Monetization Optimizations Resulted in 40% Growth and a Successful Acquisition

Format Case study



Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Toronto, Canada, was a bootstrapped SaaS company that was acquired by Zenfolio in 2021. Prior to the acquisition, it had 50 employees and over 45 thousand customers.  Its core product, Format Portfolio, enables photographers and artists to showcase their work through online web portfolios. It boasts professionally designed, beautiful templates, robust design options and easy to use interface. The company relied purely on product-led growth, as it it did not have a sales team.


After nearly 10 years of steady gains, customer growth started to level off as the company faced stiff competition from well-funded competitors like SquareSpace. As a result, customer acquisition costs went up and the company struggled to continue to grow revenue by purely relying on customer growth.


Given the rising costs of customer acquisition, we focused on growing average revenue per user (ARPU).
As part of this strategy, we segmented the customers by buyer personas (according to their pain pain points, feature preferences and willingness to pay) and started aligning product value accordingly:
  • We identified a segment of customers (Professional Photographers) who had the highest LTV and created a new plan for them with targeted, new features and a premium price point.
  • We introduced new add-ons and products to increase share of wallet across all segments. This included domains, Google Workspace and a product to manage business workflows.
  • Lastly, we increased overall prices after adding a set of new features to the core product.
John has been instrumental in Format achieving 40% MRR growth. He played a critical role as we scaled towards an acquisition.
Lukas Dryja,
Founder & CEO, Format

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