Zapier's 384,515% growth & the use case that helped

March 30, 2023

Zapier is worth $5+ billion. But founders Wade, Mike, and Bryan have only ever

raised $1.3 million. That’s a 384,515% return.

Today I’m going to show you how Zapier was able to achieve this rocket ship

growth and the one Zapier use case that helped them do it.  

The Business Model

Don’t move to California, buy a shovel, and dig for gold. Start selling

shovels (HA HA! #business). Years ago I worked for a social media startup with

free kombucha on tap in the kitchen to try to offset the stress that came from

trying to keep our Facebook integration up to date. Zapier sells integrations

to those needing integrations.

While IFTTT (If This Then That) was helping your uncle get a text when it was

about to rain, Zapier was saving companies hours of time and money by

automating business. Zapier sells to businesses with pockets as deep as Mary

Poppins’ handbag. Smart move for growth.

S-E-“Oh Yeah, that’s smart”

It aint a good business strategy without some good old fashioned search engine

optimization. “Build the robot, don’t be the robot” shouts Zapier. Turns out

Zapier built Optimus Prime, had him get an MBA, and then hired him onto their

SEO team. Here’s what he did.

Optimus Prime getting an MBA

For every new app integration on Zapier, thousands of integration pages are

automatically created with every other app integration on Zapier. If someone

searches how to integrate [one app] with [another app] then Zapier will rank

#1. The pages helped fuel Zapier’s growth.

Optimus Prime got promoted.

The Zapier Flywheel

where feature request go to die

Integration requests come last for software companies (usually). Zapier gives

software companies (especially new ones with limited resources) a resounding,

“yes! With Zapier!” when asked by users if they integrate with XYZ app. So,

the apps send their users to Zapier.

Every new app integration on Zapier makes Zapier more valuable to other

software companies who need integrations. So, new apps build an integration on

Zapier and point their users to Zapier. This is the flywheel that startup

founders ask Santa for.

The Most Valuable Zapier Use Case

You can use Zapier for a nearly infinite number of use cases. But back in the

early days, there was one dominant way to use Zapier that drove their growth.

To this day it’s still one of the most used automations.

Most people use Zapier to automatically send new leads or customers a

message or message their own team with a notification.

It’s that simple. Even if it only takes two minutes to respond to a new lead

or customer and let your team know about it, the time adds up. Ten leads a

day? That’s 50 hours a month of work this handy little automation can save


A follow-up automation would be to send new leads or customers into your CRM.

Countless hours saved.

Zapier has grown like crazy and they aren’t stopping. So to recap how they did


  • B2B business model selling integration shovels to software gold diggers
  • An SEO strategy that was programmed to hit #1 on Google
  • A flywheel that created a win-win-win for Zapier, apps, and users

That's all for this week!

Happy Building,


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