Interview with Peter Solimine of Beulr

Interview with Peter Solimine of Beulr

Peter is the founder of Beulr, the Ferris Beuller of SaaS 😉. 

To read the full interview with Peter, check out page 230 of Kicking SaaS: 101 Founders on What it Takes to Launch a Software as a Service.


What is Beulr?

Beulr is a cloud-based bot service that attends, records, and transcribes online meetings and classes on your behalf. Users just need to tell the bot which meeting to join, what time to arrive, and how long to stay for. Then our servers automatically send a bot into the meeting or class. Users can even upload a video of themselves pretending to pay attention, which loops through the duration of the meeting. If you’re in college, Beulr guarantees your perfect attendance and you can come back to watch your lecture recordings on your own time. And yes, the name is derived from Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.

How did you come up with this idea?

In March of 2020, I was a student at Tulane University when classes went online overnight. In hindsight, it’s crazy to think back on how unusual and exciting that was.

It was also driving me nuts that I had to get up so early every day. I had been reading the book Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker, and I knew that early mornings were killing my sleep and my education. I thought, Great, I’ll just write a little script that’ll show up to my class for me. As soon as I said that out loud to my friends, they started asking me, “How much do you want for it?”

I built an early version that ran on my computer, showed up to class for me, and recorded it. Then I started going around campus and installing it for friends for a small fee. I knew there was a scalable business opportunity at hand but had never built a scalable web application. I would need a team of computer scientists if we were going to achieve scale. So I called up a buddy of mine who I had met in China at a hackathon while I was studying abroad. He is an absolute tank of a software engineer. Together, we hunkered down and worked on it like a hackathon for two or three weeks and launched in April of 2020. We’ve seen incredible traction ever since. Right now, we’ve got 52,000 users in over 175 different countries. The growth has been explosive. But there’s been a lot of ups and downs along the way, too.


How did you gain so many users so quickly?

We knew Beulr had viral potential. We just wanted to make as many little sparks as we could and try to get a flame going.

TikTok was our preferred route. We knew that’s where our audience is. I just wish I had jumped on it earlier. I should have spent more time in the early days focusing on creating our own internal content. But instead, we went out to try to find the right person to make videos to get the word out. I found this girl who was doing a series on her TikTok page about “quarantine websites you need.” But her name wasn’t on her page, and you can’t DM people on TikTok. I ended up going through all her videos and on one of them, she mentioned her Venmo handle. I found her on Venmo and sent her a penny and said, “Hey, I have a sponsorship opportunity. If you’re interested, DM me on Instagram.”

I ended up paying her around $75 and the video got 3 million views. We ended up getting 3,000 people to come and sign up for the site after that. It wasn’t very much, but it was great because it was our very first early launch and there were a lot of bugs we needed to resolve. It just started growing from there.


To read the full interview with Peter, check out page 230 of Kicking SaaS: 101 Founders on What it Takes to Launch a Software as a Service.


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