Building the Rocket Ship as You Pilot It: How Trulioo Navigated a New CEO, Global Expansion, and COVID During a Period of Hypergrowth

When Steve Munford joined leading digital identity verification provider Trulioo as the new CEO as the company expanded its global footprint, he knew to be mindful of common pitfalls like making quick decisions and sweeping changes without appreciating the historical context. Instead, he took time to analyze the business from top to bottom and build relationships with Trulioo’s co-founders Stephen Ufford and Tanis Jorge. Rather than slowing down his work at Trulioo, it helped Steve accelerate his impact, knowing that he wasn’t duplicating previously unsuccessful efforts or making decisions that would clash with the mission-driven corporate culture. By developing that framework with the founders and the company at large, he was able to ensure that he was building the company for the long-term without breaking all of the things that already worked.

Trulioo provides businesses with instant digital identity verification that support compliance requirements, mitigate risk, and reduce friction in the onboarding process. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, demand increased significantly alongside Trulioo’s customers’ digital initiatives. Trulioo had always planned to expand its services globally, but this hypergrowth needed a clear roadmap to be executed diligently. The company planned to scale multiple functions, while also opening offices and growing headcount across the globe. To help prioritize product and go-to-market strategies, Trulioo leaned into two key features: customer feedback and a truly global workforce. Customer feedback helped Trulioo look around corners to see which identity verification features and regulatory hurdles were becoming top of mind for its customers. By establishing a global workforce, the company was confident in knowing that they truly understood their customers’ needs – who were themselves increasingly global – as well as the nuances of the markets they were entering into.

In this episode of Growth Journeys, we discuss how Trulioo navigated hyper growth accelerated by digitization during COVID-19, while building out thoughtful global operations and go-to-market strategies built for the long haul. Steve explains why he prioritizes building trust with founding executives and expanding global offices. He also walks us through Trulioo’s mission driven culture, and how the company is executing on its goal to enable everyone on the planet to participate in a global, increasingly digital economy.

Key Takeaways:

  • How Steve navigated stepping into the CEO role at a company that was previously founder-led.

For CEOs joining companies that were previously founder-led, it can be extremely tempting to implement changes quickly in order to create impact. But Steve advocates a different approach and suggests that new executives instead spend that time analyzing what’s been working at the company, and what impact the founders had on that success to date. “You have to start by [asking yourself] ‘What is going to be missing when that founder steps aside from the business?’”

He advocates for taking as much time as possible to watch, learn, and digest, and understand why certain moves have been made, and others haven’t. Doing so allows a new outside CEO to truly understand the culture and nuances of an organization before making sweeping changes. He also suggests building a partnership with the founders, when possible, to build trust and open communication. “The goal is not to slow things down, but further accelerate them. You have got to make sure that when you step in, you’re not doing any harm, but setting both you and the company up to go even faster.”

  • The benefits of building a diverse workforce when expanding a company into new markets across the globe.

One of the first tasks Steve tackled at Trulioo was going to market globally, during a pandemic that had made operations go virtual. Until then, Trulioo had been headquartered in Vancouver, and it could have been simpler to continue with the same team at first. But each market operates differently, and nuances can vary wildly from country to country, which is why Trulioo continued its plan to create a diverse, global workforce. “If you’re going to have a global company…you need to have offices, locations, and workforces all around the world. You need to have a leadership team that is truly multicultural, diverse, and is able to motivate and understand the nuances of the culture,” says Steve.

Indeed, Steve suggests that leadership teams actively prioritize being diverse and cross-cultural as they scale. However, while having a global presence is critical for market presence, go-to-to-market strategies, and talent development as a company grows, for a tech company based outside of the US, having a strong presence in the US is also important.

  • Using customer feedback to understand new markets, prioritize product iteration, and drive growth.

While Trulioo had always planned to expand its identity verification services across the globe, the pandemic accelerated the demand for the company’s services. While there was no shortage of varying needs and priorities, Steve and his team used one criterion to really prioritize its hypergrowth strategy: customer feedback. Because Trulioo works with some of the largest companies across many verticals, their feedback was critical in helping Trulioo craft its product and go-to market roadmaps. “[Our customers] guide us to the countries that they want to move into next. They guide us on how they see the identity landscape changing, where fraud is coming from, or where the regulatory environment is going. Through that dialogue, we’re able to really help prioritize our roadmap, prioritize where we need to innovate, and prioritize areas that we should partner with,” says Steve.

  • How Trulioo’s mission of fostering global inclusion for everyone in the digital economy has helped guide the company’s culture, product, and growth journey.

Providing identity verification services and building a robust identity network is built on the company’s core mission to advance financial inclusion. Trulioo aims to enable everyone on the planet to participate in the global economy no matter where they are. That mission is engrained in how Trulioo creates services and products, even if someone isn’t a customer or employee of a company using Trulioo yet. By thinking about future users, Trulioo is able to think more long term and build products that enable even more people to access high value services online. Says Steve, “We are a mission driven company, and ultimately I think our customers appreciate that because when we go about helping them do their jobs, we’re coming at it from a place of purpose. I think that really comes through.”

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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/.


Passport Raises $39M Series B to Help E-commerce Brands and Marketplaces Level Up International Shipping

  • Published on January 25, 2022

I am excited to publicly announce our Series B funding led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), one of the largest growth equity firms focused on high growth technology companies. In this round we also welcomed some e-commerce industry superstars to help us along the way – Flexport, FJ Labs, and Pure Imagination as well as angel investors Nik Sharma of Sharma Brands, Kitsch founders Cassandra and Jeremy Thurswell, Shopify’s former VP of Shipping Louis Kearns, Italic CEO Jeremy Cai, and Sid Gupta, CEO of Quince.

We also welcomed Nita Lathia to the leadership team as our Head of Marketplaces. Nita is one of the most experienced and respected innovators in our industry and a pioneer in the design of cross-border delivery solutions for marketplaces. Her vision for disrupting international e-commerce and parcel delivery aligns with our long-term business plans by enabling marketplaces and their sellers to confidently ship anywhere in the world.

Our vision at Passport is to help brands reach their global potential. Today we work with some of the largest brands including Native, Kylie Beauty, Kitsch, and Tommy John. We feel strongly that the best way to accomplish this vision is as a modern international shipping carrier built for e-commerce from the ground up. 

Problem with international shipping today

Cross-border shipping is a complicated problem, one that extends beyond just logistics.

  • International consumers expect a great end-to-end customer experience, especially because the transit times are longer than domestic shipping
  • Merchants must collect and remit the correct amount of duties and taxes, a particularly challenging task since every country has different policies and procedures   
  • Many products require special documentation for shipping around the world, such as pet food and cosmetics
  • And don’t even get us started on international returns!

International shipping built for ecommerce

Passport combines international parcel shipping logistics with everything else a shipper needs to have a successful international program. Passport can provide e-commerce merchants with financial and regulatory compliance of shipments, great end–to-end experience for their customers, and handling of the international returns process. 

We believe this new round of funding will help us achieve two big goals: to further develop our software-based infrastructure for cross-border e-commerce, and to expand on our recent acquisition of Access Worldwide by building out our physical logistics capabilities (hint: better rates and transit times for shippers). We are aiming to combine best in class technology with best in class logistics, and we believe that this investment will help us reach our goals faster.

Today DTC brands, marketplaces, and 3PLs rely on Passport for their international shipping needs, and we hope to continue to add value to this wonderful ecosystem.

I am deeply grateful to all who helped bring Passport to life, from my teammates to investors, customers, and partners. We are committed to our vision and appreciate everyone’s support. 

We are hiring across all teams. Please apply HERE

And if you need any help with your international shipping, please reach out to our team HERE


Commerce Technology Provider Spryker Announces $130 Million Financing Round Led by TCV to Accelerate U.S. Centric Global Expansion to Enable Transactional Business Models

NEW YORK AND BERLIN (PRWEB) DECEMBER 17, 2020

Spryker, a fast-growing commerce technology for global enterprises, today announced that it has raised over $130 million in a Series C financing round, led by Silicon Valley-based TCV. Existing investors One Peak from London and Project A Ventures from Berlin also participated in the round.

The funding will be used to expand Spryker’s proven B2B and Enterprise Marketplace products and create a compelling 3rd party technology AppStore. Spryker also intends to grow its international footprint with a focus on the U.S., which already accounts for 10% of its annual software revenue. With $7 billion in annual spend, the potential in digital commerce software is massive — and Spryker is rapidly increasing its market share. Spryker also intends to grow its global talent to maintain its innovative edge and continue to build new products for future use cases and touch points, including IoT commerce, subscription, and click & collect.

Used by over 150 global customers, Spryker accelerates the deployment, time-to-value, and transformation towards transactional business models beyond e-Commerce, retail, and desktop. These benefits stem from Spryker’s innovative headless and API-based architecture, combined with a modular packaged business capabilities (PBC) design. The cloud native PaaS (Platform as a Service) delivery model empowers sophisticated businesses that have outgrown SaaS (Software as a Service) and on-premise single tenant models. As more companies shift to become “composable enterprises“ led by multidisciplinary “fusion teams”, Spryker is at the forefront of this movement having pioneered and predicted these approaches.

Founded in 2014, Spryker has been growing its recurring revenue more than 100% annually. The global team counts more than 250 employees with over 35 nationalities, working out of offices in Germany, USA, U.K., Netherlands, and Ukraine. Spryker recently pioneered a “New Work” model, offering remote first options for talent worldwide. Spryker is expanding operations in the U.S. in early 2021 to continue its rapid growth and support global customers, such as Ricoh, Siemens, and Toyota.

Spryker was named the most innovative and visionary of all new vendors in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce, recognized as a major player in B2B e-Commerce by IDC, and has partnered with leading global software integrators.

Boris Lokschin, Co-Founder & CEO at Spryker Systems said:

“With more industries beyond traditional retail building transactional business models we enable our global enterprise customers at any touchpoint. Verticals like Food & Beverages, Manufacturing, Services or FMCG transform to become composable enterprises and demand for cloud native, modular commerce technologies to power their sophisticated B2B, Enterprise Marketplace, or Unified Commerce initiatives. They want the platform to respond to digital best practices and enable shorter time-to-value, better TCO, and faster innovation which always was Spyker’s DNA. With TCV we are happy to have one of the most reputable global growth funds joining us to support our global, U.S.-centric expansion as well as groundbreaking product roadmap.”

Gopi Vaddi, General Partner at TCV who will be joining Spryker’s board of directors, said:

“We at TCV are pleased to partner with Boris, Alex, and the team at Spryker in their effort to provide a modern commerce platform that revolutionizes the deployment model with packaged business capabilities. With the acceleration of the digital adoption curve in the global pandemic, there has never been a better time for customers to rethink their digital commerce strategy.”

Bob Burke, Venture Partner at TCV, said:

“Digital commerce is a strategic priority for enterprises operating across consumer (B2C), business (B2B), direct to consumer (D2C) and marketplaces. Spryker offers a next-generation solution with a modular, API-first solution that is extensible with the ever-changing business & technology needs of enterprise organizations. We look forward to supporting the Spryker team as they expand internationally and empower businesses in their digital transformation.”

David Klein, Co-founder and Managing Partner at One Peak, said:

“Similar to how Hybris and Demandware led the first wave in commerce infrastructure software solutions, Spryker is now leading the way with a best-of-breed, highly scalable cloud platform which drives sales for its customers. Boris, Alex, and the Spryker leadership team have done an outstanding job in hyperscaling the Company to a global leader in the past three years since our investment, and we are thrilled to continue to support their expansion into the US and beyond.”

Florian Heinemann, General Partner at Project A Ventures, said:

“Since its founding in 2014, we have been excited about Spryker’s development and growth. We are confident that with this new funding and the world-class team, they will become one of the global leaders in e-commerce software. New transactional business models require innovative technical implementation and Spryker is the best solution we know of to do this. For many companies with sophisticated business models, Spryker is the right partner, especially in B2B and marketplaces.”

Oscar Jazdowski, Co-General Partner at SVB, global banking Partner of Spryker said:

“SVB is excited to be part of Spryker’s growing success story. We are extremely impressed by the management team and are convinced that their commerce solutions are building the backbones of today’s enterprises. We are confident that Spryker will successfully scale globally, and we are pleased to provide support with funding and expertise across Spryker’s core markets in Germany, EMEA, and the U.S.”

With $130 million raised in this round, Spryker’s company value exceeds $500 million which makes it one of the fastest growing enterprise commerce software companies ever.

About Spryker:

Founded in 2014, Spryker enables companies to build transactional business models in B2B, B2C, and Enterprise Marketplaces. It is the most modern platform-as-a-service solution with a headless architecture that is cloud-enabled, enterprise-ready, and loved by developers and business users worldwide. Spryker customers extend their sales reach and grow revenue with a system that allows them to increase operational efficiency, lower total cost of ownership, and expand to new markets and business models faster than ever before. Spryker solutions have empowered 150+ companies to manage transactions in more than 200 countries worldwide. Spryker is trusted by brands such as Toyota, Siemens, Hilti, and Ricoh. Spryker was named the most innovative and visionary of all new vendors in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce and named a major player in B2B e-Commerce by IDC and is the only commerce platform to provide full B2B, B2C, D2C and Marketplace capabilities out of one stack. For more information about Spryker please visit Spryker.com.

About TCV:

Founded in 1995, TCV provides capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry. Since its inception, TCV has invested over $14 billion in leading technology companies, including more than $2 billion in fintech, and has helped guide CEOs through more than 125 IPOs and strategic acquisitions.

TCV’s investments include Airbnb, AxiomSL, Dollar Shave Club, ExactTarget, Expedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, Netflix, Nubank, Payoneer, Splunk, Spotify, Strava, Toast, Xero, and Zillow. In Europe, TCV has invested over $2 billion in companies including Believe, Brillen.de, FlixMobility, Klarna, Mollie, Perfecto, Redis Labs, RELEX Solutions, Revolut, RMS, Sportradar, The Pracuj Group, and WorldRemit. TCV is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, with offices in New York and London. For more information about TCV, including a complete list of TCV investments, visit https://www.tcv.com/.

About One Peak:

One Peak is a growth equity firm investing in technology companies in the scale-up phase. The firm provides growth capital to exceptional entrepreneurs with a view to transform innovative and rapidly growing businesses into lasting, category-defining leaders. In addition to Spryker, One Peak’s investments include HighQ, Neo4j, DocPlanner, Keepit, Concentra Analytics, Quentic, Coople, DataGuard, Pandadoc, and Brightflag. To learn more, visit http://www.onepeakpartners.com.

About Project A:
Project A is one of the leading venture capital companies in Europe, with offices in Berlin and London. In addition to $500 M in assets under management, Project A provides its portfolio companies with a wide range of operational support services. This includes more than 100 employees from key areas such as software engineering, business intelligence, marketing, recruiting, and many more. In 2020 Project A was named Germany’s best VC by Business Insider magazine. Project A was founded in 2012 and since then has supported more than 60 start-ups in 12 countries. The portfolio includes companies such as Catawiki, WorldRemit, Homeday, Spryker, sennder, KRY, Trade Republic, and Voi.

About SVB:

For over 35 years, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has helped innovative businesses, enterprises and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. Through its various locations in international innovation centers, SVB offers clients targeted financial services and expertise. No other bank in Germany focuses solely on the innovation economy. Europe’s leading technology and life science businesses, in all stages of development, look to SVB’s niche expertise, experience and unparalleled network, as they grow at home and tackle new markets abroad. Learn more at svb.com/Germany.

Media Contacts:

For more information about Spryker please visit Spryker.com.

Media Contact:

Spryker, press@spryker.com
TCV, Katja Gagen, kgagen@tcv.com, 415 690 6689


Tastytrade interview with Chuck Davis of Prodege | Bootstrapping in America

From starting a football newsletter as a teenager that led to an internship with the NFL, to pioneering e-commerce at The Walt Disney Company and leading Fandango and Shopzilla.com as CEO, Chuck Davis has great stories and valuable lessons to share.

Chuck Davis is the CEO & Chairman of Prodege, an internet and media company that is dedicated to “creating rewarding moments” for its members by rewarding them with more than $700 million in cash and free gift cards since inception.

Prodege is the parent company of consumer rewards platform Swagbucks and InboxDollars and cash-back shopping sites MyPoints and ShopAtHome which has awarded over $700 million to its members.

Hear more about Chuck’s journey on this video interview for tastytrade‘s “Bootstrapping in America” episode, hosted by Tom Sosnoff & Tony Battista.

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Chuck Davis is a Venture Partner at TCV. Prodege and tastytrade are TCV portfolio companies. Fandango was a TCV portfolio company.

The views and opinions expressed in the blog post above are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). This blog post is 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 above, 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 document, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.



TCV Makes $200 Million Investment in Unified Retail Planning Pioneer RELEX Solutions

HELSINKI & MENLO PARK, Calif.–RELEX Solutions, a leading provider of unified retail planning solutions, today announced that TCV has made a $200 million minority investment in the company. TCV is one of the largest providers of capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry and has backed industry-leading companies, including Airbnb, Facebook, Netflix, Splunk, Spotify, WorldRemit and Zillow.

RELEX provides an end-to-end retail planning solution enabling companies to improve their competitiveness through accurate forecasting and replenishment, localized assortments, profitable use of space and optimized workforce planning. RELEX has consistently achieved 50 percent year on year growth and attracted leading brands across the globe including Coop Denmark, Franprix, MediaMarkt, Morrisons, PartyCity, Rossmann and WHSmith.

RELEX will use the funding to continue to fuel its successful growth. The company’s three founders, Mikko Kärkkäinen, Johanna Småros and Michael Falck, see the additional funding as a means of fulfilling their vision of changing the world of retail planning. The founders will stay in their senior management roles, remain significant shareholders and will continue to set the strategy and direction for the Company. RELEX’s existing investor Summit Partners will retain an equity stake in the business and will continue to hold a seat on the RELEX board of directors.

“The development of retail and supply chain planning has been held back by siloed organizations and limitations in how technologies integrate,” comments RELEX’s CEO Mikko Kärkkäinen. “Our vision is to change how the field works by driving a more responsive unified planning process. We are already off to a good start — now we will increase our speed by accelerating our product development ambitions, hiring more tech talent and investing further into the development of our organization as well as further expanding our retail-specific machine learning and AI capabilities that complement our core data processing platform.”

TCV’s General Partner John Doran says: “We seek to partner with businesses and management teams that are poised to grow to dominate global markets in their sectors. We are impressed by RELEX’s modern, highly flexible and cloud-based software, as well as its exceptional data processing performance. RELEX has very high customer satisfaction with customers benefitting from inventory and waste reduction, improved stock availability, more efficient goods handling and less time spent on ordering. We are aligned with the founders’ vision for RELEX and look forward to supporting the management team.”

“With a robust product and a keen focus on delivering ROI to customers, RELEX has built a significant customer base across numerous retail segments and geographies. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with RELEX and delighted to welcome TCV,” adds Han Sikkens, a Managing Director with Summit Partners.

About RELEX

RELEX Solutions is dedicated to helping retail businesses improve their competitiveness through localized assortments, profitable use of retail space, accurate forecasting and replenishment, and optimized workforce planning. Our SaaS solutions deliver quick return on investment and can be used independently or jointly for unified retail planning, enabling cross-functional optimization of retail’s core processes: merchandising, supply chain and store operations. RELEX Solutions is trusted by leading brands including WHSmith, Morrisons, AO.com, Coop Denmark and Rossmann, and has offices across North America and Europe. For more information go to: www.relexsolutions.com

About TCV

Founded in 1995, TCV provides capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry. Since inception, TCV has invested over $10 billion in leading technology companies and has helped guide CEOs through more than 115 IPOs and strategic acquisitions. TCV’s investments include Airbnb, Altiris, AxiomSL, Believe, Dollar Shave Club, EmbanetCompass, EtQ, ExactTarget, Expedia, Facebook, Fandango, GoDaddy, HomeAway, LinkedIn, Netflix, OSIsoft, Rent the Runway, Sitecore, Splunk, Sportradar, Spotify, TourRadar, Varsity Tutors, WorldRemit and Zillow. TCV is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, with offices in New York and London. For more information about TCV, including a complete list of TCV investments, visit https://www.tcv.com/.

Contacts

Alexandra Sevelius
Head of Marketing and Communications, RELEX Solutions
Phone: +358 45 674 4949
Email: alexandra.sevelius@relexsolutions.com

Katja Gagen
Head of Marketing, TCV
Phone: +1415 690 6689
Email: kgagen@tcv.com


Woody Marshall on The Twenty Minute VC

Check out Harry Stebbing’s latest podcast with TCV General Partner Woody Marshall.

 

 

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The statements, 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 is 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 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, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at http://www.tcv.com/terms-of-use/.