair-code. It gives a bit more protection to the makers and requires a percentage share of the revenue from reselling if you reach a specific revenue volume. We have an open-source Agency Partner Program when we support those agencies both with technical and logistical expertise. Aside from partner agencies, of course, we have enterprise clients who use our open-source version. 

Since our mission is to be accessible to all organizations, we launched the SaaS version back in 2019. It does not need an in-house tech team or requires less effort and maintenance. Some may know SaaS as “cloud software,” where you can access your app from different devices via the internet. As for our SaaS business model, we have a subscription-based service and have an affiliate partner program. We have recently launched the Agency Partners Program for SaaS resellers, too.