And it seems to be paying off. The company turned profitable in 2015, saw 40 to 50 percent year-on-year revenue growth last year and creates 400 million links a month generating about 12 billion clicks.
It has 10 million monthly users on its free service and 1,000 paying customers, including half of the Fortune 100, according to Josephson.
On average, a subscription costs $1,000 per month. Over the course of a year this would be about $12,000. Bitly typically signs brands up to one or two year subscriptions and it costs $12,000 to acquire one customer. So the majority of customers are profitable straightaway, Josephson said.
Bitly is also looking at its eleventh consecutive quarter of so-called net negative churn - when the growth of revenue from existing accounts outweighs the negative impact of customers leaving. This is a key metric for subscription businesses. Josephson said the start-up can be a $50 million to $100 million revenue business in up to four years. Bitly is eyeing revenues of $20 million this year.
While Bitly is on the right path, it clearly won't be plain sailing. Twitter has developed its own link shortening tool while other start-ups like Clkim also operate in the same space.