Erasing Friction to Improve Sales Enablement and Unlock Revenue Growth

Growth Hacks – Moving the Metric

One of the most important steps a sales organization can take to stay competitive in a rapidly changing sales landscape is to simplify its processes. Eliminating unwieldy training and paring down operational systems are both ways in which organizations can reduce friction for their sales force and drive revenue growth. However, modernizing sales enablement through simpler processes isn’t just about removing obstacles. Evolving organizations would also be wise to consider streamlining the metrics they use to quantify success, so that the entire organization can unite behind a shared vision, rather than improving on a large set of metrics that may not even be comparable.

This simplification strategy is one of the key lessons that Scott Santucci, president of the sales enablement consulting firm Growth Enablement, advises his clients to do. By reducing friction and creating shared organizational visions behind simplified processes, modern sales organizations are better positioned to create value for both themselves and their consumers at a faster pace.

In this episode of Growth Hacks, Katja and Kunal speak with Scott about how he came to be so bullish on strategies that involve stripping away much of the old sales enablement playbook. Not only does he explain his rationale; he also walks us through multiple examples and actionable tips that allow sales and marketing to achieve synthesis and create a better sales enablement playbook. Over the course of this episode, Scott breaks down the importance of metrics like the commercial ratio, how he coaches companies to recognize a singular route to value that becomes their playbook for driving sales, and specific case studies for how to implement these strategies successfully.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to use the sales and marketing efficiency ratio to improve commercial health across an entire organization. Sales teams often track dozens, if not hundreds, of various metrics to monitor KPIs and measure success. Yet that level of data can quickly become dense, especially when comparing them against each other in order to measure overall success. “One large client tracks over 5,000 different metrics for their sales organization. If you’re tracking that amount of data, you’re tracking nothing,” says Scott. Instead, he encourages clients to ask themselves, “What’s the one metric that we can work backwards from, that we want to move the needle from?”

Most often, the answer is the sales and marketing ratio, sometimes referred to as the commercial ratio; a calculation used to measure the efficiency of sales and marketing and deduce the overall health of a commercial system. Because the commercial ratio calculation is straightforward – revenue growth, divided by total sales and marketing spend – companies don’t have to compare dozens of various metrics to try to puzzle together their sales organization’s health. It also pulls in the entire organization into a singular goal. As Scott explains, “The metric says to me, ‘How do we as a company work better together? How do we team up and be on the same page to go find more efficient ways to attract customers?’”

  • The importance of having multiple perspectives in the room to improve sales enablement. One of Scott’s holistic strategies to improve processes around sales enablement is by bringing in people from all different backgrounds throughout the sales organization to create a shared vision, rather than having decisions made from the top-down. By putting pen to paper with input from a wider variety of stakeholders, organizations can be certain of two things: that their entire organization is aligned behind a singular vision, and that it’s a vision that is accessible to a larger customer base at the same time. Whether it’s aligning the organization behind the value of using a metric like the commercial ratio, or creating a new strategic vision, synthesis is a key component of Scott’s strategies to bettering sales enablement. “What’s important is making sure you meet all of the different folks that would be involved in teaming together. You [have] got to meet them where they are first, and then help them connect the dots second.”
  • Ways to identify the right route to value to clarify sales messaging and training. A key phrase that Scott uses with clients is the “route to value” – a new lens through which sales and marketing teams can craft better messaging. Rather than working backwards from what each individual customer might need, Scott encourages organizations to recognize that they’re in the value creation business, and view themselves as the people that can help create value for clients by taking them from the state they’re in today to a better future state.

To do so, he urges organizations to map out what that journey looks like from beginning to where a business might want to get to, in a process called value mapping. By value mapping, companies can figure out not only what the route to value is, but who the decision makers are that need to be involved, and the sorts of decision making they may need to guide a customer through. “A route to value, to be simple about it, is just writing a movie. A future movie of where you want to take your customers. You’re casting your clients as the heroes; therefore you’re also casting your salespeople as the guides,” says Scott.

  • Tips for aligning organizational economic value with the needs of your customer base. While value mapping starts in-house, and involves some speculation, it’s still important to align a company’s economic value with the needs of its customers. One way that Scott and his team do so is by building a model of what their customer’s world might look like – the challenges they face that meet certain patterns, or the people most likely to be able to enact change. By doing that research ahead of time, companies can truly understand the problems that exist for potential consumers and devise the right messaging to reach change agents who can implement solutions.

Imperative to the process is starting early and using that knowledge to drive messaging and training. “What we’re looking at isn’t interviewing customers about the products they want,” says Scott. “That’s way too late in the game.”

  • Actionable strategies to eliminate friction in the sales process. As sales divisions grow, so do additional training, tools, and potential obstacles that can unintentionally end up hindering sales growth. Rather than adding to your sales team’s plate in order to up-level their skillset, Scott suggests an alternative approach. “What works is creating things that actually take stuff away,” he explains.

He advises clients to pick disparate parts of their sales enablement programs and consider all the obstacles that complicate that in favor of simpler processes; for example, simplifying the process of providing a price quote to a customer. “You would think that doing something like that is no big deal, but taking stuff away is not in most people’s muscle memory. To systematically reduce things that stand in the way of making progress is a great success.”

To learn more, tune into Growth Hacks: At Growth Enablement, Modernizing Sales Enablement Means Throwing Out the Old Playbook

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview and blog post are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Razorpay Raises $375 Mn Led by Lone Pine Capital, Alkeon Capital and TCV; Valuation Increases to $7.5 Bn

  • At $7.5 Bn, Razorpay continues to be one of India’s Most Valued FinTech Companies to have achieved the fastest increase in valuation for an Indian Unicorn
  • Aims to scale up its Neo-Banking Platform, RazorpayX, Acquire B2B SaaS companies, and Expand business into South-East Asian markets

Bengaluru, INDIA – 20 December, 2021: One of India’s fastest growing Fintech Unicorns, Razorpay, today announced its Series-F fundraise of around $375 Mn. With this funding round, the fintech major’s valuation increased to $7.5 Bn. This makes it the fastest increase in valuation for an Indian Unicorn in a year. Razorpay was valued at $1 Bn in October’20 and $3 Bn in April’21. With the Series-F round, the Fintech Major has raised a total of $740 Mn in investments since its inception in 2014.

Co-led by Lone Pine Capital, Alkeon Capital and TCV, the Series-F fundraise also received participation from existing investors like Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital India, GIC and Y Combinator. These funds raised will be invested towards Razorpay’s mission of making finance frictionless by building a full-stack financial solutions company, solving for all payment and banking needs of businesses on one platform. The company plans to use the funds to further scale up its Business Banking Suite, RazorpayX and offer new banking solutions in 2022 that will help businesses focus less on handling compliance & operations and more on growth. The full-stack financial solutions company also plans to invest in new acquisitions in 2022 and expand its presence across the globe, starting with the Southeast Asian countries.The Fintech Unicorn plans to hire over 600 employees to fuel these growth plans in India and overseas. 

Globally, digitisation is triggering fundamental changes in the finance function. Small businesses realise that they cannot afford to lose time dealing with legacy systems and processes while there is a whole new generation of fintech that can help. Razorpay believes fintech is a way for small businesses to differentiate. Razorpay’s recently launched products at FTX’21: MAGIC Checkout, RazorpayX Tax Payment Suite and Razorpay RIZE, along with the freshly raised funds will strengthen the financial infrastructure of small companies with real-time intelligent solutions to do more and disrupt more.

Commenting on creating a track record and continuing to be one of India’s most valued organisations, Harshil Mathur, CEO and Co-Founder of Razorpay says, “It’s an exciting time of change we’re living in. We’ve come a long way in these seven years, and more so since 2020, and I’m filled with immense gratitude for the company to have travelled thus far. Throughout this journey, we’re humbled and excited to have had the opportunity and trust of 8Mn partner businesses. And now moving forward, we believe we will radically change how payments and banking is done in nearly every sector of India.”

He adds, “While these freshly infused funds will be used in multiple areas, the most important one will be towards investing in building intelligent technologies that will make the lives of small businesses easier by providing them a fundamentally different experience and reducing complexity. We want them to spend less time managing compliance and operations and invest more time in creating new products, building on new ideas and thinking scale. It’s great to know that our investors across the globe have continued to put their trust in this mission. This investment will help us take financial services up a notch and serve the underserved businesses and continue to build the central nervous system of Digital India.”

Today, the company’s neo-banking platform, RazorpayX is changing the business of banking rapidly and intelligently, powering over 25,000 Indian businesses to manage their money. Apart from product expansion of RazorpayX, the company is also looking at global expansion. Geographies like Southeast Asian (SEA) countries face similar payment problems like India and Razorpay will look to leverage its leadership in building intelligent payment products and learnings to ripe markets like SEA countries. Apart from this, Razorpay also plans to use the fundraise to double down investment in acquiring B2B SaaS companies that can help scale up operations while providing the highest standards of customer experience in the country.

Shashank Kumar, CTO and Co-Founder, Razorpay said, “One of our internal values is – “Everything we do, we do for our customer.” It’s something we as a team have been practising since Day-1. Over the last seven years, we’ve tirelessly worked towards making Razorpay a technology and product company which is people-first. If there is one thing the Razorpay team has committed to doing since 2014, it is to never stop reinventing. We want to create new products and build experiences that will change the lives of millions of businesses and consumers. Over the years, the feedback we’ve received from partner businesses has been quite encouraging and assured us that we’re on the right track. With the funds raised, we want to continue delivering a payment and banking experience that businesses will take advantage of and worry less.“ 

He added,The growth of Razorpay is a testament to the enormous fintech adoption the country has witnessed. We at Razorpay are all set to create a larger dent in the fintech universe and with the help of new acquisitions and partnerships we will be able to build an A-class financial service infrastructure for India’s businesses.”

David Craver, Co-Chief Investment Officer at Lone Pine Capital said, “India’s B2B fintech sector is undergoing a period of rapid growth, and we are excited to partner with Razorpay, which has been at the forefront of creating resilient, innovative products to anticipate and address the changing needs of businesses.” He added, “Razorpay’s tenacity in building people-first technology solutions that facilitate seamless financial operations has garnered further momentum in the market. We look forward to working with Harshil, Shashank and the rest of the Razorpay team to further the company’s sustained growth and impact on this dynamic sector.”

Deepak Ravichandran, General Partner at Alkeon Capital said, “As the leading online payments player in the rapidly accelerating Indian digital payments market, Razorpay has continued to innovate and blaze new trails. With a broad set of products across payments, banking, and software that provide a seamless end-to-end experience for merchants (who have been historically underserved by legacy payment providers) and geographic expansion on the horizon, we are thrilled to be partnering with Harshil, Shashank and his team who have continued to execute on their vision. We could not be more excited for the journey ahead.”

John Doran, General Partner at TCV said, “We are delighted to back Harshil, Shashank and the entire Razorpay team. We think they are building the next-generation payments and banking platform in India, and we look forward to supporting them on their mission and future expansion. We could not be more excited to partner with this founding team.”

Of the 42 companies that were crowned as unicorns in 2021 alone, Razorpay powers payments for 34 of them!  Razorpay has achieved $60 Bn TPV (Total Payment Volume) as of early December 2021. The company plans to achieve $90 Bn TPV by the end of 2022. Razorpay aims to further solidify its position as one of the largest full-stack fintech companies in the country. The company clocked over 300% YoY growth, second year in a row. Razorpay currently powers payments for over 8 Million businesses including the likes of Facebook, Ola, Zomato, Swiggy, Cred, Muthoot Finance, National Pension System, Indian Oil, among others and is all set to reach 10 million businesses by 2022.

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About Razorpay

Razorpay, a full-stack financial services company, and a recently crowned Unicorn, helps Indian businesses with comprehensive and innovative solutions built over robust technology to address the entire length and breadth of the payment and banking journey for any business. Established in 2014, the company provides technology payment solutions to over 8Mn businesses. Founded by alumni of IIT Roorkee, Shashank Kumar and Harshil Mathur, Razorpay is the second Indian company to be a part of Silicon Valley’s largest tech accelerator, Y Combinator. Marquee investors such as Lone Pine Capital, Alkeon Capital, TCV, GIC, Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital India, Ribbit Capital, Matrix Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Y Combinator and MasterCard have invested a total of $740 Mn through Series A, B, C, D, E & F funding. Around 33 angel investors have invested in Razorpay’s mission to simplify payments and banking and redefine how finance works in India.

For more information, please contact:

Hepsibah Rozario || hepsibah.rozario@razorpay.com || +91 8884913468

Katja Gagen || kgagen@tcv.com || +1 415 690 6689


Expanding Your Slate of Storytellers: How Cognite Uses Talent Across its Organization to Drive Global Visibility and Media Coverage

Building out a global communications operation that can create visibility across multiple markets can feel like a wild jumble of storytelling across time zones, especially in a startup’s nascent years. That’s why the marketing and communications team at Cognite, a SaaS company providing data liberation and contextualization services to industrial organizations, aligned behind a single goal: creating visibility immediately. The Cognite team took a unique approach to the task at hand. Rather than blitzing journalists across the globe as its first order of business, the team worked to build visibility inside Cognite, recruiting outside the box spokespeople and identifying unearthed story ideas that resonated with journalists.

In today’s episode of Growth Hacks, Katja and Kunal speak with Michelle Holford, the Oslo-based global head of public relations at Cognite. Michelle walks us through the power of relationship building both within your own organization and with journalists, and why nurturing those connections are a fundamental piece of Cognite’s PR strategy. She also explains how Cognite keeps employees connected across the globe, how to create a message in a box and how their media strategy helps Cognite constantly mine for creative stories.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to identify and media train non-traditional spokespeople for creative storytelling
  • Effective strategies for story mining throughout an organization
  • Cognite’s strategy for running media tours
  • The unexpected storytelling benefits of developing Cognite Radio, a news channel with updates for employees
  • Michelle’s must-haves for running a healthy global PR function that is aligned across all forms of earned and owned media

To hear more on this, settle in and press play. 

Please find the transcript below, which has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Katja Gagen: Hey everyone. Today we’re being joined by a PR expert in a truly global industry. It is my pleasure to introduce Michelle Holford, who is the global head of public relations at Cognite. Michelle has held roles in agencies that covered massive brands, like Ford, Bank of America, and Walgreens. We’ll cover a lot today, so get your popcorn ready. Michelle, welcome to Growth Hacks.

Michelle Holford: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me.

Kunal Mehta: Sure. Hey, Michelle, where does this podcast find you today?

Michelle Holford: Today you find me in the great state of Texas. Our global headquarters are in Oslo, Norway, where I live, but I’m connecting with our North American headquarter team today in Austin, as well as Houston.

Kunal Mehta: Fantastic, a true global citizen. Well, for our listeners that may not know what Cognite does, give us the elevator pitch.

Michelle Holford: We’re in the business of industrial transformation. We’re here to change the world, and that means we’re here to solve the challenge of asset intensive industries and their data issues.

Data intensive industries are oil and gas, power and utilities, and manufacturing. And they have the challenge of consuming and creating all sorts of data that isn’t connected. We provide the solution through Cognite Data Fusion, which is our industrial data ops platform, that liberates data, it contextualizes it and makes it actionable for everyone across the company.

Why companies choose us is because we turn their raw data into business value. In those industries, whether it’s oil and gas that needs to work on sustainability or product optimization, we’re here to connect and contextualize that data so that they can use it, as well as manufacturing with supply chains or power and utilities with grids and smart maintenance. If I could just give a quick illustration. In our personal lives, when we want to find what the weather looks like, we turn to our iPhone. And it connects our data and tells us what it’s going to look like in different parts of the world for weather or where to eat through Yelp.

It’s all connected. So that’s happening in our consumer world, but in industry, especially asset intensive industry, it’s kind of like 1984. There’s large amounts of data that come from different sources, whether it’s images or Excel sheets, and they’re not connected. We’re here to take that raw data and turn it into business value for heavy asset industry, because they haven’t had their iPhone moment.

Katja Gagen: That’s awesome. And Michelle, you lead communications and PR. How do you strategically plan PR and what are some of the key initiatives you’re driving at Cognite?

Michelle Holford: When I joined Cognite a year and a half ago, we were only three and a half years old, small, but mighty and on a huge trajectory. It was very important to create visibility immediately. We had wonderful clients, some of them supermajors from around the world, but we needed to tell the world about what we were doing.

We’re very visible in the Nordics and around Europe, but we’re planting a flag in the North American region, as well as Singapore, Japan, and the UK. So immediately I needed to create visibility, both for myself and our MarComms team in the company. So that we had the buy-in and connectedness with sales, product marketing, the executive management team.

Visibility was number one. And I had to make sure that I was playing both sides of the track to create visibility, both for Cognite, but also for our function within the company. We had to really get our in-house together, we built a studio at Cognite to make sure that we could media train and make sure everybody was on board.

That included connecting initially with partners, whether it was Microsoft or Pinnacle or whoever we were partnering with to make sure that I understood their best stories and how we could work together.

It meant developing a media bench of spokespeople across ages and expertise in different locations around the world. It was really about strengthening an already great program and adding the tools and expertise necessary to create visibility for both the company and myself with journalists around the world. They knew I was representing Cognite and can count on me when I reached out to them.

Kunal Mehta: Awesome. Hey, maybe you can just share, what is Cognite Radio? What was the idea behind it?

Michelle Holford: When we all went to a global pandemic, we’re built on keeping asset intensive companies connected through data. If we can’t do that ourselves, there’s a problem. We have some brilliant people on our team that excel in hosting and communications.

We decided that if we couldn’t fly to the U.S. or Japan or Singapore, we were going to create a way that all of our data wasn’t in silos. We created Cognite Radio, which was a daily program to make sure that people didn’t feel isolated working from home during COVID and that they knew what was happening at Cognite, what was happening with our clients. And we shared the love worldwide. We even had a Cognite After Dark where we played music, but it was a way to connect everybody. And we had speakers come and join us and tell great stories. It was a way to make sure that we were all connected and not working in silos so that we could innovate in the best way possible outside of our regular meetings, which we were having, but to really create some culture and excitement around what was going to happen next.

Katja Gagen: That’s awesome. And Michelle, in that vein, it looks like you have a really deep bench of speakers. And I know in some of our portfolio companies, finding someone who can speak with the media is not an easy task. How did you get people engaged, and how do you get people to want to work with you and want to get in front of the media?

Michelle Holford: I know it’s really common to just have your CEO or your executive management team kind of be trotted out into the media, and that’s fabulous. You know, Markus Lervik, our CEO is wonderful. So is Francois in the United States. But we needed to have different perspectives to tell the story of Cognite.

How we cultivated interest is that we started hosting kitchen talks and story mining sessions throughout the company. Some of them would be after hours, and sometimes it would be during the day, but we could invite all of our stakeholders and say, come learn what PR is about. Come learn what brand is about. Come learn what social media is about and what we do in events.

We would talk through what we do and how it might help them in their own position, whether it’s sales, whether it’s customer success. They could understand what was being said about Cognite in the media, or how to post on LinkedIn.

For me, PR is all about relationships. I like to show up where people are and go to the robotics meetings and go to the engineering meetings and the product marketing meetings and say, I’m here to be your resource. Through those relationships and them learning more, people start to raise their hand and say, I think I might have something to offer.

We asked for volunteers, but we also target folks that we think have something to say. So we have Carolina Torres who used to work for BP for 30 years, now wanted to move her expertise from one of our customers to worldwide. Her history with BP and a woman in oil and gas, she is a great candidate and so relatable and wonderful. But so are our younger individuals that are just starting, that are concerned about the energy transition and want to talk about sustainability. We try and find those who have the most interesting perspectives So we’re always looking for opportunities to connect Cogniters to best tell the Cognite story.

Kunal Mehta: That is golden. I’m just curious, what do you mean by story mining?

Michelle Holford: Story mining means going to meet people where they are in their expertise and really asking them what problems they’re solving. When you’re in robotics or you’re in engineering or you’re in your lane in manufacturing, you can be so focused on problems you’re solving that you’re not gonna think to call the PR team.

It’s incumbent on PR professionals to go where those meetings are already happening. They’re probably having weekly meetings to touch base with their team. Sit in on those meetings, invite yourself to different opportunities or off-sites they’re having and ask questions.

What do you mean by that? You’re solving this problem for Statnett, the national grid of Norway? What does that look like? How much money did you save? Ask them questions, almost like you’re the reporter asking, tell me more. What does this look like? What’s the impact? Do we have images? Do we have B roll? You have this bank of information that you can think about creatively, how to weave together to tell stories year round.

Kunal Mehta: That it’s such a great growth hack. I think when Katja and I look at public relations, one of the bleeding arteries we see is that PR is often cast to an agency and that doesn’t yield the anticipated result. Maybe you can walk us through the must-haves for a healthy PR function.

Michelle Holford: I think it starts with credibility of public relations. PR is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room. And there’s a lot of tools in our toolbox, right? It includes the agency, and I have been on the agency side. And now that I’m in-house, I value that piece of the puzzle. But it really is one piece. It’s one tool in telling the best story for your organization. You want to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and make sure they’re equipped and greened and can represent you at all times.

You’re going to need to make sure that you are all aligned. This includes your MarComms team and your public relations team. You want to be aligned on visibility and the goals of the executive management team. This includes earned media, shared media, which is connecting with our partner team, owned media, like Ignite News, and paid media, our digital campaigns or advertising.

A healthy public relations function means everybody is working in sync in an integrated way and connecting with go-to-market plans with the different verticals to make sure you understand what their goals are. We’re setting the strategy, but we’re making sure we’re connected to the company goals, sales goals, marketing goals, and at the same time, trying to be as creative as possible with our storytelling.

Kunal Mehta: Michelle, one of the strategic uses of PR that Cognite uses is media tours. And you guys even fly in media to your events, which is amazing. For companies that don’t routinely conduct these media tours, maybe you can just walk us through your playbook.

Michelle Holford: Media tours are a very important way to connect with journalists around the world to increase visibility. The story is really in the strategy. What are you trying to say during a media tour? It involves three steps for us at Cognite. It’s the prep, it’s the pitching, and it’s the resource. And let me talk through what that means.

We’re creating a story in a box before you even conduct a media tour. What are you trying to say? What is the news? What’s the creative angle? And that story in a box, the prep part needs to have impact. What are you communicating and what impact does it have on the industry? Who is going to help tell you that story?

Is it a client? Is it a partner? Is it an influencer? Do you have stats to support it? What kind of dollars or hours are being saved by using the solution you’re talking about? What does that look like? Are there images, is there B roll? Prepare for a media tour by making sure you have your story in a box already buttoned up. That’s how you prepare.

Second, which is kind of the end part of the prep is, you should not be reaching out to journalists, that should not be at the first time they’re hearing from you. Do your homework ahead of time and create relationships with journalists locally and internationally, by connecting with them online, on calls, to make sure that they know who your company is and what you’re about, so that when they get an invitation to a media tour, it’s not cold.

Then you’re pitching them. Then it’s time for them to actually learn that you’re going to do a media tour, and what you are selling should be specific. You are going to have this amount of time with these executives. You’re going to meet with them and they’re going to talk about how Norway is the new Silicon Valley, specifically Oslo, and what that looks like for investing in Europe. Or why people are putting their money on Europe, as far as industrial digitalization and moving the needle.

Think about specifically what that pitch is, who is going to be there, and what it’s going to do for that reporter. Is it included in their beat? What’s it going to do for the audience? And then just know that once you complete these tours, that it may not result in media coverage. You will be used more often than not as a resource for the next time they’re talking about something related to that issue.

Katja Gagen: Wonderful. We’re gonna give you a few rapid fire questions. Michelle, tell us what book are you reading right now?

Michelle Holford: I’m obsessed with Katie Couric’s new book Going There. Just a connection with journalism and a woman in the business. I’m just starting.

Katja Gagen: And what’s your go-to book that changed your life and that you go back to a lot.

Michelle Holford: Wow. I like The Road Less Travelled. Like I’m one of those people, let’s not do it the normal way. Let’s think outside the box. And I think about that book a lot. I read it in college and I think about it a lot.

Katja Gagen: I also know that Cognite just published one. What’s that all about?

Michelle Holford: Industrial data ops is going to be the way of the future, how data is connected in business worldwide, especially in asset intensive industries. We wanted to create a really easy user guide manual for companies to kind of do a wellness check on their digital maturity and how connected their data is.

There’s an easy to read guide that walks you through what industrial data ops is and how you can use it to get business value from your data. It’s really a guide for industry. It’s downloadable and it’s free at our website, Cognite.com.

Kunal Mehta: Awesome. What skill are you trying to develop right now?

Michelle Holford: I’m trying to learn Norwegian since I live in Norway now. That’s a brief answer. Otherwise, I’m trying to really sharpen my skills on how to help launch this platform from a creative content view from our side, from Cognite.

Katja Gagen: I would like to know what’s your favorite metric when it comes to communications and PR.

Michelle Holford: Selfishly, I think some people think it’s outdated, but I like AVE. I like the Add Value Equivalency. I like to put a number in front of folks to say, if you would have bought these column inches or this white space or this airtime, this is what earned media brings. I like to bring value to what the industry does.

I also like to see what the competitors are doing and if we’re beating them in share of voice in the news that month or also followers, like that’s also intriguing too.

Katja Gagen: That’s awesome. And Michelle, you’ve lived both in the U.S. and of course now in Europe, what do you like about both and how do you adjust your PR programs to suit both markets?

Michelle Holford: I appreciate that question. I moved to Norway a year and a half ago. And what I appreciate about Europe is how technologically advanced it is. In Norway, I haven’t touched cash, dollars or coins, in a year and a half until I got here. It’s so easy to use your phone for everything you do in Norway, whether it’s your taxes, which is a one-step shop, whether it’s public transportation, they’re constantly innovating. And because there’s so many countries that are connected, they’re sharing information.

What I appreciate about the U.S. It’s probably the options. I have a suitcase ready to be filled with things they don’t sell in Norway that are my favorite brands or things that I miss from Norway, but obviously I miss my friends and family. There are advantages of both, and I love being able to live in both countries.

In the U.S. we’re much more comfortable saying, we are amazing! This is what we do! And this is why you should know about us! And in Norway, it’s a very modest, humble country. It’s very flat structured. As an American, I’m constantly pushing, saying, we’re the first unicorn in Norway! We have to tell that news! And you have folks saying, oh, that would be bragging. We’re not sure we want to talk about that. Can we talk about it in a different way? I have to think through what is going to resonate and what is going to land with journalists in a way that isn’t so boastful, but also push our teams in Norway to tell our good news and to tell our story.

It definitely modifies how our PR team operates in each country, by who the audience is and what’s appropriate.

Katja Gagen: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Michelle. We covered a lot today, as we promised earlier, thanks for being on the show today, Michelle.

Michelle Holford: Well, as they would say in Norway, tusen takk, which means thank you. Thank you for having me.

***

The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview and blog post are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Little Fires Everywhere: How Redis Uses Product-Focused Storytelling to Build Communities, Drive Growth and Demand, and Create a Groundswell Among Developers

Growth Hacks – Moving the Metric

When database provider Redis undertook a marketing rebrand, the first order of business was identifying the brand’s core audience. Because developers were influencing sales decisions with greater frequency, Redis knew that it had to speak to what its audience cared about most. Accordingly, the company adopted a product-first marketing narrative. By focusing its marketing on extolling Redis’ product and features, the company was able to build a robust developer community that can both provide feedback and later go on to evangelize the brand. 

In this episode of Growth Hacks, Kunal and Katja are joined by Mike Anand, CMO of Redis. They talk about how Mike devised the company’s marketing strategy, and how it has helped drive both growth and demand at the same time. We also hear from Mike about what B2B leaders can learn from consumer brands when it comes to injecting personalization into their marketing. He explains the benefit of working backwards from the customer’s perspective for product marketing, even when employing a product-led storytelling narrative. Mike shares best practices on mentoring hires and leading marketing teams, and how he approaches recruitment and retention at a time when mission and social responsibility matter to employees more than ever. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • How to run an effective rebrand that resonates with your primary audience. Redis recently went through a marketing rebrand to break perceived silos between its open source project and the larger company. Despite the magnitude of the task, Mike’s primary objective was to keep the messaging simple, and maintain focus on the overall goal. It can be tempting to utilize every tool in the toolkit when trying to build buzz around the new message, yet Mike advises holding back: “You really have to think about who the key stakeholders are that you want to make an impact with. This is where your tone and the simplicity of your message matters.” 
  • Using outside-in messaging to become a product-focused storyteller. Developers have become the new power centers when it comes to decision making at information technology companies. That’s why Redis decided to focus on product-focused storytelling, thinking of the end user — a developer — when crafting its story. Since Redis has a number of products early in their life cycle, a product-focused messaging strategy allows them to continually focus on creating awareness with developers, customers, and partners. “You really have to make the messaging all about product and product focus, with an outside-in driving messaging,” says Mike. 
  • Unlocking the benefits of building growth and demand funnels in tandem. Usually marketing departments will focus on either a growth or a demand funnel at one time. Mike and his team decided to build out Redis’ growth and demand funnels in parallel. The growth funnel is focused entirely on getting the Redis product into users hands, even if that funnel doesn’t always convert to enterprise business. By analyzing product usage of the growth funnel, Redis’ marketing team is able to derive insights that influence their demand funnel, says Mike. “If you marry those two together, then I think you can build a very healthy top of the funnel business.” 
  • Leveraging use cases to build strong relationships with analysts. When it comes to building relationships with analysts and the broader community, Mike rarely opts for making the hard pitch to sell them on Redis’ products. Instead, he fosters connection by asking analysts their perspective on the biggest pain points facing customers. No one has their finger on the consumer’s ideal use cases better than analysts, says Mike. “So the first part of connecting and building that journey with the analyst community is not to sell them on what your products do. It’s actually to help you understand from them better, what do your customers need?”  
  • Why making marketing at Redis more agile and data-driven is a “number one priority.” The modern CMO role is about more than brand-building and demand generation, says Mike. Instead, marketing departments should be technology-forward, becoming more agile and data-driven rather than relying on traditional metrics alone. Identifying those leading indicators using a data-driven methodology allows Mike to track how each campaign is performing, and how to course-correct as needed. It also enables Mike to track specific KPI’s. “One of my favorite metrics is sales velocity and knowing how quickly we can convert leads into closed sales,” explains Mike. 
  • The importance of mission and social responsibility in modern recruitment. With increasing competition, recruiting key talent is far from easy. Mike says that marketing leaders need to expand their aperture past simply who you want on your team. Because mission is so key to employees, it’s important to ask yourself how you can connect to what people want on a broader scale than just the job alone. Some questions that Mike asks himself are “How can you connect what people want to a bigger, broader mission?” and “What role does the marketing organization play in taking social responsibility?” 

To learn more, tune into Growth Hacks: Product-Focused Storytelling: How Redis Rebranded and Revamped its Marketing to Better Connect with the Developer Community

***

The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview and blog post are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Product-Focused Storytelling: How Redis Rebranded and Refined its Marketing to Connect Deeply with the Developer Community

Growth Hacks – Moving the Metric

When open-source database company, Redis decided to undergo a rebrand, their first order of business was to identify what the rebrand was solving for. In Redis’ case, they wanted to connect even deeper with the developer community and unify the entire Redis community towards a single vision. To harness the power of the developer community, Redis adopted product-focused storytelling and prioritized building a growth funnel to fuel bottoms up adoption. By building that bridge between the Redis product and its key audiences, the company now has a pipeline to a community that not only knows about early life-cycle Redis products, but whose usage can better inform Redis’ demand funnel as well.

In the latest episode of Growth Hacks, Katja and Kunal speak with Mike Anand, CMO of TCV portfolio company, Redis. Mike explains how Redis derived its product-focused marketing strategy as part of its larger rebrand, and how that strategy has helped Redis build a vocal community of developers. He also talks through his top priorities as he makes Redis’ marketing operations more agile and data-driven, and how Redis has taken a use case first approach with analysts to build stronger relationships and garner better coverage.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to run an effective rebrand that resonates with your primary audience
  • Using outside-in messaging to become a product-focused storyteller
  • Unlocking the benefits of building growth and demand funnels in tandem
  • Leveraging use cases to build strong relationships with analysts
  • Why making marketing at Redis more agile and data-driven is a “number one priority”
  • The importance of mission and social responsibility in modern recruitment

To hear more on this, settle in and press play.

Please find the transcript below, which has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Kunal Mehta: Well, today we have the privilege of being joined by one of the coolest marketers in the portfolio and a veteran in the software industry. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Mike Anand, the CMO of Redis. Mike also held roles in large companies like Amazon and emerging companies like AppD.

He’s going to be sharing his experience in leading the transformation of the Redis brand. Mike, welcome to Growth Hacks.

Mike Anand: It’s a pleasure to be here today on the best podcast in the universe.

Katja Gagen: Awesome and we love to have you. I know we’ve been attached since we had made the first investment in Redis, but for our listeners, tell us one fact that nobody knows about you.

Mike Anand: One is that I have a twin brother and I’m five minutes older than him. I met my wife while she was looking for volunteers for Earth Day.

I’m blessed with two kids, a son, and a daughter. I have the best of both worlds.

Kunal Mehta: Fantastic. I’m sure you let your brother know you’re older than him. For our listeners that don’t know what Redis does, maybe you can give us a quick elevator pitch.

Mike Anand: Before the elevator pitch, I’ll just give you the framing from the outside-in. If I take that outside-in view, we’re at the intersection of two developer-driven trends. Mass rapid adoption of open-source software and the cloud itself. And that is fueling tremendous innovation in the database market.

I mean, look at all the database companies that have emerged in the last 10 years that are attracting a huge amount of investments. So Redis’ unique differentiator is really about simplicity for developers, to help them build real time applications for the real time world.

As enterprises see disruptors from digital native companies, a whole new adoption of technologies and tools like Redis allow them to move faster, innovate faster, and create differentiated experiences for their customers.

Katja Gagen: That’s great, Mike. And across industries, organizations are accelerating the digital or cloud transformation for long-term growth and profitability. But we also know that organizations remain untested in the face of digital challenges. And their digital readiness is a bit uncertain.

What’s your take on that? And who do you believe will be the biggest winner in this trend?

Mike Anand: Yeah, Katja. Look, I think change is hard, right? If you want massive change in an organization, I believe you have to make it personal and you have to make it about people. There isn’t a technology that offers a silver bullet. You’re asking people to change the processes that they have relied on successfully for years.

I believe the heart of a successful transformation is really lining up your business objectives to your DNA and really understand how it ties to your team. And paramount to all of this is making sure that you have an executive sponsorship. And I believe the big winners are those who set goals and objectives and then gain alignment. But actually, start small and then gradually add more complexity and scope, based on what they have learned.

Kunal Mehta: What are the major trends in digital transformation that companies should be paying close attention to, and who do you believe has advanced in these key areas?

Mike Anand: You know, I think innovation and transformation is all around us. If you look at the FinServ industries, they’ve always been leaders in everything from customer experiences to new products. I mean, how people bank, how we invest today, how we trade stocks. All of it is upside down from when I grew up. Retail and that whole sector has been forced to adapt by Amazon and even more so accelerated under COVID. Healthcare is seeing early innovation and transformation across patient communications to prescription delivery, really exciting stuff happening around drug discoveries.

I think the biggest example is entertainment. Gaming is now the world’s biggest form of entertainment with 2.7 billion players and getting bigger every day. Gaming is now bigger than the movie industry and sports industry combined.

Kunal Mehta: Wow, that’s an incredible stat. I’d love to hear a story about how Redis is equipping some of these companies to grow so quickly.

Mike Anand: I think if you look at all these industries, what do they have in common? They have to differentiate themselves from digital native companies. They have to provide experiences for consumers, like never before.

If you think about the world’s largest taxi company, owns no taxis. The largest content creator doesn’t have a writing staff. But one thing that is common is that it’s about age of real time. And Redis is the fastest database out there helping all these companies across all these industries, where they need to make sure that their applications can leverage the real time data to drive business intelligence and insights.

Kunal Mehta: Outstanding. And I think that foundational firepower is critical to all of those transformations that people are talking about.

Katja Gagen: I know Mike, you just did a rebrand at Redis. How did you go about this? How did you lay the foundation and how did you build on it?

Mike Anand: I think it’s really important when you start a rebranding exercise, to keep it simple, keep your messaging simple. You need to build a pool of people that you can use as your listening post, as also the people that you can understand and dive deeper with. And I think also the second-most important thing that you have to think about is, why are you actually doing the rebrand? In our case, a rebranding exercise was all about breaking the silos between our open-source project and the company, which was perceived as only focused on commercial business.

You have to really understand why are you rebranding? And then when you think about creating the buzz and excitement it’s very, very tempting to out-think yourself. But as you build that process, as you build that engine to create noise and buzz, you really have to think about, how can you tie this launch to the stakeholders, right? And who are the key stakeholders that you want to make an impact with?

This is where your tone matters. This is where leveraging your simplicity of your message matters. I would try to bucketize the activities in those larger categories.

Kunal Mehta: You know, my follow up Mike is when I look at your work specifically with the analyst community, it went from largely on the fringe to big mindshare with key analysts. Maybe you can just give us the three things you did to grow your mindshare with companies like Gartner.

Mike Anand: When think about analysts and then community, I really think about building a relationship. Look, analyst community has a tremendous power and knowledge of what is painful for your customers. The first part of connecting and building that journey with that analyst community is to not only just make a hard pitch and sell them what your products can do, but it’s actually help you understand from them better, what do your customers need? It is no longer about companies; it’s about use cases. When you reach out to analysts, I highly recommend you, you step away from, ‘Hey, how many inquiries are you getting about X technology or Y?’ Really focus on use cases.

That was the angle that we took at Redis to help us understand the use cases that matters to the customers, tie our story to those use cases, and then build and foster a relationship from that point on. That way both of us get mutual benefit out of the conversations.

Kunal Mehta: I think we have kismet on this. The use cases are worth so much with the analysts and then even introducing them to some of the companies that are driving this innovation – just a well done move there.

Katja Gagen: I agree. And I think what’s also true is we’ve seen things are evolving right? In the technology business, but also when it comes to the role of the CMO. Mike, how have you adapted over the years and how have you seen the role of marketing change? Tell us a little bit more about field marketing and account-based marketing, that are some of your sweet spots.

Mike Anand: It’s a very exciting time to be in marketing. Marketing is going through tremendous evolution. The enterprise buying journey has completely changed. Developers hold a special power and the new ITDMs, right? And if you think about it, buyers are anonymous and distributed, sales is getting involved later and later in the cycle.

I truly believe that modern CMOs have to think about and take the role differently. And they have to become a bigger partner to the CEOs, and the role is bigger than just creating demand and building brand. Modern CMOs, I think, really have to be technology forward leaders. They have to be agile, and data driven. And they have to find a way to inject technology in a sensible way that allows them to get both the leading and lagging insights about the business itself.

Second, I really think that CMOs have to think about not just being storytellers, but product focused storytellers. They have to build the bridge between what’s being built and sold, but they also have to be the community builders out there. Get the community to participate in promoting your story and your technology.

Lastly, about ABM, it’s very exciting, it’s all the rage. But the way I encourage people to think about it is actually think about account-based revenue. Because that’s when you can tie both sales and marketing to joint MBOs.

Kunal Mehta: Well in this shift that you’re talking about, how are you creating top-of-the-funnel motions?

Mike Anand: Yeah, Kunal, it’s a perfect segue, right? I really think that there are two funnels. There are growth funnel and demand funnel. Early on in the company life cycle, a lot of people are focused on growth funnel, but for a company like Redis and where we are at the stage of ARR and the growth that we are, I’m really building two funnels in parallel.

Product led growth funnel, is all about creating the groundswell among developers and creating those little fires everywhere. And it doesn’t matter if some of these sign ups don’t convert into enterprise business, it’s okay. We just have to let people get their hands on the product and experience for themselves the benefits that Redis provides to give them real time data, to build their applications.

For the demand funnel, it’s about taking those product qualified leads, and understanding, out of those, what are the population? What are the accounts? What are the segments that you really need to engage, that you really need to go after?

How can you leverage the product usage data to actually drive insights for your demand funnel? And then if you can marry those two together, then I think you can build a very healthy top of the funnel business.

Kunal Mehta: Outstanding. Mike, as a marketing organization, what are the biggest challenges you are facing right now?

Mike Anand: One of the biggest things for us, that I’m focused on marketing, is how to make marketing in general, more agile. Traditionally, marketers have relied on a certain set of metrics and a longer bake-off, to be able to make the impact. And for the world that we really live in, my number one priority and the goal for marketing organization to become more agile and data driven. And it’s identifying those leading indicators that gives me an idea of how each of our campaigns are doing, and when and how we need to course correct.

The second big challenge is we have some really exciting products out there that are early in their product life cycle. So, it’s about creating that awareness of those products in the mindsets of Redis developers, and customers and partners. This is where I alluded to the comments about, you have to really make the messaging all about product and product focus with an outside-in driving messaging.

I think the third one is, we are today sitting in the age of a great resignation. I think, as a marketing leader, you have to really think about your team and who’s on the bus. What sort of people do you want on the team? But how can you connect what these people want, to a bigger, broader mission than the job itself. What role does the marketing organization play in taking social responsibility? And that mission is bigger than just the job and the company itself.

Katja Gagen: Awesome. Thanks so much, Mike, we’re going to shift now to a rapid-fire format and ask you a couple of quick questions. I’ll let Kunal start.

Kunal Mehta: As you walk into your office in the morning, what’s your favorite metric to look at, where you know things are going well?

Mike Anand: One of my favorite metrics is sales velocity and knowing how quickly we can convert those leads into a closed one. That’s got to be my favorite.

Kunal Mehta: Maybe you can talk about the company you admire the most today and why.

Mike Anand: Yeah, I’ve had three related careers, Kunal. As a product manager, I really loved the working backwards approach from the customer for Intuit. They make such a complex products like taxes and accounting, and they make it so simple. As a storyteller, really enjoyed Stripe’s journey of how they tied the story into their products and the evolution of that.

As a full stack marketer, I really get excited about looking at some of the consumer companies who inject fun and personalization into the brands and how B2B companies learn from it. A few examples of that are Pinterest and NextDoor that are building communities, it’s super relevant to us. Target is another one that makes shopping fun and how they take on Amazon. A small brand like Tieks, who sell only one product out there, but they make it personal, they make it simple, and they give you that experience every time you get that box that is so unique. And I think there’s a lot that B2B companies can learn from some of those brands in the consumer world.

Katja Gagen: Thanks Mike. If you were to mentor someone who wanted to get their feet wet in the marketing pool, what’s your advice for getting started? How do you build your career?

Mike Anand: I think you have to really find a way, Katja, and try a few different things. You’re going to get a lot of advice. You’re going to get a lot of coaching. But you have to really take your journey and really think about what’s important to you.

Early in your life, I would really ask you to expose yourself to a few different roles, a few different types of companies. Go work for a big company and understand how things work, but then also go work for a startup, where there are no swim lanes, there are no processes, and you have to disrupt yourself almost every single day. Think about it from that perspective and stay hungry.

Kunal Mehta: Mike, if I was working for you, what would be your biggest pet peeve?

Mike Anand: I’d be blessed if you were on the team, but at the same time, look, kindness is not an optional, I’m an empathy driven leader. It’s a mandatory requirement.

Second is preparation. Meetings in the zoom world are happening all the time. Every five-minute conversation is now a meeting. One of my biggest pet peeves is showing up to the meetings unprepared. I really want people to do the due diligence of putting together, hey, what is the outcome you want to drive from the meeting? Why are you coming to the meeting? What are people going to get? And do the prep work before you show up to the meeting so you can drive a better outcome out of it.

Katja Gagen: Thanks so much, Mike, for sharing all these nuggets of gold with us. I really like how you emphasize that brands start with empathy and listening. And you talked us through the process of how you can build a brand that galvanizes both your developer community, but also internal stakeholders.

The other takeaway I really liked is to keep the message simple. It’s easier said than done, but it’s something that is so important. And lastly, how the role of the CMO has changed and what it takes today, and in the future, to be successful.

Katja Gagen: Thanks for being on the podcast, Mike.

Mike Anand: Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure.

***

The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview and blog post are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Devo Announces $250 Million Funding Round Led by TCV

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Devo Technology, the cloud-native logging and security analytics company, today announced $250 million in Series E funding at a valuation of $1.5 billion. TCV led the round, along with new investors General Atlantic and Eurazeo and existing investors Insight Partners, GeorgianBessemer Venture Partners, and Kibo Ventures

A recent report from Devo revealed the speed at which businesses have accelerated past the cloud tipping point—with cloud-first organizations now outnumbering on-premise organizations by a ratio of three-to-one. Devo is serving as the only credible “go to” in the cloud for large customers needing sophisticated security analytics and enterprise logging at scale.

“Digital transformation, and the massive threat surface associated with it, have elevated security analytics to the centerpiece of frontline cyber defenses,” said Devo CEO, Marc van Zadelhoff. “Pedro Castillo and our founders built Devo for this transformation, and now the world’s largest businesses choose us because we combine unmatched scale, powerful analytics, and the ability to get answers in real time—fundamentally changing how security teams interact with their data. This new funding validates the disruptive force we have become and sends a signal to the industry that we will continue to set the pace for innovation and customer value.”

Devo’s expansion plans include growth in new verticals and geographies including an expanded presence in the public sector, as well as internationally in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Building on the rapid adoption of Devo as the platform of choice for leading resellers and managed security services providers (MSSPs) across the globe, the company is also redoubling its commitment to the channel, cloud and integration partners. Devo will also invest heavily in technology alliances, content, and people to build out a global security community to usher in a new era for the industry.

Gopi Vaddi, General Partner at TCV, who is joining the Devo Board of Directors said, “We’re thrilled to invest behind Devo’s visionary founders who have built a category-disrupting product suite, in addition to Marc van Zadelhoff who joined as CEO last year and has commercialized the company further by recruiting a seasoned team of executives. We look forward to working with existing investors Insight, Georgian, Bessemer, and Kibo Ventures, who have guided the company to its current stage, as well as new investors General Atlantic and Eurazeo.”

Also joining the board is Gary Reiner, Operating Partner at General Atlantic.

The funding event also marks what has been a momentous first year in the tenure of CEO Marc van Zadelhoff. Since assuming leadership, he has driven the company to new heights, including:

  • Nearly 100% year-over-year revenue growth
  • Over 100% customer growth, including H&R Block, Manulife, FanDuel, Ulta Beauty and AMEX Global Business Travel
  • More than 400 employees across North America, Europe, and APAC
  • Addition of industry-proven leaders including CSO Gunter Ollmann, SVP of Product Ted Julian, CCO Johannes Loeffler and CFO Jennifer Grunebaum
  • Launch of Devo Content Stream, a new high-value content delivery service for Devo customers

About Devo

Devo is the only cloud-native logging and security analytics platform that releases the full potential of your data to empower bold, confident action. With unrivaled scale to collect all of your data without compromise, speed to give you immediate access and answers, and clarity to focus on the signals that matter most, Devo is your ally in protecting your organization today and tomorrow. Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Devo is backed by Insight Partners, Georgian, TCV, General Atlantic, Bessemer Venture Partners, Kibo Ventures and Eurazeo. Learn more at www.devo.com.

About TCV

Founded in 1995, TCV was established with a clear vision: to capture opportunities in the technology market through a specialized and consistent focus on investing in high-growth companies. Since inception, the firm has built a track record of successfully backing private and public businesses that have developed into dominant industry players across internet, software, FinTech, and enterprise IT. TCV has helped guide CEOs through more than 140 IPOs and strategic acquisitions. TCV has invested in cutting edge technology companies including Airbnb, Aviatrix, GitLab, HashiCorp, Klarna, Mollie, Netflix, OneTrust, Peloton, Rapid 7, Redis, Splunk, Spotify, Vectra AI, and more. TCV has successfully executed over 350 investments of varying structures, including mid-stage, late stage, and public company investments, and has offices in Menlo Park, New York, and London. For more information about TCV, including a complete list of TCV investments, visit tcv.com.

Devo PR Contact:
Shannon Todesca
shannon.todesca@devo.com
+1 (781) 797-0898

TCV PR Contact:
Katja Gagen
kgagen@tcv.com
+1 (415) 690-6689


Lessons from Strava: Working with Press and Teams to Move the Growth Needle, Foster Inclusion, and Establish a Purpose-Driven Narrative

Every communications professional has seen it: a tweet from a journalist bemoaning the raft of irrelevant pitches they receive on a daily basis. How can companies cut through the noise to place stories that reflect well upon the business, and move the needle when it comes to brand perception and growth? That’s something Strava has navigated while building a purpose-driven narrative for over 90 million athletes across almost 200 countries.

In the latest episode of Growth Hacks, Katja and Kunal speak with Andrew Vontz, VP of Communications at TCV company Strava. Andrew also hosts his own podcast – Choose The Hard Way, where he talks with leaders in sports, tech, business, the military and more about peak performance and how to overcome obstacles to do great things. Andrew started his career as a journalist before moving into marketing and communications. He shares his insider perspective into what it takes to place a story that reporters are motivated to tell, and how to prepare internal stakeholders on what that story might look like when it runs. He also talks about how organizations can use earned media to drive growth, and how to conduct crisis communications prep before disaster strikes. Andrew also walks us through Strava’s playbook on establishing its purpose-driven narrative both internally and externally and what it takes to engage a global community. 

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Being user-centric rather than you-centric when working with journalists
  • Why it’s important to educate stakeholders on how press coverage operates
  • Using earned media to drive growth
  • Preparing for a crisis before it happens
  • Effective ways to be known as a mission or purpose driven organization

To hear more on this, settle in and press play.

Please find the transcript below, which has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Katja Gagen: Hello everyone, we are excited to have Andrew Vontz today on the podcast. Andrew went from being a journalist for the LA times, Rolling Stone, and others, to joining Strava’s executive team and leading communications.

And for all fitness aficionados listening, Strava is a social platform for athletes and the largest sports community in the world, with over 95 million athletes in 195 countries on the platform. We are excited to hear from Andrew about how communications can help drive business success and how he keeps this incredible community engaged.

Welcome to Growth Hacks, Andrew.

Andrew Vontz: Hey, thanks, Katja. It’s great to be here with you and Kunal.

Kunal Mehta: Well, I know you’re going to bring the heat today, Andrew. I just want to know where does this podcast find you today?

Andrew Vontz: It finds me in rural Maine where the leaves are falling, and there are pumpkins everywhere. We actually have a pumpkin that we grew from throwing a pumpkin into the compost pile last year, it grew into like a three foot in diameter pumpkin, lo and behold.

Kunal Mehta: That’s amazing.

Katja Gagen: That’s awesome. And Andrew, you have a pretty unique background that spans art to journalism, and now heading up comms at Strava. How did you end up where you are?

Andrew Vontz: I think I ended up where I am because I’ve always been a very curious person and I’ve always loved storytelling. And the red thread of my career has really been people, places, and things at the limits of human experience. Whether that was the work that I did as a freelance journalist for over a decade, the work that I did as the head of content at TRX, which is a human performance company that worked to democratize world-class human performance for everyone, or now at Strava. And over time, I eventually joined the executive team and I’m now the Vice President of Communications.

And outside of that, I also have my own podcast, it’s called “Choose the Hard Way”, and it’s about the obstacles people overcome to do great things. So that red thread is still running throughout my career.

Kunal Mehta: Fantastic. Well, Andrew, I know Strava is Swedish for strive, which epitomizes attitude and ambition. How do you bring that to life with the communication strategy at Strava?

Andrew Vontz: Yeah, Kunal. It’s really about always thinking bigger, always in all ways. So that’s, however well things are going, how can we think about what’s the next step? What’s the much bigger version of that? What’s the version of that that makes us feel a little bit anxious, a little bit uncomfortable because it seems so audacious? So that’s really what strive is about in the communications domain.

Kunal Mehta: Andrew, you’ve been a journalist for over a decade. What should companies know about the way journalists think about stories?

Andrew Vontz: When you’re working with media, it can provide the most valuable form of third-party validation that you can get. It’s like going to a party and having your best friend tell you how awesome something is versus you talking about yourself.

What you want to keep in mind when you’re working with press is: yeah, you would love to have other people telling your story on your behalf and singing your praises, but you really have to be user-centric versus you-centric. There are definitely things that you would ideally like to get out of press coverage, but you also need to think about what does that journalist need? What does their readership need? What does that outlet need? What’s going to help them sell this story internally and get it placed? And you really have to begin with the end in mind.

I think in addition to that, it’s really important to educate your teammates from across the organization and to really set realistic expectations about how press coverage might roll out.

All great stories are really high contrast. They’re high tension. They’re definitely going to contain opposing points of view, and you just need to prepare people for that, educate them, and bring them along so that they know what’s going to show up in a story, why it’s going to show up, and how it might show up.

Katja Gagen: That’s awesome advice because we sometimes hear from our companies that they think of PR as paid marketing copy, and they just have to pick up the phone and speak to a reporter and out comes a piece that highlights everything you want to say about your company. We know that this is far from the truth.

How can press coverage or media coverage support growth in the business? Can you share some examples?

Andrew Vontz: For sure, Katja. I’ll give you an example that’s worked really well for us. We do an annual Year In Sport press report. And what it really does is aligns our proprietary data insights because Strava really is de facto the record of the world’s athletic activities.

It’s contained everything from people winning medals, to Tour de France stages to, hey, what are the trends that have happened during the pandemic as walking and hiking really took off and more people than ever before were riding bikes. Finding ways to align stories that only we can tell with moments in time when there’s a high degree of cultural curiosity around specific topics that can enable really large-scale brand awareness.

Going back to providing reporters with ingredients and stories that are useful for them to sell stories internally and also to service their readership. I think that’s just like a really great example of one way you can do it.

Kunal Mehta: Fantastic. Andrew, as I think about Strava, they’re adding 2 million athletes a month during the pandemic, and they’re still growing incredibly fast. I just read an article that says something like 20% of employees will continue to work remotely. How have you overcome the challenges of managing your team working remotely during this hyper-growth period?

Andrew Vontz: I think one of the advantages that we have is prior to the pandemic, and really, since our inception, Strava has been a highly global company. We have athletes in 195 countries, and we have teammates on the ground in seven key geographies around the world, seven different countries on four different continents.

It’s given us the opportunity to really grow and come together as a team and really working on making sure we’re calling all the voices on the team in, that we’re being as inclusive as possible in this remote work environment. And really thinking about what are the systems and processes that do foster that sense of inclusion, that make people able to provide their highest level of contribution? And really thinking through what are the channels that they need to do that?

Because the reality is just adding more meetings is just going to add up to a lot more meetings. You have a finite amount of time that you can get together, so it’s getting people into the right spaces at the right moment.

When you’re in those contexts, invite everybody into the conversation. Going back to what does strive mean within a context of our comms team? Part of what it means is always pushing ourselves to think bigger, to think about how can we do everything better?

Even if things are going really well, what does it look like beyond the horizon to do way, way, way better than we might imagine is possible at the moment? No one has a monopoly on great ideas, and you want everybody to feel included. I try to talk about decisions I’ve made or things that we’ve tried in the org that haven’t gone well, because I also have to model risk taking and that failure is okay, because I certainly am not making perfect decisions all the time.

Katja Gagen: I like, Andrew, how you’re creating an environment that’s both inclusive, but also pushing the team to try new things, even when everything is going well.

Shifting gears for a moment, every organization goes through a phase where there are challenges. What does it take to successfully manage those and how have you done that?

Andrew Vontz: Well, the best advice I can give is you want to plan for rainy days, because honestly, if you have any level of success, at some point you were definitely going to have a storm in your future. And before one happens, you want to be prepared. If you do find yourself managing a crisis, you want to try to find a way to turn that challenge into an opportunity.

Let me tell you about something that happened at Strava back in 2018. We have something called the heat map. It’s really a treasured community resource that our athletes use to discover new places to ride, to run, and really just to enjoy the sports they love. It only contains aggregate de-identified data and athletes can opt out of sharing their information into the heat map at any time.

Back in 2018, someone on Twitter said they had found secret military bases on the heat map. And this took off in the news and we ended up having 2000 media inquiries in about 48 hours. I would just say, first of all, when a crisis happens, you have to say calm. It’s important that you move at your own pace and that you work with stakeholders across the organization to understand what’s going on before you do anything.

That’s what we did. We take the privacy of our athletes very seriously. And we really used this incident as an opportunity to build more trust with our athletes and with our community and to educate the world about our simple privacy controls and settings.

At that moment in time, the story ended up on national broadcast and every major newspaper in the U S and around the world online. We managed the crisis to a resolution where the coverage was 90% positive or neutral.

Here’s what you can do if you want to get ready. I definitely recommend getting a steer from advisers or outside experts who can help you think through the full range of crises you might face, and to start preparing for them. A book I recommend is The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande.

It covers how professionals in high stress, high consequence environments, like medical doctors performing surgery, or how pilots flying commercial airlines use checklists for everything that they do. Use these checklists to boil down complex operations, to really the simplest, clearest set of decisions possible, trying to make everything binary and really make communication across the team as frictionless, simple, direct as possible.

Try to think through anything that might potentially pop up and then try to spell out exactly how you’re going to meet that moment. And if you do that, you’ll be as prepared as you possibly can be when your rainy day comes.

Katja Gagen: That’s super helpful. We talked a little bit earlier about Strava meaning to strive. A lot of companies today want to be known for a specific mission or purpose. What are the most effective ways you have made that happen at Strava?

Andrew Vontz: I think when it comes to thought leadership, some people think about thought leadership as, hey, we just need to like stick our leaders on the right stages at the right conferences. And then miraculously, we’re going to be known as the world’s leading authority on X.

Thought leadership starts with the intent to be the world’s best at something, and that’s a very worthy endeavor. Equally, you need to be really honest about where are you at today? Where do you want to be in the future? How credible are you on this topic? And what commitment do you have to action? And I’ll just give you an example.

At Strava, we serve athletes. And we say that what’s awesome for athletes is awesome for our business and in turn, that can be awesome for the world at large. We say that athlete awesome equals business awesome.

We are the platform at the center of connected fitness. We have over 400 partners whose apps, hardware, experiences, connect into Strava where they can be extended, and people can enjoy them. And we’re a place where every effort counts. We have something called Strava Metro. And Metro takes aggregate de-identified data, and we provide a really easy to use tool to vetted municipalities and urban planners, so that they can create better and safer pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in cities so that people can get around under their own power as safely and effectively as possible in cities. Because really humans are the original autonomous vehicle, and they are the future of cities.

What we aspire to, is to be a positive force to help create change in the space so that everyone has equal access to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and more broadly to create greater equity in sport. And that’s an area where we want to be an even bigger thought leader and a bigger force over time.

We know where we are at today. And we know the gap that we want to close, and we have to be really honest about where we’re at and what we want to do.

Kunal Mehta: I love that approach towards DEI, and I’m sure we could spend the entire podcast talking about that.

We typically end with some rapid-fire questions. I just wanted to start with, we have a wide range of listeners, Andrew, and many of them are younger as well. Perhaps you can tell us something you wish your younger self knew.

Andrew Vontz: I’d say, my podcast is called “Choose the Hard Way” for a reason, because for better or worse, that’s something I’ve done many times in my life. And it’s really about the idea that you are what you overcome. I think that’s what I’d tell my younger self that it’s about the power of marginal gains.

Every obstacle you might run into in your life is really an opportunity to move towards your next success. And all of the knowledge that you’ve accrued, that’s just insight that you can take into whatever you do next.

It goes back to this agile development mentality, that comes from software engineering and business development, but you can really apply it to anything. Keep what works, throw away what doesn’t and test new hypotheses and keep growing.

Kunal Mehta: Awesome. Keep growing for sure. I also want to ask you, what’s a convention that you wish did not hold true today?

Andrew Vontz: Something I’ve been thinking about a lot because of a guest I had on my podcast recently, his name’s Hector Guadalupe and he’s the founder of an organization called A Second U Foundation.

He works with formerly incarcerated individuals. And provides training and education for them to start their own fitness businesses. And it’s really foregrounded for me, the importance of second chances. I think that that’s something that I would like to see transformed in society.

Katja Gagen: That’s wonderful, thanks Andrew. One other question is who do you follow on social media?

Andrew Vontz: One of my favorite people to follow on social media is Rahsaan Bahati. He’s a multi-time national champion and one of my favorite cyclists of all time. I lived in LA for over 15 years, and he used to be out on a lot of group rides that I was on. I always looked up to him, his accomplishments as an athlete.

Rahsaan has something called the Bahati Foundation. Its mission is to support inner city youth and underserved communities through cycling outreach. I think the work that he’s doing to bridge the equity and access gap in cycling is incredibly powerful.

Katja Gagen: That’s awesome, and if I were to summarize our conversation – hard work and rapid learning are the ultimate Growth Hacks. One more question, how do you energize and instill rapid learning at Strava?

Andrew Vontz: I think one of the ways that I try to do that is by modeling vulnerability. And trying to float big, risky ideas and trying to push myself beyond what feels safe. Because when I’m starting to feel anxious about something that we’re trying to do, because it feels overly ambitious, anxiety metabolized a different way is excitement. And that’s when I know I’m in the right territory because we’re about to break through. And that’s really what I want the team to get to experience, because I want everybody to have that feeling of autonomy, of growth, of really operating at the edge of their ability, because I know that that’s where we can do our very best work.

Katja Gagen: That’s wonderful. Thanks so much, Andrew, for sharing your insights with us from being a journalist to an athlete, and also the head of communications. Thanks for being on the show today.

Andrew Vontz: Yeah, thanks so much. It’s great to be here.

***

The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview and blog post are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Making Community Building More Than a Catchphrase to Unlock Growth – Jonathan Mildenhall Shares Lessons from Airbnb and More for Companies of All Sizes

Growth Hacks – Moving the Metric

Brands like Airbnb and Peloton that have been able to build a loyal community around their products, may seem to have cultivated that community size through an alchemical mix of marketing spend, timing, and luck. But it doesn’t have to be so opaque — especially not for businesses that make community building an essential part of their blueprint to growth, even from the early days. 

In this episode of Growth Hacks, Kunal and Katja talk to Jonathan Mildenhall, former CMO of Airbnb and founder and Chairman of strategic branding firm, TwentyFirstCenturyBrand, about ways to articulate the narrative of a modern brand – with community building as a key element. Jonathan walks us through a four-pillar process for creating strategic blueprints to build brand narrative, and tips for B2B brands to elicit the sort of emotional resonance that B2C brands have found with customers. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The four pillars of a modern 21st century brand that’s built to scale. Community isn’t just something that comes once a brand has been built. In fact, having a vocal, loyal community is one of the four core pillars of building a modern-day company. In addition to community building, the other three pillars for twenty-first century brands are being purpose driven, making sure your technology is well-designed and human, and focusing on storytelling.
  • How to perform a deep analysis on your own company and create a strategic blueprint to activate on each pillar. One of the first things Jonathan and his team at TwentyFirstCenturyBrand do when building out a new brand is to sit down with the founders and leaders of the company to do what they call a deep extraction. The purpose is to get a better understanding of the brand’s potential size and aspirations. “I don’t just mean in total numbers and size of revenue, but in terms of its cultural impact. We like to say we’re revealing the soul and purpose of the company back to the founding team,” Jonathan says.
  • Specific strategies on building a community that can meaningfully drive growth and brand perception. When Jonathan was the CMO of Airbnb, they had to get creative about how to use their marketing spend, which was a fraction of their competitors’ budgets. Jonathan’s team decided to activate Airbnb’s community of hosts to tell stories, by providing them photographers to take photos of their rentals and turn that into marketing collateral. Those community stories helped drive Airbnb’s initial brand narrative and turned those same hosts into vocal advocates for Airbnb with cities and potential users. Per Jonathan, “if you get community right, you can reduce acquisition costs, content creation costs, and you can drive referrals, word of mouth, and the brand narrative in ways that are unprecedented for marketers.” 
  • Why strategic community building has to come from the C-suite. Community building is an ongoing process and a two-way conversation; not just when a brand needs the community to telegraph its approval. It’s why Jonathan believes that community engagement should come from company leadership, who can maintain that dialog with followers of the brand and the wider community: “The chief executive’s voice and presence needs to be heard.”
  • Lessons B2B marketers can take from B2C campaigns when it comes to eliciting an emotional connection. Whether you’re a B2B company or a B2C company, Jonathan urges marketing teams to think about more than selling a product, and instead focus on the human being receiving the message, and whether that message moves them emotionally. His advice for B2B marketers? “I would love it if B2B businesses made a greater effort to move audiences emotionally and treat them as human beings, as opposed to somebody on the other side of a business transaction,” says Jonathan.


To learn more, tune into Growth Hacks: Elevating Community Building to Drive Meaningful Growth

***

The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview and blog post are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Product, People, and Employee Engagement: How Zillow’s Path to Growth Eschewed the Traditional Marketing Playbook

Growth Hacks – Moving the Metric

Nowadays, growth minded leaders know that a strong corporate culture and engaged employees are a central part of any company’s growth playbook. Yet when Zillow first launched, placing people on the same level as product innovation was an audacious move. Still, Zillow took the time to invest in improving its employee engagement, knowing that engaged employees were the bedrock for a company’s long-term success.

On this episode of Growth Hacks, Kunal and Katja talk to TCV Venture Partner and former CMO, COO, and current Zillow board member, Amy Bohutinsky. We discuss Amy’s perspective on C-suite leadership and bucking the traditional marketing and operational playbooks in order to drive growth and create better company cohesion. As board member of various technology companies, Amy also walks us through what boards are discussing now more than ever.

Key Takeaways

  • Why Zillow focused on product over marketing to drive early growth. When Zillow launched in 2004, they’d seen many of their startup peers spend lots of money on brand marketing without a proven revenue model. Rather than tread the same path, Amy says the Zillow team “saw an opportunity to build a company in a really different way, which was to focus deeply on product. Product was absolutely the best marketing we could have.” By adopting a no budget marketing budget, the team was further incentivized to create products, like Zillow’s Zestimate, that customers would truly love using.
  • Strategies for successfully merging companies post-acquisition. As Zillow has grown, it’s acquired companies of all sizes, including its $2.5 billion acquisition of fellow real estate juggernaut Trulia. To navigate a smoother post-acquisition merger after she became COO, Amy took a page from her former CMO playbook when considering how to best scale Zillow’s employee base while retaining what was special about its culture. During the Trulia acquisition, the companies combined their individual sets of values to create a new shared set of driving core values. “That gave a nod to what was great about both, but also showed that we were bridging two companies together and two different cultures together and creating something new,” says Amy.
  • How shared values in a shared language build connective tissue between disparate teams. One of Amy’s goals during her time as Zillow’s COO was to drive better cohesion between sales, marketing, and product. Though each team had its own values in addition to Zillow’s shared corporate values, everyone across the company bought into what Zillow called its “product personas” — mental sketches of the people they built for. “They had names, they had photos, they had a whole life…And these are individual personas that everyone across every department at the company understands deeply,” says Amy.
  • The most important metrics all C-suite leaders should be paying attention to. When Amy shifted her role from CMO to COO, she viewed Zillow employees the same way she did end consumers; what did they have to say, what were their concerns, and what could Zillow do to make sure they retained the workforce that made them successful. Even now, Amy says all C-suite leaders should be paying attention to a key metric: employee engagement. “If you get that right, it’s a whole lot easier to meet all of the business-related metrics you need.”
  • What corporate boards are most concerned with currently. In addition to the board of Zillow, Amy sits on the boards of Modsy and Duolingo, and has sat on the boards of companies including Gap and HotelTonight. She says that in the last seven to ten years, the conversation on boards has shifted away from growth at all costs to an emphasis on people and how to keep and retain a healthy workforce.

To learn more, tune into Growth Hacks: Treating Employees Like End Consumers: How Zillow Scaled Successfully While Reinventing the Traditional Growth Playbook

***

The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This interview and blog post are not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified, if any, are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit www.tcv.com/all-companies/. For additional important disclaimers regarding this interview and blog post, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.


Built Technologies Announces $125M Series D Financing Round Led by New Investor TCV

September 30, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Built Technologies (Built), the fastest growing construction finance platform in the U.S., today announced $125 million in Series D funding at a valuation of $1.5 billion. Lead investor TCV, along with Brookfield Technology Partners, 9Yards Capital, XYZ Venture Capital, and HighSage Ventures, will join existing investors in the Nashville-based company.

$1.58T is spent annually in the U.S. construction industry yet it is one of the least digitized industries in the world. Focused on becoming the financial operating system of the construction industry and empowering all key stakeholders to be more successful, Built has evolved from initially serving financial institutions active in construction lending to also serving other players in the construction ecosystem over the past two years. The company’s cloud-based platform now offers solutions to lenders, property developers, home builders, and contractors as these parties collaborate to get projects built and keep capital flowing to the proper destination as quickly as possible.

The new funding will be used to meet the evolving needs of the industry including:

  • Significantly expanding Built’s world-class team;
  • Accelerating the delivery of new products for financial institutions that are active in all types of construction lending;
  • Designing new products for property developers, home builders, and contractors as they collaborate with their vendors to pay or get paid with better insights;
  • Launching next generation construction payment capabilities along with an insurance brokerage; and,
  • Further international expansion.

“As a result of our continued growth and commitment to the construction industry and the capital providers fueling it, we have experienced a significant amount of demand from the investor community,” said Chase Gilbert, CEO at Built. “As a leading platform focused on modernizing money movement and improving financial outcomes in construction, we are excited to use this investment from TCV and others to extend our capabilities and drive an even bigger impact.”

With Built, lenders can more safely and efficiently deploy capital into commercial and residential construction projects, and seamlessly integrate with their other core systems. Built supports the full breadth of debt and equity funding at scale while providing lenders with powerful insights needed to manage their business and deliver borrowers a convenient experience.

For commercial and residential owners, developers, and construction professionals, Built is actively developing new solutions—like compliance tracking, AP/AR automation tools, payment management and insurance services.

“Built has achieved broad market penetration in the notoriously tough construction finance space, because they are answering critical unmet needs in the market,” said Woody Marshall, lead investor at TCV and Built’s newest board member. “TCV partners with aspiring category leaders, and we are confident that Built will take its place among other innovative companies who have disrupted major markets.”

Since launching in 2015, Built’s platform has been used to manage the financing of over $135 billion in construction value, spanning more than 200,000 commercial, homebuilder, land development and consumer residential projects.

Built’s new funding partners join existing investors including Lee Fixel’s Addition, Index Ventures, Canapi Ventures, GreenPoint Partners, Nine Four Ventures, Fifth Wall, Goldman Sachs, and Nyca Partners among other individual investors.

About Built

Built is the leading provider of construction finance technology. Built connects commercial and consumer construction lenders, property developers, commercial general contractors, residential homebuilders, specialty contractors, title companies, and other critical industry vendors to improve the flow of capital through the construction ecosystem. By connecting all key stakeholders involved in the construction financing process in real-time, the Built platform helps mitigate risk, power faster draws and payments, ensure compliance, and inspire customer loyalty. Built is used by more than 150 of the leading U.S. & Canadian construction lenders and thousands of developers and contractors. For more information, visit www.getbuilt.com.

About TCV

Founded in 1995, TCV was established with a clear vision: to capture opportunities in the technology market through a specialized and consistent focus on investing in high-growth companies. Since inception, the firm has built a track record of successfully backing private and public businesses that have developed into dominant industry players across internet, software, FinTech, and enterprise IT. TCV has invested over $16 billion to date, including $3 billion in fintech. TCV has helped guide CEOs through more than 135 IPOs and strategic acquisitions. TCV has invested in cutting edge technology companies including Airbnb, Brex, Klarna, Mambu, Mollie, Netflix, Payoneer, Peloton, Revolut, Trade Republic, Spotify, Wealthsimple, and more. TCV has successfully executed over 350 investments of varying structures, including mid-stage, late stage and public company investments, and has offices in Menlo Park, New York, and London. For more information about TCV, including a complete list of TCV investments, visit tcv.com.

Contacts

Media contact:
Robin Bectel
REQ for Built Technologies
rbectel@req.co
703-287-2827

Kristi Brown
Built Technologies
kristi.brown@getbuilt.com
702-303-3019

Katja Gagen
TCV
kgagen@tcv.com
415-690-6689