Making Work Better: Humu Applies Behavioral Science and AI to Optimize Employee and Enterprise Performance

As the world shifts towards a knowledge economy, enterprises need to re-imagine how they do business. They are realizing that their employees are their most important asset and are searching for a smarter way to engage, encourage, and drive the best performance. Enter Humu, a platform working at the intersection of behavioral science and AI to solve that very issue.

Humu, a recent addition to the TCV portfolio, is rapidly gaining adoption from some of the world’s largest and most complex organizations. Its intelligent technology platform coaches managers and employees into developing work habits that are scientifically proven to drive performance. Humu was co-founded by CEO Laszlo Bock, former Google SVP of People Operations, and is the output of decades of his work and experience in helping make HR a more data-driven function. Laszlo is uniquely positioned to build the Humu technology platform into a must-have for organizations looking to drive employee engagement, optimize performance, and improve productivity.

Specifically, by nudging employees with short, behavioral science-backed recommendations, Humu provides personalized guidance that’s unique to each employee, helping workers to build better habits, while also driving towards organizational goals, including employee retention, manager effectiveness, productivity, and inclusive cultures.

TCV is thrilled to lead Humu’s $60 million Series C. The investment, which follows two years of significant growth for the Company, will fuel new product innovations geared to support managers and their teams. TCV venture partner Jessica Neal, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, has joined Humu’s Board of Directors as part of our new partnership.

TCV’s experience in seeing the magic in the Right Content, Right Person, Right Time

TCV has long understood the value of delivering engaging, timely content to the right person at the right time and has invested based on this thesis for over two decades, including in companies like Netflix (video), Spotify (music), Peloton (fitness), and Newsela (K-12 instructional content).

TCV believes that timely content curation and delivery should extend from our consumer lives to our work lives: if Netflix can feed us more of what we need to keep us entertained, why wouldn’t we benefit from similar capabilities in the workplace? Businesses need a system that serves us the right content at the right time to help us perform better.

What is exciting about Humu? Humu is driving real outcomes

Humu’s AI-based Nudge Engine™ technology drives timely “nudges” to encourage employees to do more of what creates optimal outcomes and experiences for employees and enterprises. Nudges are delivered in curated pathways that are algorithmically generated, sequenced, and tailored to a particular initiative and employee.

At a glance:

  • Every Humu nudge is based on academic research and carefully crafted by Humu “people analytics” experts
  • User experience panels ensure nudges are easy to understand and act on. Feedback loops make it possible to turn off what’s not working, and send more of what is
  • Employees turn to nudges more and more over time. Sustained nudge engagement rates across customers are as high as 95%

At Silicon Valley Bank, Humu’s nudges focus managers and employees on what matters most – and remind them at just the right moments to adjust their habits. That could be in supporting managers who may be too focused on execution at the cost of supporting employee development and encouraging them to find ways to offer their people personalized growth opportunities. Don’t take our word for it…hear it directly from Humu’s customer SVB:

“People don’t have to wait for management to roll out a time-intensive program. Humu provides our employees with relevant, customized feedback that’s not generic or mundane. Nudges democratize the employee engagement process; they make learning much timelier and easier for everyone involved. We have a 70% open rate, which means it’s going really well. The right nudge at the right time really makes all the difference.”

Chris Edmonds-Waters, Chief Human Resources Officer at Silicon Valley Bank

A team that helped build a trillion-dollar business, and is now on a mission to solve work for everyone

Humu’s CEO Laszlo Bock helped build and lead Google’s people function for ten years, a role in which he was responsible for attracting, developing, retaining, and delighting ‘Googlers’ (he distilled a lot of his practices and insights into his book published in 2015, Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead).

He co-founded Humu in 2017 with former Google colleagues Wayne Crosby (former Director of Engineering) and Dr. Jessie Wisdom (former People Analytics Manager). Together, this formidable team founded Humu “to make work better through machine learning, science, and a little bit of love” – not to mention everything they had learned about smart use of data.

“When we began this journey in 2017, we knew our experience in pioneering the field of people analytics would help us build what we believe is the best technology for supporting managers and employees, and we’re proud of the impact we’ve made.

This latest investment, led by TCV, signals our partners’ confidence in our ability to deliver on that promise long into the future, and we’re excited for what we’ll bring to the market, especially for managers, in the months to come.”

Laszlo Bock, CEO of Humu

TCV is excited to be a partner in building a category leader

TCV believes Humu represents an opportunity to back an emerging leader in the HR technology sector, led by a world-class team that’s uniquely positioned to penetrate a massive market with compelling industry growth tailwinds. With this latest round of funding, Humu aims to take steps towards executing its bold vision of facilitating building a unique, high-performing culture for its client organizations based on proven best practices. As a firm that focuses on long-term value creation, TCV believes that Humu, with its deep background in people analytics, has the potential to make a positive impact on the way we all work.

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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 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, 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/.


Miro Raises $400M in Series C Funding Round to Accelerate Innovation Through Visual Collaboration in the New Hybrid Workplace

January 05, 2022 06:45 AM Eastern Standard Time

SAN FRANCISCO & AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Miro, the online platform accelerating innovation through visual collaboration, announced it has closed $400M in Series C financing. This investment will support Miro’s continued focus on helping organizations and enterprises unlock creativity, increase productivity, strengthen collaboration, and rapidly innovate. With the global movement to remote and hybrid work, Miro has increased its user base to 30M and now works with 99% of Fortune 100 companies as they adopt a new, digital-first way of working.

This new infusion of capital brings Miro’s total funding to $476M and a post-money valuation of $17.5B. As a profitable company, Miro will invest the capital in product development and programs designed to bring the visual collaboration platform to more enterprises, and continue expanding its global footprint. Investors in the Series C round include ICONIQ Growth, Accel, Atlassian, Dragoneer, GIC, Salesforce Ventures, and TCV.

Since Miro raised its $50M Series B funding round in April 2020, the company has increased its user base by 500% (from 5M to 30M) and its paying customer base by 550% (from 20,000 to 130,000).

Miro, which pioneered the visual collaboration category, brings teams together in a shared online workspace that begins as a blank canvas to solve complex problems, design products and services, improve processes, exchange ideas and bring them to life in an agile way. The platform enables a new way of working that allows teams to co-create quickly and inclusively — no matter where they are located — through more than 100 app integrations and nearly a thousand templates designed to help teams start quickly.

“For more than a decade, Miro’s vision has been to create an infinite canvas for better collaboration, both in-person and online, helping organizations unlock creativity and drive meaningful outcomes,” said Andrey Khusid, Co-founder and CEO of Miro. “We believe that our platform is now more important than ever as organizations around the globe are redefining the way they work — looking for new ways to engage teams and do away with siloed thinking. Thousands of organizations use Miro’s platform every day to harness the power of collaboration to nurture new ideas, solve complex problems, and bring new products to market. We believe that the ‘Miro way’ will be the spark that enables teams to transform imagination into execution and opportunity into reality.”

Through its advanced collaboration platform, Miro is helping enterprises, non-profit organizations, and universities tackle complex challenges that can impact millions of people around the globe, during critical times of transformation. Miro’s customers use the infinite canvas to bring much-needed medical treatments to market, design category-defining products, and create new paths for learning.

Miro’s customers include many of the world’s most innovative companies, including Cisco, Dell, Deloitte, HP, Kaiser Permanente, Liberty Mutual, Okta, and many more. Miro currently has 20 enterprise customers each paying more than $1M per year each.

Key company milestones over the past 12 months include:

  • Doubling headcount from 585 to more than 1,200
  • Opening five new hubs, including Berlin, Munich, London, Sydney, and Tokyo, bringing the total global footprint to 11 hubs worldwide
  • Deepening partnerships by introducing new integrations with Atlassian, Cisco, Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and others to enable users to add Miro’s visual collaboration layer to their existing workflows, tools and processes

“Since our initial investment, Miro has scaled with tremendous momentum, strong market leadership, and incredible product velocity,” said Matthew Jacobson, General Partner at ICONIQ Growth and Miro Board member. “We believe Miro sits at a powerful intersection between asynchronous and synchronous work that captures and ignites creative processes everywhere. In our view, Miro’s culture of customer centricity makes it well-positioned to address a myriad of use cases across hybrid work for more than a billion knowledge workers globally. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Andrey and the entire Miro team.”

“Miro’s platform helps millions of users, organizations, and enterprises around the world to collaborate, strategize, and execute in creative ways using visual collaboration,” said Alex Kayyal, SVP and Managing Partner, Salesforce Ventures. “In this all-digital work-from-anywhere world, Miro’s mission to bring impactful collaboration to hybrid work environments is vital. We have been deeply impressed by the company’s product centricity, fast growth and community ecosystem, and view Miro as a generational company that is disrupting productivity.”

“Miro is in a unique category of companies that have built their success on sound business fundamentals and product-led growth,” said John Doran, General Partner at TCV. “Global organizations are adopting the platform to engage teams and collaborate in more meaningful ways, for use cases ranging from designing products, managing business transformation, to implementing complex processes efficiently and productively. Miro’s intuitive, accessible, and purpose-built collaboration platform allows teams to bring everyone to the table to co-create, and positions Miro as a critical element of the new software stack driving modern, hybrid work models.”

“Enterprises are experiencing an undeniable shift in the ways that their teams come together to achieve business objectives and goals, and are eager for technology that can help foster stronger collaboration and engagement,” said Chris Hecht, Head of Corporate Development of Atlassian. “Miro offers organizations technology that has the power to truly transform the way they work to create more, build more, and achieve more together.”

Additional investors include Howie Liu (Co-founder and CEO, Airtable), Andrew Ofstad (Co-founder, Airtable),Frank Slootman (Chairman and CEO, Snowflake), and Dan Springer (CEO, DocuSign).

Miro and the Miro logo are trademarks of RealtimeBoard, Inc., in the United States and in jurisdictions throughout the world. All other trademarks, trade names, or service marks used or mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.

About Miro

Miro is an online, visual collaboration platform designed to unlock creativity and accelerate innovation among teams of all kinds. The platform’s infinite canvas enables teams to lead engaging workshops and meetings, design products, brainstorm ideas, and more. Miro, co-headquartered in San Francisco and Amsterdam, serves 30M users worldwide, including 99% of the Fortune 100. Miro was founded by Andrey Khusid and Oleg Shardin in 2011 and currently has more than 1,200 employees in 11 hubs around the world. To learn more, please visit https://miro.com/index/.

About ICONIQ Growth

ICONIQ Growth partners with exceptional entrepreneurs and leaders who drive global impact and change. We are inspired by visionaries defining the future of their industries by building company cultures that endure. Our unique investment platform harnesses the power of ICONIQ Capital’s vibrant ecosystem of founders, pioneers, and business leaders with the goal of delivering tangible value and amplifying our portfolio companies’ success from early growth stage to IPO and beyond. ICONIQ Growth’s portfolio of innovators includes Adyen, AirBnB, Alibaba, Alteryx, Automattic, BambooHR, Braze, Chime, Collibra, Coupa, Datadog, Docusign, Gitlab, Marqeta, Miro, Procore, Red Ventures, Relativity, ServiceTitan, Snowflake, Sprinklr, Truckstop, Uber, Wolt, and Zoom, among others. For more information and a complete list of portfolio companies, please visit https://iconiqgrowth.com/.

About Salesforce Ventures

Salesforce Ventures is the global investment arm of Salesforce and is focused on partnering with the most ambitious enterprise technology companies at every stage in their journey. Since 2009, Salesforce Ventures has invested over $3 billion in over 400 leading companies including Databricks, DocuSign, Guild Education, Hopin, monday.com, nCino, Snowflake, Snyk, Stripe, Tanium, and Zoom. Salesforce Ventures provides portfolio companies with unparalleled access to Salesforce, one of the fastest-growing enterprise software companies in the world, including strategic advisory, customer introductions, and the strongest cloud ecosystem. Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 25 countries with offices all over the world including in San Francisco, Irvine, New York, London, Tokyo, and Sydney. Follow @SalesforceVC and learn more at salesforce.com/ventures.

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 public and private businesses that have developed into dominant industry players across internet, software, FinTech, and enterprise IT. TCV has invested over $16 billion to date and has helped guide CEOs through more than 145 IPOs and strategic acquisitions. TCV has invested in cutting edge technology companies including Airbnb, Believe, Brex, Dream Sports, FarEye, Mollie, Nubank, Razorpay, RELEX Solutions, Revolut, RMS, Sportradar, Spotify, Trade Republic, The Pracuj Group, and Zepz. 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 https://www.tcv.com/.

Contacts

Allison Menozzi
Miro
allison@miro.com

Katja Gagen
TCV
kgagen@tcv.com


At Growth Enablement, Modernizing Sales Enablement Means Throwing Out the Old Playbook

In an increasingly competitive sales landscape, throwing out the playbook may seem like a bold strategy. But that’s exactly what Scott Santucci, president of the sales enablement consulting firm Growth Enablement, has been advising his clients to do. Commercial systems designed even as late as 2019 are likely full of complex trainings, outdated information, and other sorts of friction that can slow down the actual sales process. Instead, businesses should focus on systematically reducing the obstacles that stand in the way of sales progress to accelerate enablement.

In today’s episode of Growth Hacks, Katja and Kunal speak with Scott about how he’s viewing the evolution and current state of enablement, and how he’s adapting the traditional customer-centric approach to unlock value at a faster pace for both businesses and their customers. In addition to actionable tips on accelerating the sales enablement process, Scott walks us through combining perspectives from sales, marketing, and product to create a route to value. He also shares his strategies for simplifying metrics to measure commercial health. Lastly, he breaks down the importance of including diverse stakeholders from across the organization in the process of creating a new sales enablement playbook, and his top tips for salespeople just starting out.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to use the sales and marketing efficiency ratio to improve commercial health across an entire organization
  • The importance of having multiple perspectives in the room to improve sales enablement
  • Ways to identify the right route to value to clarify sales messaging and training
  • Tips for aligning organizational economic value with the needs of your customer base
  • Actionable strategies to eliminate friction in the sales process

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: It’s my pleasure to introduce Scott Santucci to Growth Hacks. Scott is going to be presenting a bunch of Growth Hacks today. I met Scott when he was a research director at Forrester, where he founded the enablement practice, led research around executive buying, and built frameworks to give people a common language to talk about sales enablement, and sales productivity. After Forrester, he moved into more commercial roles, helping companies transform not only their sales process, but simplify their go-to-market. How awesome it is to have Scott Santucci in our metaverse. Welcome to Growth Hacks.

Scott Santucci: Thank you so much for having me, Kunal, and I just want to plug Growth Hacks. Having been in the research business for so long, the way that you are tackling these issues and being reflective and asking questions about what’s really happening, not what should be happening, it’s just really fantastic. Thank you for having me as a participant on your show, and I’m definitely a listener.

Katja Gagen: That’s awesome. Glad to hear that. Where does this podcast find you today, Scott?

Scott Santucci: I’m in Leesburg, Virginia, suburb of Washington, DC.

Katja Gagen: Scott, you’ve done a lot of research around sales enablement, and our listeners are excited to hear about this. Tell us in a few words, what is sales enablement, how has it evolved and why does it still pique your interest today?

Scott Santucci: To be simple about it, Katja, what is sales enablement? If you ask 10 people, you’ll get 15 different answers. So let me give you sort of two schools of thought. One would be sales enablement is about doing something for salespeople to help drive more revenue or more sales. That could be in the form of training. It could be in the form of leads. It could be a form of content, those kinds of activities.

Another school of thought is that sales enablement is about creating the overall system, including customers. Figuring out sales and marketing and product and making sure that environment is thriving better.

The reason I’m so interested in that bucket, and what makes me so compelled is that the world that we live in today is so interconnected that we have to have different strategies on how we optimize sales and marketing. To me, they’re directly related of looking at the ecosystem or the buying networks that we’re connected with our customers with.

Those are the things that I concentrate on and that’s where my research has always been. It’s that sales and marketing exist in order to drive growth, and we drive growth by making sure we’re always understanding what our customers are looking for, what kinds of problems they have, and also what stands in the way from them getting the value from our products and services.

Kunal Mehta: Scott, you have been an analyst, a practitioner, a consultant. You have talked to thousands of people. You are at the center of enablement. I’d really love to get your meta view on the state of enablement today.

Scott Santucci: I think the state of enablement today is the state of a lot of businesses. This is a adopt or die kind of situation. And I hate to be so bold but let me give you a headline of what I mean by that.

If you are following the practices of before either 2008 or before 2019, you are probably arming or gumming up your commercial system. You are probably producing lots of activities that are overly complex, like a training class or a marketing piece, rather than recognizing how much information salespeople have to synthesize and make it digestible for lots of people inside their customer network.

If you have always been a person who believes you work backwards from customers first, that’s never going to change. What’s different is how interconnected selling activities are today. How fast things move, how many people are involved and how those situations make the old strategies not suitable for 2021 and beyond.

Katja Gagen: That’s interesting Scott. Since you’ve been in the enablement business for some time, what’s an example of things working and where can companies miss the mark?

Scott Santucci: What works is creating things that actually take stuff away. Here’s a perfect example of a really great enablement program. Going in and identifying all of the obstacles that stand in the way, say, to produce a price quote and just systematically eliminating them and replacing it with something simpler. You would think that doing something like that is no big deal, but taking stuff away is not in most people’s muscle memory, so to systematically reduce things that stand in the way of making progress is great success.

Another example of something that’s great success is getting people in the room that have different backgrounds, to collaborate on a shared vision. It might be a picture, a map, a diagram of what the future could look like for customers. Having multiple perspectives involved and the discipline to get it on one sheet of paper means that picture is going to probably be more accessible to more people in those customers.

Those are two examples of things that work. I put them in the bucket of synthesis. Things that don’t work are more detailed training, plotting the Salesforce out, doing another heavy training activity to teach them more and more sales technique.

Kunal Mehta: Got it. Scott, I want to start with something we are both really passionate about, which is the sales and marketing efficiency ratio, or something you refer to as the commercial ratio and how you are using it to measure the health of sales and marketing. Scott, maybe before we get rolling into it, you could just explain what it is.

Scott Santucci: The commercial ratio is a measure of the overall health of a commercial system. That includes the revenue coming from customers, includes the spending that’s done for sales, and the spending that’s done for marketing.

The calculation is pretty straight forward; we got that from you guys. It’s the revenue growth divided by total sales and marketing spend. That gives you a ratio. Which gives you a relative health of how efficient the sales and marketing investments are.

Now that’s the calculation. What is it measuring? It assumes that the money spent for sales and marketing, its purpose is to drive revenue growth. There are situations where you would spend sales and marketing money to retain customers, but that’s what its focal point is.

Kunal Mehta: What was your aha moment when you first learned about it?

Scott Santucci: Having been a consultant for so long, one of the things that has always been challenging is how much data companies track about sales and marketing. One large client, they track over 5,000 different metrics for their sales organization. If you are tracking that amount of data, you are tracking nothing. What I’m a big believer in is, what’s the one metric that we can work backwards from that we want to move the needle from?

When we arrived at that commercial ratio from talking to other people inside your company, to have that one metric. 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?

Where it became an aha moment to me is how do we stop the internal bickering to circle the wagons, go outside, and compete in the market and not compete inside our company.

Katja Gagen: That’s really interesting Scott. How do you use that ratio to bring people together or align them around a common goal?

Scott Santucci: That has been interesting. I think step number one is, let’s help everybody get on the same page behind it. Some people will reject it because it is not a ratio that they are familiar with, or it sounds like something that’s coming from finance.

I think step number one is let’s understand what the meaning of it is and step number two is to recognize that there is a sequence of events to get there and that we can get there together. By having a plan of stopping to do things that don’t work and finding ways to invest in things that do work. Having that narrative helps a lot.

I think what’s important though, is making sure you meet all of the different folks that would be involved in teaming together. You’ve got to meet them where they are first and then help them connect the dots, second.

Kunal Mehta: Scott, maybe you could just give us a practical example of how you’ve rolled this out at one of your customers now.

Scott Santucci: Let’s take a business with about $500 million in revenue in the security space, a SaaS company in the security space. Using the commercial ratio, as a way to say, if we want to improve the overall health of sales or profitability, let’s look at how we’re doing today. And using that ratio to say, what would it be if we went from .55 to .60, to .75 to 1.0, and why don’t we ask those questions of what would it look like?

Let’s simulate what that would look like in terms of our financial performance, what it would look like in terms of our organizations and help people envision what that would look like. In doing that process, what’s interesting is people move off the thing that they have to do right now in that moment, and they can start envisioning making incremental change.

Then from there could be doing things differently, and where should we start? Let’s look at your business like a portfolio of different revenue streams, and let’s segment it out differently and look at these different buckets in their own isolation.

What we’re looking to do is optimize or create the most value out of each of these revenue streams, and we want to take out as much friction as possible so that we make it much easier to do work and make sure that people agree with that. Then the next part is, let’s pick one of those things and work on something to tackle.

Katja Gagen: Right. And in the end, it’s all about value creation, right?

Scott Santucci: That’s right. Yes, exactly.

Katja Gagen: In that vein, you talk about the route to value, and how you combine what sales and marketing do to deliver that value. Give me an example.

Scott Santucci: That’s a great question. Let’s pick that same example that we were working backwards from, one of the things that we highlighted. So now that we have these different portfolios of revenue streams, and we have a good understanding about where their friction is. The idea of a route to value is a different way to think about a sales messaging and sales training.

A basic metaphor is to say, let’s recognize that we’re in the value creation business, to your point. What we want to do is help our clients along a journey from where they are today, the bad state, to where they want to get to, an envisioned future state that our company can take them.

We need to figure out what that journey looks like. We call that a value map, that’s where they want to get to. Now what the route to value is, is to say, let’s figure out what the change agent and the executive sponsor need to do to buy into that picture, and then help guide them through the decisions, the predictable decisions that they’re going to need to make through that journey.

It’s like plotting out a movie, in that there are predictable scenes that you can work backwards from. Then once you have that, you can determine, do we want our salespeople to be security subject matter experts? Or do we want them to be decision-making brokers, decision-making champions?

If you make them decision-making champions, things become a lot easier. You give them less materials; you can define very specific scenes. For marketing it’s capturing stories that match to each one of those scenes that you already have and organize that information to help salespeople.

A route to value is writing a future movie of where you want to take your customers. You are casting your clients as the heroes. Therefore, you are also casting your salespeople as the guides and then marketing is there to equip the salespeople with the tools that they need to help the clients, to navigate all of those different variables that they’re going to run into inside their organizations.

Katja Gagen: I like that. Scott, I’m getting my popcorn ready here for the movie roll out. After you’ve brought everyone in the company into this value creation, how do you make sure the economic value is aligned with what the customer wants?

Scott Santucci: The process of building a value map is very challenging. There’s a technique that we like to call model map match. The model part is, let’s model our customer’s world, what we’re looking at, isn’t interviewing customers about what products they want. That’s way too late in the game.

What we want to do is figure out what challenges do individual companies have that meet certain patterns. Let’s find out what’s the profile of the human that’s most likely to drive that forward. We call that person a change agent.

What do they look like? What’s their profile? You know that that person isn’t going to be successful unless they have an executive sponsor. If we understand what problems exist and we understand who these types of people are then the next thing that we can figure out is how do we build the information that they need to figure out why they need to change in the first place? And why now?

If you don’t have those things figured out, we put the burden on salespeople to figure it out and that’s really hard to do. When you have that information then Katja, it becomes pretty simple to figure out whether your value proposition matches those predictable conditions.

And then you have a scorecard and then you keep the validation from it by how well it’s testing in the field and how well it’s resonating. But you can always tweak it by bringing customers in to talk and react to it so there’s always ways to keep it fresh.

I think the challenge is just having the discipline to build it outside-in from the get-go.

Katja Gagen: I love that, Scott. Thank you. As always, we will finish our podcast with some rapid-fire questions. First one, what’s your go-to book?

Scott Santucci: I wish I had one go-to book. There are three books that I’ve read, and I keep reading over and over and over again. One is The Chaos Imperative, which is about embracing disruption and turning it into innovation. Another one is Antifragile, which is about turning disorder into a strategy. The third one is Switch, which is about how change actually happens and how you have to plot it out. You know how you can manufacture it and create an environment for change, rather than putting on the backs of individual people.

Kunal Mehta: Hey, Scott, what’s your biggest pet peeve?

Scott Santucci: My biggest pet peeve is for people who say salespeople should do X, Y, and Z, and they haven’t done it themselves.

Katja Gagen: What’s one piece of advice you would give someone starting out in sales.

Scott Santucci: Be curious. It’s not about you. It’s about the customer. Find out everything there is to know. What they think, find ways to be relatable with them. That’s the easiest path to being successful.

Katja Gagen: What was one thing you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

Scott Santucci: What I learned about myself during the pandemic is that going back to your roots of what you know and finding ways to challenge certain questions. So, doubling down on being more curious, what I did is kind of threw out my old playbook, I just threw it out and I decided I need to build one from scratch. I’m so grateful I did because a lot of the things in my old playbook just won’t work today, and I don’t think it’s coming back to where it was before.

Katja Gagen: Well, thanks for being with us today, Scott.

Scott Santucci: Thank you.

Katja Gagen: Thanks for listening to Growth Hacks. You can follow us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen. To learn more about us and TCV’s CEO and founder podcast, go to TCV.com or email us at growthhacks@tcv.com.

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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/.


TCV Welcomes Edie Ashton as Chief Information Officer

Over the past 26 years, we have grown our portfolio companies and our own team to a point where TCV is operating across three offices in the U.S. and Europe. Due to the scale and global reach of our organization, we are excited to expand TCV’s executive talent to take us to the next level.

As such, we are thrilled to announce that Edie Ashton is joining the firm as Chief Information Officer (CIO). Edie was previously at The Carlyle Group, where she spent nine years, most recently serving as segment CIO for Global Private Equity. Adding Edie to our leadership team is a critical piece of our growth trajectory and demonstrates our ongoing commitment to deploy modern technology in support of our data-centric culture.

Edie comes to TCV with deep experience in both financial services and data strategy. As CIO, she will help advance growth by focusing on talent excellence, agility, and innovation in areas such as applied AI and distributed infrastructure—bringing a deeper alignment of IT and TCV’s core business as we pursue seamless global collaboration and acceleration of our investment platform.

Edie started her career at the Capital Group and Jefferies & Company, before enjoying a decade-long run in the telecom industry, implementing data warehouses and analytics platforms at global brands such as Nextel, Sprint, and RCN. At Carlyle, Edie proved herself a versatile business-oriented technologist who introduced the first data governance program and established a diversity and inclusion plan for the IT division.

“Edie is joining TCV at the right time,” says Nathan Sanders, General Partner and Chief Operating Officer at TCV. “We are experiencing significant growth and expansion of our team globally and have seen the benefits of leveraging sophisticated IT technology across our portfolio and TCV. Edie is a proven IT leader and tech visionary, focused on results that advance the whole organization. We are thrilled to welcome her to the TCV family.”


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

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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/.


Invest Like the Best: Jay Hoag – Calibrating Market Adoption

Post by Patrick O’Shaughnessy

My guest today is Jay Hoag, co-founder of TCV. If you look at Jay’s investment track record, it’s a “who’s who” of tech giants with Airbnb, Netflix, Peloton, Zillow, and a list that does not stop there. Needless to say, Jay has a Hall of Fame career. During our conversation, we talk about his own journey founding TCV, what advice he has for visionaries, and why he sees advantages for private to public crossover investors. Jay has such a wealth of experience that is on display throughout this episode. Please enjoy my conversation with Jay Hoag.

For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here.

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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/.


AxiomSL: A Fintech Franchise Takes Off

The financial crisis of 2008 came as a resounding shock for countless companies, including many in the financial industry itself. But not for AxiomSL, a leading provider of cloud-enabled software for governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) regulatory reporting solutions to the financial services industry.

AxiomSL was founded by Alex Tsigutkin and Vladimir Etkin in 1991. As data management experts they had seen disorganized, unintegrated GRC processes even in highly regarded financial firms. “Everywhere I went, it was the same. The data was all over the place, in different systems and different departments,” explains Tsigutkin, CEO of AxiomSL. “We saw a real need to bring all of this enterprise data together at a granular level.”  Large financial institutions soon began adopting AxiomSL’s software to assemble data they used for assessing risks and reporting financial results to investors and regulators.

Then the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Banking Act in 1999 freed financial institutions to diversify into a wide range of new activities, and GRC processes took a back seat comparatively. The new priority was financial innovation and growth, to extend the United States’ position of prominence in global finance. “For years, the government and regulators didn’t put that much pressure on financial institutions,” Tsigutkin points out. “That changed completely after the 2008 financial crisis, and that’s when AxiomSL really took off.”

By this time, the company’s software data management platform and related algorithms organized operating data to align with the latest requirements of various regulatory authorities in multiple countries globally. These category-leading capabilities spurred AxiomSL’s sales growth into double-digit territory. International business began climbing too. “We were growing like wheat in the fields,” says Tsigutkin, a native of Ukraine.

But growth also brought some challenges. AxiomSL had always given its customers attentive support, especially when they were new to automating GRC processes. With rapid growth, that level of care was becoming harder to sustain; a successful strategy for landing and expanding clients was reaching its limits. “It’s very difficult to do everything on your own, especially dealing with a large and growing client base at the same time,” Tsigutkin says. “I felt this was a great opportunity to put some expert disciplines together. When I got advice on how to do that, it was to bring top notch growth equity into the mix.”

So Tsigutkin invited growth-stage investors to present their ideas for AxiomSL, including TCV, a firm he knew well from regular interactions in the past. With around $2 billion already invested in fintech, TCV understood that AxiomSL’s business could grow even faster for three interrelated reasons: an explosion of data in the financial world, proliferating regulations around the globe, and sharply higher consequences for financial companies that mismanaged them. With tighter financial discipline, more proactive sales efforts and scaling up systems and processes, AxiomSL believed it could become not just a category leader but the global standard for risk management and regulatory infrastructure solutions for the financial services industry.

“As we talked with private equity firms, TCV was distinctive in a number of aspects,” recalls Etkin, the company’s CTO. “They had proven success with fintech and GRC companies, so their long-term vision for AxiomSL and their approach to collaborative business-building really stood out.”

TCV invested in AxiomSL in June of 2017, and the new partnership moved fast. “TCV knows how to focus on what’s key for scaling a company, not just growing in the same way,” Tsigutkin explains. For example, TCV pinpointed the need for industrializing sales, sales leadership as well as more robust processes for planning and budgeting. “They also helped us understand how to use equity to attract and reward people,” Etkin notes, which enabled the company to recruit multiple new executives with significant experience scaling similar organizations.

“TCV saw in AxiomSL a category leading industry-specific software business with next generation technology, a highly satisfied client base, a mission-critical use case, – and most importantly, product-centric co-founders and partners in Alex and Vlad who had deep subject matter expertise and a strong growth orientation.” recalled Nari Ansari, TCV general partner and former board director at AxiomSL.

The collaborative approach between AxiomSL management and TCV helped AxiomSL accelerate growth, increasing software revenue over 150% in three years. Its ControllerView® intelligent data management and analytics platform could provide thousands of reports across dozens of jurisdictions and more than 100 regulatory agencies. From 60 employees during the financial crisis, the company had grown to nearly 900 globally. According to Tsigutkin, “having such a strong team really helped us to build a world-class organization.”

Consistent with TCV’s longstanding investment thesis for governance risk and compliance solutions, change and complexity can provide for significant opportunities for leading software vendors.  Indeed, AxiomSL’s positioning for its offering set has been as a “Platform for Change” given the constantly evolving regulatory environment for financial services market participants.  As the business entered 2020, that change orientation would become even more paramount.

“As COVID-19 started in early 2020, the world changed quickly, and the swiftness of market happenings was adding increased complexity for banks and regulators alike. During this period, AxiomSL’s value proposition in understanding and managing risk continued to demonstrate its importance and the business saw sustained momentum throughout 2020,” remarked Amol Helekar, a TCV principal. 

When the pandemic hit, AxiomSL as an organization had to adapt as quickly as its customers. “Being with TCV during this period was absolutely a blessing,” Tsigutkin recalls. “First they helped us to stay calm and provided very sound advice about our talent strategy and the welfare of our valued Axiom team members. Then they helped us focus on execution and growth. Moving more into digital marketing, for example, really enabled us to keep growing in 2020.  TCV also supported us as we increased our investment in cloud offerings which became even more important in a distributed COVID world for our bank clients.”

AxiomSL’s hyper-growth during the TCV partnership resulted in consistent market share gains. Along with the company’s strong profitability, blue chip client list and technology leadership, these attributes brought interest from outside parties, particularly private equity firms. As Rick Kimball, TCV founding general partner and former AxiomSL board director remarked, “Alex, Vlad, and the team transformed the organization during our partnership while deftly executing a growth agenda that expanded the business on multiple dimensions.”

In the fall of 2020, TCV worked collaboratively with Alex, Vlad, and the AxiomSL management team to assess this external investment interest and prepare the business to explore various alternatives. Ultimately this brought an offer from private equity firm Thoma Bravo to acquire a majority stake in the company.  The new investment closed in December of 2020 in one of the largest GRC transactions of its kind, and Tsigutkin took a moment to reflect, “Our growth is due in no small part to the contributions of TCV, who has been a critical partner for AxiomSL for the past three years as we grew the franchise at a record pace.”


Mambu Raises €110 Million in Funding Round Led by TCV

January 07, 2021 — BERLIN, MIAMI & SINGAPORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mambu, the market-leading SaaS banking platform, today announced its latest funding round of €110 million ($134 million USD) in new capital. This round was led by TCV, whose investments include Netflix, RELEX, Spotify, and WorldRemit. Additional investment was received by Tiger Global and Arena Holdings, as well as existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Runa Capital and Acton Capital Partners. The new round brings the company’s valuation to over €1.7 billion.

With this new round of financing, Mambu will continue to accelerate its rapid growth and deepen its footprint in the more than 50 countries in which it already operates and focus on markets like Brazil, Japan, and the United States. This announcement follows another year of approximately 100% YoY growth for Mambu in a banking software market which Gartner currently values at over $100 billion and is forecasting to grow at double-digits. FT Partners was the exclusive financial advisor on this transaction.

Mambu’s SaaS banking platform sets it apart from traditional core banking players as it drastically accelerates and simplifies the way financial products are built and serviced by any financial institution. Mambu’s platform is used by traditional banks, fintech startups, financial institutions, nonprofits and other businesses to power their financial products and services. Counting the likes of ABN AMRO, N26, OakNorth, Orange and Santander among its customer base, Mambu is powering both the building of new fintechs as well as the migration of existing financial institutions onto a tech stack fit for the fintech era. Mambu is continuing to expand both the breadth and depth of its platform and is planning to double the team to over 1000 Mambuvians by 2022.

Eugene Danilkis, founder and CEO of Mambu said: “When Mambu launched in 2011, we knew the future of banking would have to be built on agile and flexible technology. Nearly a decade later, this is more true now than ever, particularly given developments over the past year. As an increasing number of challenger and established banks sign on to prepare themselves to thrive in the fintech era, we have, and will continue to provide them with a world-class platform on which to build modern, agile customer-centric businesses.

“This latest funding round allows us to accelerate our mission to make banking better for a billion people around the world and address one of the largest, most complex global market opportunities that’s still in the infancy of cloud,” he said.

TCV General Partner, John Doran who joins the Mambu board, said: “Mambu was one of the first companies to leverage the opportunity to move banking software into the cloud. The team has built a highly composable, truly cloud-native product in a multi-billion dollar, rapidly-growing market traditionally dominated by large, slow-moving on-prem vendors. We have been following Mambu’s progress for many years and are truly delighted to be able to partner with Eugene and the entire Mambu team on their journey to expand their offerings to customers worldwide.”

About Mambu

​Mambu is the SaaS banking platform that is changing financial services. This rapidly growing company​ ​was launched in 2011​ and is enabling customers to build modern banking ​and lending​ offerings​ fast, securely and simply​. Through its composable banking approach, the platform gives customers the ability to design and service nearly any financial product while rapidly integrating to the best-of-service ecosystem of complementary solutions around the world. Mambu has a global network​ of nearly 500 employees​ supports ​160 customers in over 50 countries. ​It counts N26, OakNorth, ABN AMRO and Santander amongst its extensive list of customers.​ For more information, please visit our website or connect with us on TwitterLinkedInYouTube and​ ​Facebook.

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 $2.5 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, WorldRemit, and Zillow. In Europe, TCV has invested over $2 billion in companies including Believe Digital, Brillen.de, Perfecto, FlixMobility, Klarna, Mollie, OneTrust, RELEX Solutions, Revolut, RMS, Sportradar, Spryker, 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/

Contacts

Media Contacts:
For Mambu US/Canada
Anna Stanley
251.517.7857
anna@williammills.com

For Mambu UK/Europe
Stephanie Libous
stephanie.libous@allisonpr.com
+44 7751 597 558

For TCV
Katja Gagen
+1 415.690.6689
kgagen@tcv.com