#Partnerships can be the engine that drives startups 🚚 to scale. In fact, 57% of businesses leverage them to gain new customers.
Let's look into case studies of the partnership’s impact in new user acquisitions.
📑 Icertis: Embedding Partnerships in the Business DNA
Icertis, an Indian SaaS unicorn recently valued at $2.8bn, specializes in contract management software. Think of tools that read and analyze contracts, generate risk management reports, and track obligations automatically.
From the outset, Icertis recognized partnerships as a critical aspect of their scaling strategy, designing their product and company accordingly.
In its initial stage Icertis had the best knowledge of their product and their customers. So they themselves worked with its customers on implementation.
However, as they expanded beyond 500 implementations, partnerships became key not just for generating leads, but also for better selling.
Significantly, the partnership program at Icertis was overseen by CXO, including building platforms to work well with partner products and tools for configuring things more easily.
Monish Darda, Co-founder and CTO, explains, "Strategic partnerships with top-tier software and professional services players were key to hyperscaling...They enabled us to leverage well-established B2B sales ecosystems quickly while adding immense value to our partners’ offerings to help joint customers."
In the SaaS arena, these partnerships could be essential, as they enhance the core offerings of partners and bring recurring profit-sharing.
🚘 Uber's Creative Approach: WhatsApp Integration
When Uber aimed to expand into India's Tier 2+ cities, they faced a unique challenge: how to reach new users? In these cities, the usage of digital services differs, so the real competition is is which apps are downloaded.
Uber's innovative solution? A partnership with WhatsApp, given its ubiquity in India. Rather than promoting a standalone app download, Uber integrated their ride-hailing service directly into WhatsApp.
The result was striking. During the pilot, 33% of demand came from new users, enabling Uber's successful penetration into these smaller markets.
Key takeaway: A creative, user-centric partnership strategy can overcome market access barriers, sparking fresh user demand.
💡 These cases demonstrate that when strategically planned and creatively executed, partnerships can significantly contribute to growth.
However, it's important to remember that up to 70% of business partnerships fail. Careful management, alignment of goals, and consistent nurturing are vital to ensuring your partnership becomes a success story rather than a cautionary tale.