LU 364: Redefining E-Commerce Automation SaaS with Derek O’Carroll, CEO of Brightpearl(podcast)

Not enough people in the SaaS world are customer-obsessed, but Derek O’Carroll, CEO of Brightpearl is changing that, and he joins us today to dive into how. Brightpearl is a scalable retail operations platform designed specifically for high growth multi-channel retailers wishing to automate and integrate their e-commerce and accounting operations. Derek got into startups in the 90s and while Senior Vice President of Global Field Sales and Marketing for Norton under Symantec he was responsible for $1.7 billion in global revenue. Today, Derek talks about leaving Symantec to join Brightpearl after looking for an area in the market that was undergoing disruption with a good product but challenges on product/market fit. He gets into what exactly Brightpearl does, how they make money, their deal client types, and their amazing growth metrics since he joined the team. After that, we turn our attention to how Derek manages teams with a focus on communication and the benefits of this approach, before zooming further into one of the biggest takeaways for today: how Brightpearl differentiates themselves by locating functional and non-functional attributes to build into their product. Here Derek talks about the process they went through to arrive at fast deployment, pricing, customer success, and automation. Next up, we chat about changes in customer behavior post-COVID and Brightpearl’s swift response to it, before wrapping things up with our usual rapid-fire questions for our guest.


  • [00:41] Before we jump into today’s interview, please rate, review, and subscribe to the Leveling Up Podcast!
  • [00:50] Startups in B2B/e-commerce Derek was involved in leading up to Brightpearl.
  • [02:21] Complexities Brightpearl manages around the process after a product is bought online.
  • [02:57] The transparent, configurable subscription model Brightpearl uses to make money.
  • [03:56] Brightpearl’s clients: merchants trading across multiple channels with above $1M GMV.
  • [04:30] The thread running through Derek’s projects; differentiation in disruptive spaces.
  • [06:31] Derek’s approach to managing teams focussing on optimizing communication.
  • [10:09] Statistics of Brightpearl’s yearly order value, market location, revenue, and more.
  • [12:00] Functional and non-functional differentiators of Brightpearl’s product.
  • [15:10] Time to value and how Brightpearl’s deployment speed frees client resources.
  • [16:48] The fluidity of customer behavior post-COVID and how Brightpearl has dealt with that. 
  • [20:49] Tools Derek recently added to optimize his business: Slack and Donut.
  • [21:44] A book recommendation from Derek.

Resources From The Interview:

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