Keeping our team members safe and helping our companies navigate COVID-19 and prepare for the rebound has been our main focus at TCV. Our Portfolio Operations group, along with our Investment, Legal, Marketing and Capital Markets teams, are providing a surge of support for our companies. The takeaways of these efforts are the main themes of this newsletter. We hope that you will find nuggets you can apply in your business, in areas such talent, sales and marketing, systems and technology, and more.
Todd Piett joined a start-up called Rave Wireless to lead marketing and, on his way to becoming CEO in 2017, helped the company pivot from higher education communications to mobile safety applications. Now called Rave Mobile Safety, the company posted its tenth straight year of revenue growth in 2020, driven by innovative apps for smart 911 service, school panic buttons, and emergency alerts on corporate campuses. Todd is an articulate proponent of the principle that safety is a human right, which government and other large organizations have a duty to ensure. In this Growth Journeys podcast, Todd and TCV GP Kapil Venkatachalam discuss the evolution of “citizen safety,” how Rave successfully changed its business model, and how the company is innovating to bring modern communications to a traditional customer base. Other themes in the conversation include:
- Why safety is at the core of many fundamental human rights
- How technology has evolved to transform citizen safety systems
- How safety apps differ from most others
- Keeping a management team intact in a dynamic, high-growth environment
- How schools are adapting Rave apps for COVID-19 challenges
For all this and more, settle back and click play.
Menlo Park, CA – March 9, 2020 — TCV is delighted to announce that Neil Tolaney — a seasoned investor in the consumer internet, digital media, and subscription industries — has joined the firm as a General Partner. Founded in 1995, TCV has invested over $13 billion in more than 350 technology companies in both consumer and enterprise industries. Neil was actively involved in a number of those investments, including Facebook, AppNexus, Minted, and Prodege, when he was with the firm from 2011 to 2013.
Neil returns to TCV bringing a combination of investing and operating experience in consumer technology. Most recently, Neil was a Deal Partner at Francisco Partners, where he focused on growth equity and buyouts of consumer internet assets. As an operator, Neil was managing director of PersonalizationMall.com, an e-commerce direct marketer and category leader of personalized gifts (acquired by Bed Bath & Beyond); prior to that he directed strategy development at LegalZoom.com.
“We see tremendous opportunities in B2C investing and Neil’s background will be instrumental in helping guide our companies through their evolution into market leadership positions,” said Woody Marshall, General Partner at TCV. “Neil has built his career in the consumer internet sector, where experience really counts. Scaling high growth businesses requires differentiated pattern recognition, solid understanding of metrics and markets combined with conviction and alignment with management teams. To all of these Neil adds genuine empathy for everyone involved in the growth journey.”
Over the last six years, TCV’s General Partners have had the opportunity to continue to work alongside Neil on shared boards among TCV portfolio companies.
Based on the broad scope of shared experience, values, and philosophies, we are thrilled to welcome Neil back to the investment team and look forward to his contributions as TCV embarks on its next 25 years of technology investing.
The General Partners of TCV
Shanna Tellerman is a two-time Founder and CEO. Her current company, Modsy, is a virtual home interior design service that provides 3D photorealistic renderings of the home space, where all items within the design are 100% shoppable and users can purchase all in one place. In this Growth Journeys podcast, Shanna traces her evolution from math-loving fine arts major to entrepreneur by way of 3D technology and venture investing at Google. Tina Hoang-To, Executive Vice President at TCV, also has both CEO and venture experience, so this lively conversation is filled with lessons of:
- Founding and leading businesses and raising capital
- Building and scaling high-performing teams
- Integrating technology and design
- Succeeding as a working parent
- Forging a successful partnership with investors
For all this and more, settle back and click play.
Tina Hoang-To: Welcome everyone to Growth Journeys, a podcast series from TCV focused on lessons from entrepreneurs and founders in the TCV ecosystem. I’m Tina Hoang-To, Executive Vice President at TCV, and I’m here with Shanna Tellerman, Founder and CEO of Modsy, a leading virtual home interior design service. Shanna and I met five years ago, when I was CEO of Wedding Spot and she was a partner at Google Ventures. Then we traded sides. I re-joined TCV as an investor last year and reconnected with Shanna. Fast forward a few weeks later…TCV led the Series C in Modsy and I joined the board. Shanna, looking forward to having you today to share your story. Welcome to Growth Journeys.
Shanna Tellerman: Thank you. Excited to be here.
Tina Hoang-To: Shanna, let’s start from the beginning. You have a pretty unique journey from having a fine arts major at Carnegie Mellon to venture capitalist to CEO of Modsy. What changed for you in those early years to put you on an entrepreneurial path?
Shanna Tellerman: I definitely did not have any original intention of going into venture capital or even technology. I was a big fan of both art and math and science, and I was always looking for the place where these two things intersected. And I tried a bunch of ways that felt kind of superficial to me until during my time at Carnegie Mellon, I took this class called Building Virtual Worlds, which was very early days virtual reality. Crazy headsets. Low resolution. And that class was, for me, the changing point in my life. I figured out that you can combine all of these things into 3D and graphics and consumer experiences and pave the way to new ideas working on this interdisciplinary team. And for me, it was like, “Check, check, check.” It hit every box. I had so much fun. And it veered me from going through this path of selling art in New York to “I am on a path to starting companies, founding businesses, and working in technology.”
Tina Hoang-To: So your first company was Sim Ops. Tell me the story behind that.
Shanna Tellerman: I was in Carnegie Mellon in graduate school and I was working on a technology that I just couldn’t imagine leaving behind and taking a job. And that technology was game technology that was being used to train emergency responders. And we were working with emergency responders all over the country and actually all over the globe. I had a professor who recommended, “Why don’t you start a business around this?” And I thought, “Sure. Why not? How hard is that?” And there I was, three months later, and he gave us a $10,000 loan and I had set up my very first business. And we were taking the technology out of the university and essentially using it to train emergency responders.
Tina Hoang-To: And what were some of the toughest challenges you faced as a young, first-time CEO with Sim Ops?
Shanna Tellerman: I think I faced almost every challenge that you can face as a first-time founder. I joke but it’s kind of serious that I made every mistake you can make from the way you structure the company to the way you divide up your equity. And the good news was that you can make a lot of mistakes as long as you recover very quickly and learn from them. And so I made all kinds of mistakes. The biggest challenge that I faced as a young entrepreneur I think was having no credibility. I had never worked. I had no experience. I had gone to graduate school. And I both had no credibility plus no experience to say, “This is how things should be done.” And so for me, I think – rightly so – investors who were looking at my business said, “It’s interesting technology, but are you the right person to lead this company?” And I came into work every day being like, “Am I right person to lead this company? I don’t know.” And over the years building out that confidence for myself but also for investors was probably the hardest part of the journey.
Tina Hoang-To: So selling your company is a big decision. How did you know M&A was the right path for Sim Ops and yourself at that moment in time when you did sell the company?
Shanna Tellerman: Yeah. I mean, the moment of an exit is the moment of many, many, moments prior, right? And for me, the path of Sim Ops was a path of lots of learnings. I started out of graduate school. I didn’t plan to become an entrepreneur. And then we hit fundraising issues, technology and product fit challenges, me moving to the West Coast, and then the downturn. A massive recession hit, and we had to raise our Series A during that. And I probably pitched 60 to 70 investors and somehow did raise a Series A during this downturn when nobody else was getting funded. So there we were a year later and Autodesk had been a partner that we had been talking to for a long time, and they wanted to buy the company, and I was thinking about, “Do I go out and raise a Series B or do I take this path?” And for me, at that moment I was like, “I’m ready for the next chapter. And that was a very, very tough road. And this is a really great company to keep doing what we’re doing and to have it impact an even broader set of people.” So for me, that was the right moment but it was a tough choice.
Tina Hoang-To: You built Sim Ops and then you’re CEO of Modsy. In between, I’m sure you’ve built a lot of confidence in operations. Tell us a little bit about what you’ve learned along the way.
Shanna Tellerman: That’s a great question. I actually believe first that you learn the most by mistakes. So when you make a mistake and then you recover and you’re able to course-correct from that mistake, to me it’s the center of confidence, because now you’re not fearful when you’re making choices because you know that you’re going to make bad choices. But as long as you can quickly react and maneuver from those choices, you’re going to be okay. For me, that’s been one big piece at the center. The second most important part for me of building confidence has been learning to be really myself. I think that when you start a company especially if you’re really young and you don’t know what you’re doing you like to put on this pretense that, “I’m a manager. I’m a founder. I am somebody who can run a business.” And most people don’t feel that level of confidence. And ironically being completely transparent and vulnerable and sharing the things you do know and don’t know build a tremendous amount of trust with your employees and with your investors and with your partners. And you’re able to build on that confidence of “These are the things I actually do know. I know how to do them.” And then these ones I don’t and I’m okay with that. And people are going to give me feedback and I’m going to learn and I’m going to evolve. And then I get to be just myself.
Tina Hoang-To: What was your experience like once Sim Ops was acquired by Autodesk? How was that integration process? And I’m sure that’s a big transition to go from a really small team to such a large organization.
Shanna Tellerman: The experience for me going from acquisition to working at Autodesk was definitely a night-and-day difference. We were, at that point, a 12-person company and I went into Autodesk which was thousands of people, multiple offices, global company. I had never worked for a company and I had never had a manager before in my life. And so it was a transition at every single level of your work experience. There was nothing that was the same anymore. The experience for me though was amazing because, one, my first manager ever was actually an amazing manager, somebody I still turn to today for advice. And the company was just really full of incredibly intelligent, really humble people who were super-passionate about the same kinds of things I was passionate about — like 3D and graphics and this world of transformation into the cloud. And so the baseline of those things that were aligned between me and them made it this incredible adventure — many acquisitions don’t go that way. But for me, I felt like I just got to absorb and I got to learn and I got to work with great people. It was incredible.
So, Tina, I know you also went through the experience of an exit. I’m so curious. It was probably a totally different experience for you. What was it like? What were your lessons learned?
Tina Hoang-To: I think very similar to you. I think at every point in time as a founder when you’re thinking about fundraising, you’re also thinking about the strategic options, right? It’s a tough decision. When you build your company it’s sort of your baby. So letting that go I think was really hard for me. And very similar to you I thought “Hey, I’ve built this, this far. There’s a new chapter that might be better partnered with someone else.” And I think that was the right choice, and I still believe it’s the right choice.
Shanna Tellerman: So, Tina, I know that we also have the same common path that was a little unusual, a little untraditional. You went from selling cars in college to becoming a CEO and then back to being an investor. Tell me a little bit about how that path unfolded.
Tina Hoang-To: Well, it’s a lot of lessons along the way. But since you mentioned my car selling days, one of the biggest things that I’ve learned throughout my career is that being good at sales is something that got me very far. And I think that’s important to everybody in their career. When I was CEO, I felt like every day I was playing a sales role. When recruiting talent, you’re selling your culture and your mission. And then when fundraising you’re selling the market opportunity and your growth trajectory. And now as an investor, I’m still not done pitching. I’m pitching myself as a board member. I’m pitching TCV’s brand, our domain expertise, and our track record. To bring it back to something that I think all the listeners can relate to, think about every annual review that you’ve had. You’re essentially pitching your impact to the team and your work product. So my biggest advice here is if you don’t feel like you’re good at selling, read some books. Go out there and do some online classes, because I think that’s definitely going to come in handy as you progress throughout your career.
So let’s talk about Modsy. What is Modsy for those listeners who are not familiar with the product?
Shanna Tellerman: So Modsy is an online interior design service where you get paired with a designer virtually, and then we use specialized visualization technology to basically reconstruct your room into a 3D model and design it so you can see how everything will look in your space and shop from real products, from real retailers. Everything integrated: You can check out and buy from Modsy.
Tina Hoang-To: How did you come up with the idea?
Shanna Tellerman: The story starts with myself. I am the Modsy customer. My husband and I moved into a home in San Francisco and we went through that process of, “It’s time to buy some furniture. It’s time to upgrade from our IKEA and hand-me-downs.” And we got stuck almost immediately. We were looking at an awkward space. And we had a sofa, but we couldn’t decide on the rug without deciding on the art. And we couldn’t decide on the layout of the space. And without being able to see what it would really look like and have design help to visualize and to come up with a plan we did nothing for a year-plus and our space was sad. And we came home to this kind of empty sad space. And for me, that led to this moment where I was looking at a catalog and I looked at it and I was like, “I wish I was having this experience looking at this beautiful image where everything is designed and looks great, and they’re all products I can really buy. I just wish it was in my own house.” And for me, that light bulb went off because I had this background in 3D and graphics and spent time at Autodesk. I knew what was coming and I knew that we could combine the ability to visualize your unique space, fully designed, with real furniture you could really buy, in a way that felt beautiful — like a catalog — but it was in your house. And we could combine that with the ability to have a designer at a very affordable rate, working with you to make the decisions. And that if I provided that to the average consumer who today has no access to design services without thousands and thousands of dollars, that we could open up a huge market opportunity.
So the moment I had that idea I couldn’t drop it. I went into work every day, and I was thinking about it, and prototyping it. And then fast forward a few months later, and I had left Google Ventures, where I was investing, and I was like, “I am starting Modsy.” And here we are, five years later.
Tina Hoang-To: I can attest to the value proposition since I was a customer of Modsy. You know this story, but you saved Nick and I’s life when we moved into our new place in San Francisco, and we went through the same thing. We tried out two interior designers. They came in, took a look at the space, gave us an estimate of three to four months before we can actually start buying furniture. And given I’m a very quick person to do everything, that just didn’t work for me. Like, what are going to do for four months without furniture in this wide-open space? So because of Modsy, we were actually able to buy all our furniture in three weeks and be able to settle into our new home.
Shanna Tellerman: It looks fantastic.
Tina Hoang-To: Thanks, Shanna. What is the technology behind Modsy and how’s it changed since you launched the company in 2015?
Shanna Tellerman: Technology is definitely at the center of Modsy. It’s at the center of the vision because the vision is about visualization and visualization technology powers that. So, there’s two parts to this. One is the photo-realistic 3D renderings. From day one, we knew we could enable that. But to enable that in a scalable and affordable way that would allow us to provide the service at a very low cost, we had to build our own proprietary tools and technology and we had to plug into a couple of systems that were all cloud-based so the whole thing could scale. And so that just took a lot of time. That one we had a pretty clear vision.
The second part of our technology is taking photos of somebody’s room and then reconstructing an accurate to-scale 3D model — ideally with as little measurements, or no measurements, as possible — and then coming out with that 3D model to be usable in the design process to be able to put the furniture in. And so it had to be accurate. It had to have floors and walls and windows. And then it had to be something that could render out photo-realistically. And nothing in the world existed to do that.
There was reconstruction technology as a concept and there are big cameras that do depth sensing that can measure and that can use laser scanners — but that doesn’t exist in the normal consumer’s pocket. So we were like, we need to take the normal phone in normal consumer’s pockets and we need to apply the things that are only possible in these really sophisticated cameras. And we had some guesses about how to do it, but nobody had ever done it. So fast forward to today. Several years of R&D and various approaches and a sort iterative approach to solving this problem one piece of the pipeline along the way, we now have patented technology. We have taken an approach that is unique to everybody in the world that is trying to solve this. We’re probably the furthest ahead. We’re about to release something even cooler in this space in the next couple of months. But it has been one of those things where you know what you’re trying to do at the end, but your R&D path uncovers new ways and new approaches continuously and along the way you have to adapt that plan.
Tina Hoang-To: I remember as I was using Modsy for the first time, the biggest value proposition for me is actually seeing things fit in my space. And that was very hard for us. I mean, I can walk around with a ruler and measure everything but being able to look at three different types of layouts for a sofa and how it’s arranged in the space and click a button to live-swap in each and every one of the sofas was just a tremendous value add for us. So thanks for building that.
Shanna Tellerman: Awesome.
Tina Hoang-To: So Modsy has been growing, raising the Series C, and nearly doubling its headcount in 2019. How have you navigated through the challenges of scaling a team so quickly?
Shanna Tellerman: It’s interesting. Not only are we scaling the team, we’ve also been transitioning the locations and roles of our team. So a lot has changed all in one year. I am not going to say this is easy. Any time you grow and you add a lot more people, your culture does change. But what I’m constantly telling our team is that the culture is what the people make it and that as we add new people, they both adopt pieces of our culture, and they bring new culture in. I’ve seen our culture, the core elements of our culture, where we lead with our heart and we believe in making magic for our customers and we believe in hard work — those have stayed. Those have always stayed true. But we’ve added all these new elements of our culture, like you can work anywhere, you can work remotely, you can work from home. We have a lot of customer-facing people who have a different view of the world and there’s a different set of things that they’re interested in when we give Monday morning updates, for example. So you need to adapt pieces of your business and pieces of your culture. You also need to hear the feedback from all the people who’ve joined. And simultaneously you constantly rethink the tools and the structures especially when things like the location of the people changes along the way.
Tina Hoang-To: Fundraising is often a big part of being CEO. I know that. If anybody tells you that fundraising is fun, they’re probably lying. What were you looking for when you were raising the Series C? And what was most important to you?
Shanna Tellerman: This one is easy. I was looking for Tina. In all seriousness, I really, really look for investors that are partners – true partners – and to be a true partner you have to be able to put yourselves in the shoes of each other once in a while. And I feel like my experience being on the investing side was helpful in that I can understand what an investor’s trying to get out of the relationship. I understand the dynamics of a partnership, I understand the growth rate, I understand the things that are exciting to an investor. Simultaneously as an entrepreneur it’s really, really helpful when your investor understands how hard it is to run a business, to build a business and that every day you’re in there and you’re slaving away and you’re making these hard decisions and hard choices and that there’s real work in that. And again, when you get those snapshots of a company once every couple of months it’s easy to not remember that there’s a lot of hard work that goes into it. And for me when I’ve ultimately talked to investors and had the opportunity to bring great people onto the board, it’s the people who just get it. They get that there’s a lot behind the scenes and that that’s always part of the conversation. And as we chatted, it was so clear that that was how you thought about the world and that’s always made it easy. It’s made the relationship easy.
Tina Hoang-To: I think on the flip side, one of the greatest things that you’ve given me is the opportunity to work with the team. Every time we’re launching new products, Sam, CTO, is sending me the test pilot launches, it gives me the opportunity to bring myself back to the days when I was an operator and launching new products. And that’s been really exciting to be a part of that journey with you.
Shanna Tellerman: Yeah. Actually, we feel that you have had a unique ability to put yourself in the shoes of our team and ask the questions or give the feedback in a way that feels like you are part of the team, not sort of passing by giving us side comments or sort of surface-level comments. It’s real feedback that we can really apply.
Tina Hoang-To: Shanna, you’re a CEO and founder but you’re also a mother. How has motherhood changed how you work and how you are as a leader?
Shanna Tellerman: So motherhood, for anybody who’s listening – as a mother or father, is hard work. There’s no question. It definitely started to divide my time. But I will say, it has been life-changing, game-changing. Not just for me personally, but for our business. The thing everybody says is true — which is, you get way more efficient with your time and you start canceling all those silly meetings and those lunches or dinners that didn’t really matter But for me, the best part of it was really I always have carried around the stress of my company. It doesn’t matter whether I’m going to dinner or a movie or on vacation, it’s a weight in life and I’m always thinking about it and nothing I could do would break me out of it. My first company, my second company, I could be in the most beautiful place in the world and I was still thinking about my new business. We were hiking in New Zealand and I’m thinking about my business. And I’m like, “This isn’t healthy,” but I can’t break out. But then I had a baby. And when I go home and see Skye it’s pure joy and the thoughts of our business melt away. And even if it’s only for a few minutes, there’s these few moments where I’m like, “This is actually more important than that.” And I never had that before, and it’s been transformative.
Tina Hoang-To: So I’ve been really fortunate to have great mentors in my career and I think this is a very important part of development as you progress. Who are some of the people in your life that have provided mentorship to you?
Shanna Tellerman: It’s such an important question. Definitely, I have had a series of mentors along the way from managers to advisors and people in my life, my husband. But for me actually even more fundamental to that was something I realized when I was an entrepreneur, but then realized more profoundly when I was an investor, was that there really wasn’t this same kind of network for women. And so I became really passionate about connecting women together who were founders, investors, and operators because that’s the ecosystem and just allowing us to build bridges and connections and relationships with no business purpose to start out — knowing that it would lead to great business results in the end. And so it started then when I was an investor and we started doing this annual trip to Park City and skiing, and it’s been just amazing to see this network grow and support each other. And all these women are people I know I can just get on the phone and I can ask a quick question. When I started my company they were my first calls — being like, “Will you invest in my seed round?” That is the network that ends up becoming such a powerful resource for me.
Tina Hoang-To: So we’re down to the last question which I think will be helpful for most listeners who are in your shoes. As a CEO and a former VC, what is one piece of advice for someone pitching to a VC firm that you wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t had that experience as a venture capitalist?
Shanna Tellerman: I get asked this question a lot. What did I take from being a VC and how do I apply it to being an entrepreneur? And especially in fundraising and pitching, what’s the secret sauce? For me, it’s actually my understanding that it is a partnership and that the partnership collectively makes a decision. So you might have a big champion who has brought you in and they’re super excited, and there might be a bunch of people at the table really excited. But there might also be some people who are not that excited about your business and that that is actually a pretty normal part of a partnership discussion after a pitch. And for me, that’s allowed me to take it way less personally — the pitch. It sounds funny but as an entrepreneur you feel like this is my baby, this is my company, people are giving me feedback they didn’t like me, they don’t like my business. But in reality, there’s this collection of people looking at your business with their collective history and experiences, and it is more common than not that some of the people sitting around that table have some concerns and have some reservations and bring it up. And then that discussion ensues, and it may be swayed one way or the other. And you are a minor part of that equation. At the end of the day, they’re making a collective partnership decision. And for me, that just took a lot of the emotion out of the fundraise.
Tina Hoang-To: That’s a great point. When I was going through a fundraising as well you get a lot of “no’s.” I think some people have biases towards certain industries or certain products, etc. But one of the greatest pieces of advice I was given was, it doesn’t matter how many “no’s” you get. You really only need one “yes.”
Shanna Tellerman: So true.
Tina Hoang-To: And I think that turned everything around for me, that it is okay to get turned down. Because if you look at the data and the stats, the chances are you’re probably not going to get a “yes” in your first try, so that’s really helpful advice.
Shanna Tellerman: Very true.
Tina Hoang-To: Shanna, these are really valuable lessons you’ve shared. Thank you so much for joining us on Growth Journeys, and thanks to all out there for listening.
- Revolut raises $500 million in Series D funding, valuing the business at $5.5 billion, making Revolut one of the highest valued fintech companies in the world
- The round was led by US-based investor TCV, with a number of existing investors also participating in the round
- Revolut will use the capital to further strengthen product development in existing markets, roll-out banking operations in Europe and increase daily engagement
LONDON, 25 February 2020 — Revolut, the global financial platform with over 10 million customers worldwide, has today raised an additional $500 million in Series D funding, taking the total amount raised by the company to $836 million.
The new funding round was led by US-based growth capital firm TCV, with a number of existing investors also participating. The latest funding round values the business at $5.5 billion, making Revolut one of the highest valued fintech companies in the world.
The new capital was secured on the back of high customer demand and engagement and a strong financial performance last year. In 2019, Revolut increased customer growth by 169%, the number of daily active customers by 380%, and saw financial revenues in 2018 grow by 354%.
The new capital will be focused on the customer experience and used to strengthen Revolut’s core retail and business offering in existing markets, with a particular focus on product development that will help accelerate daily usage of accounts. Future plans include lending services for retail and business customers, extending high interest savings accounts beyond the UK, further improving customer service and rolling out banking operations across Europe.
Revolut will also focus on further developing its Premium and Metal subscription accounts, which have proven to be a successful revenue stream for the business, growing by 154% last year. Revolut’s Premium and Metal accounts include a variety of benefits for customers, such as unlimited foreign exchange, airport lounge access, commission-free stock trading and travel insurance.
Revolut will continue to invest in expanding its workforce across multiple locations. The company now employs over 2,000 people, and last year made a number of senior appointments across the business in order to scale up its governance. Last year, Revolut appointed Martin Gilbert, the former Co-Chief Executive of Standard Life Aberdeen, as Chairman of the Board. Caroline Britton, a former Audit Partner at Deloitte, and Bruce Wallace, the former Chief Operations Officer at Silicon Valley Bank, were both appointed as Non-Executive Directors.
Commenting on the new investment, Nik Storonsky, Founder & CEO at Revolut said: “We’re on a mission to build a global financial platform – a single app where our customers can manage all of their daily finances, and this investment demonstrates investor confidence in our business model. Going forward, our focus is on rolling-out banking operations in Europe, increasing the number of people who use Revolut as their daily account, and striving towards profitability. TCV has a long history of backing founders who are changing their industries on a global scale, so we are excited to partner with them as we prepare for the next stage of our journey.”
Commenting on the investment, John Doran, General Partner at TCV said: “We are delighted to partner with Nik, Vlad and the entire Revolut team. Using a modern technology stack and with a relentless focus on delighting customers, Revolut has built a truly exceptional customer experience that is exceeding anything that existing banks can offer. We look forward to supporting the team on their journey to build Revolut into one of the biggest financial services companies in the world.”
Commenting on the investment, John Glen MP, the UK Economic Secretary and City Minister said: “It is clear that the UK fintech sector continues to thrive, and Revolut’s announcement, which comes on the back of record-breaking fintech venture capital investment in 2019, is a clear indicator of our strength as a place for fintech business as we leave the EU.”
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Revolut is here to transform the way money works. As an innovative, new kind of financial platform, it gives people the power to spend, invest and transfer money without the sky-high fees charged by the big banks.
Since launching in 2015 in the UK, Revolut has expanded significantly beyond its origins as an FX product, adding new features all the time, including Commission-Free Stock Trading, Cryptocurrencies, Business Accounts and more.
Headquartered in London, with 2,000 people in 23 offices, Revolut is now one of the biggest Fintech communities in the world, with over 10 million customers globally. Since launch, Revolut has processed over 1bn transactions worth over $130bn.
Revolut Press Contact
Chad West, Director, Global Communications
email@example.com l +447860651737
Kiran Wylie, Senior Communications Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org l +447875057754
Founded in 1995, TCV provides capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry. Since its inception, TCV has invested over $13 billion in leading technology companies, including more than $1.5 billion in fintech, and has helped guide CEOs through more than 120 IPOs and strategic acquisitions.
TCV’s investments include Airbnb, AxiomSL, Dollar Shave Club, ExactTarget, Expedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, Netflix, Nubank, Payoneer, Splunk, Spotify, Toast, WorldRemit, Xero, and Zillow. In Europe, TCV has invested $2 billion in companies including Believe Digital, Brillen.de, Perfecto, FlixMobility, RELEX Solutions, 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/.
TCV Press Contact
Katja Gagen, TCV Communications
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TCV is delighted to announce that Gopi Vaddi, a seasoned investor with broad international experience, has joined the firm as a General Partner. Founded in 1995, TCV has invested over $13 billion in more than 350 consumer and enterprise technology companies, including $2 billion in Europe, where Gopi will be focused. TCV investments in Europe include Believe, FlixMobility, Brillen.de, RELEX Solutions, RMS, Sitecore, Sportradar, Spotify, The Pracuj Group, and WorldRemit.
Gopi is an excellent fit with TCV’s long-term strategy and focus of investing across geographies and domains, often far from major technology and financial hubs. He was born and raised in India, took degrees in business administration and electrical engineering in the U.S. and India, and has experience investing in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Most recently, he was a partner at Providence Equity’s growth fund, where he worked on growth buyouts and minority investments in software and payments. At TCV, Gopi will focus on software and software-enabled businesses covering business applications, vertical software, digital marketplaces, and infrastructure software.
“We take as much care in adding a new partner as we do in making a new investment,” said Jake Reynolds, General Partner at TCV. “Gopi’s success springs from the same qualities that have driven TCV for nearly a quarter-century: deep domain knowledge, keen market insight, and a passionate commitment to helping entrepreneurs achieve category leadership. He also complements the firm’s broad growth-biased investment approach with expertise in software buyouts and buy-and-build investing.”
Gopi understands TCV’s approach, just as we recognize the value he has brought to his investments, including a willingness to roll up his sleeves and work side by side with management. As a citizen of the world who started his career as an engineer and data modeler, he has an innate ability to identify and partner with the next generation of category leaders and the entrepreneurs steering them.
We are thrilled to welcome Gopi to the team.
The General Partners of TCV
Dan Wernikoff rose to become an EVP at Intuit and general manager of its small business unit and consumer tax group. In both cases he scaled the business-within-a-business from small groups of early adopters to huge hordes of happy SMBs and consumers, by relentlessly measuring early indicators, leveraging core strengths, and focusing on long-term growth goals.
In this conversation with TCV General Partner Tim McAdam, he shares:
- Lessons about how selling into SMB markets differs from enterprise
- The best metrics for tracking success, and
- Why empathy and understanding matter more than slick ads and sales techniques.
He also explains how to infuse human expertise into SaaS models in a way that fits the SMB/consumer mindset.
For these insights and more, settle back and press play.
Dan Wernikoff is a former Venture Partner at TCV.
Dublin, ROI, Sept. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Clio, the leader in cloud-based legal technology, announced today it has raised $250 million USD in Series D funding from TCV and JMI Equity. The investment marks one of the largest private transactions in legal technology and a definitive shift for the future of the legal industry.
As reported by the World Justice Project, 59% of individuals in the United Kingdom experienced a legal problem in the past two years, but only 28% were able to access help with many (48%) seeking advice from a friend or family member. Yet, there were over 138,000 practising solicitors as reported by the Law Society of England and Wales, with 63% of those residing in Dublin.
“It’s clear something needs to change when the majority of legal problems don’t receive legal assistance,” said Jack Newton, CEO and Co-founder of Clio. “Clio is committed to building the essential operating system for solicitors, one that focuses relentlessly on unlocking new efficiencies and entry points to legal services. This will allow legal professionals to easily deliver exceptional client experiences, increase their productivity, grow their firms, and make legal services more accessible. This investment will accelerate our ability to realize this vision.”
Founded in 2008, with their European headquarters based in Dublin, Clio will use these funds to amplify efforts to support access to legal services across Europe. Clio is the only legal case management software endorsed and approved by both the Law Society of England and Wales and the Law Society of Scotland due to their robust product, exceptional customer care, and commitment to helping law firms meet GDPR & SRA compliance responsibilities as data controllers.
“At TCV, we partner with innovative companies that are leaders in their industry and offer superior value propositions for their customers,” said Amol Helekar, Principal at TCV, and a member of Clio’s board of directors. “Clio has had long-standing success in transforming a vast industry that has been lagging in technology adoption and we are confident the company will continue to lead on a global scale. We are committed to supporting Clio with TCV’s resources and network in order to help them capitalize on their significant growth opportunities,” added Jake Reynolds, General Partner at TCV.
TCV and JMI have been investment partners to innovative technology companies such as Adaptive Insights, Airbnb, Eloqua, Expedia, Facebook, Netflix, PointClickCare, ServiceNow, and Spotify, and have helped these businesses achieve their growth objectives.
“We believe the legal software space presents significant opportunities for continued disruption, and Clio is the clear leader,” said Matt Emery, General Partner at JMI Equity who has joined Clio’s board of directors. “Clio is not only solving some of the biggest pain points for the legal profession, it is creating a platform for the future of legal services, and we look forward to partnering with the team in the company’s continued growth and success,” added Sureel Sheth, Principal at JMI.
Customers can expect to see ongoing investment in the depth and breadth of Clio’s offerings, with even more powerful and flexible tools for legal professionals to manage and grow their practices, making them more efficient and sustainable as businesses. Mark Britton, former Expedia executive and founder of legal marketplace Avvo.com, will also be joining Clio’s board of directors to provide his own industry experience as the company brings their vision for the future of legal to market.
Raymond James served as legal buyside advisor to TCV for this investment.
Clio (Themis Solutions Inc.), the leader in cloud-based legal technology, empowers legal professionals to be both client-centered and firm focused through cloud-based legal practice management software. Clio has been transforming the industry for over a decade with 150,000 customers spanning 100 countries, and the approval of over 66 bar associations and law societies globally. Clio continues to lead the industry with initiatives like the Legal Trends Report, the Clio Cloud Conference, and the Clio Academic Access Program. Learn more at clio.com/uk.
Founded in 1995, TCV provides capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry. TCV has invested over $12 billion in leading technology companies and has helped guide CEOs through more than 120 IPOs and strategic acquisitions.
TCV’s software and legal technology investments include Alarm.com, Altiris, Ariba, Avalara, Avetta, Avvo, AxiomSL, CCC Information Services, ExactTarget, ETQ, FinancialForce, Genesys, IQMS, LegalZoom, OpenText, OSIsoft, Rapid7, Rave Mobile Safety, RELEX Solutions, Sitecore, SiteMinder, SMT, Splunk, Toast, Xero, and more. 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, please visit tcv.com.
About JMI Equity
JMI Equity is a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies. Founded in 1992, JMI has invested in over 145 businesses in its target markets, successfully completed over 95 exits and raised more than $4 billion of committed capital. JMI partners with exceptional management teams to help build their companies into industry leaders. For more information visit jmi.com.
Sasha Perrin Senior Manager, Brand and Communications, Clio 1-800-347-8314 firstname.lastname@example.org Katja Gagen Principal + Head of Marketing, TCV 650-614-8264 email@example.com
SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — HireVue, provider of the most comprehensive suite of AI-driven talent assessment and video interviewing solutions, today announced that global investment firm The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) has signed an agreement to invest in HireVue as its majority investor. Existing shareholders, including TCV, Granite Ventures and Sequoia, together with HireVue management, will remain minority investors.
Over its 15-year history, HireVue has transformed the way companies discover, hire and develop the most diverse set of top talent. HireVue customers, who include over one-third of the Fortune 100, generate strong returns on their investment by reducing the time it takes to hire a candidate by 90 percent on average, and by regularly achieving world-class candidate net promoter scores of more than 70, all while increasing the number of prospective candidates, hiring objectivity and the diversity of hires. HireVue pioneered the video interviewing industry and remains the leader today, delivering a million interviews and over 150,000 pre-hire assessments every 90 days.
“We are delighted to partner with Carlyle to accelerate HireVue’s technology innovation and propel our growth globally,” said Kevin Parker, Chairman and CEO at HireVue. “Carlyle’s culture of ‘performance through collaboration’ makes it our ideal partner as we expand to new markets and enhance our support of enterprise partners around the world.”
“HireVue is the recognized video interviewing and talent assessments leader,” said Patrick McCarter, Managing Director and Co-Head of TMT at The Carlyle Group. “Innovative global enterprises are driving more efficient and effective hiring through HireVue, accessing a broader, more diverse talent pool and significantly reducing bias.”
“We look forward to partnering with Kevin and the entire HireVue team to further accelerate the business and create even greater value for HireVue’s global employees, customers and partners,” said Tyler Parker, Vice President at The Carlyle Group.
“HireVue’s market-leading SaaS platform and suite of recruitment solutions assist global enterprises in finding, engaging and hiring the best talent,” said Nari Ansari, General Partner at TCV. “We are excited about the new partnership with Carlyle and HireVue’s next phase of growth.”
The current executive team at HireVue will continue to lead the company under the direction of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Parker.
Equity capital for the investment will come from Carlyle Partners VII, an $18.5 billion fund. The Carlyle team leading the transaction focuses on investments in global technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) companies. TMT is a core area of focus for Carlyle, representing more than $30 billion of invested equity since inception. Goldman Sachs acted as exclusive financial advisor to HireVue.
The HireVue Assessment and Video Interviewing Platform combine the power of video, AI, game and technical challenges for comprehensive hiring intelligence. Validated behavioral science is the foundation of HireVue’s highly effective pre-hire assessments, which are rigorously bias-tested according to the EEOC’s Uniform Guidelines and used to support greater diversity and efficiency in hiring. HireVue customers report lower attrition and high return on investment.
In addition, the HireVue Assessment and Video Interviewing Platform is the only platform in its industry that can scale to support the growth of enterprise customers. HireVue has achieved numerous industry and federal certifications, including:
- ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification
- SOC 2 Type 2 assurance
- FedRAMP authorization
For more information about HireVue or to schedule a demo, visit www.hirevue.com.
HireVue is transforming the way companies discover, hire and develop the best talent by combining the power of video, games and AI for better hiring decisions. The HireVue Assessments and Video Interviewing Platform uses a ground-breaking combination of industrial/organizational science and rigorously tested, predictive artificial intelligence to help customers find and engage higher quality talent, faster. HireVue is available worldwide in over 30 languages and has hosted more than ten million on-demand interviews and one million assessments. Its more than 700 customers worldwide include over one-third of the Fortune 100 and leading brands such as Unilever, Hilton, JP Morgan Chase, Delta Air Lines, Vodafone, Carnival Cruise Line, and Goldman Sachs. For more information, visit www.hirevue.com.
HireVue Social Networks
About The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across four business segments: Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit and Investment Solutions. With $223 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2019, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,775 people in 33 offices across six continents.
Part 1: Aligning HR with Business Strategy
When Beth Grous joined TripAdvisor as Chief People Officer, the popular travel platform was growing rapidly, with 40+ locations around the world. Beth quickly moved to develop Human Resources (HR) as a strategic partner for business functions, so that the team’s initiatives would more directly support company objectives. In this first part of a two-part conversation, Beth talks with TCV GP Nari Ansari about how she re-oriented her team for business partnership. She also explains how her team manages the employee journey within TripAdvisor as strategically as the company manages its customer journeys, so that recruiting and retaining talent is both systematic and flexible for an increasingly diverse workforce.
Nari Ansari: First off Beth, I really appreciate you taking the time to chat with us. It was great seeing you at TCV’s East Coast CHRO event in New York with portfolio company people and talent leaders. We had some great conversations and wanted to share a few topics with a broader audience.
Beth Grous: Absolutely. Great to speak again.
Nari Ansari: Let’s dive right in, starting with TripAdvisor. What does the company do?
Beth Grous: I think most people who have traveled, or know someone that’s traveled, are familiar with TripAdvisor. We are the world’s largest travel platform. We help about 490 million travelers every month plan, book, and get excited about having the best trip of their life. We’re a global website, and we also have a mobile app that helps travelers browse more than three-quarters of a billion reviews and opinions on over eight million restaurants, accommodations, experiences, airlines, cruises, and so on.
Nari Ansari: When did you join? What motivated you to jump onboard?
Beth Grous: I joined TripAdvisor in September of 2015. I’ve been a review writing member on the TripAdvisor platform since 2006 so I was a long-time consumer of the brand and loved it. When I got the call about the job, I thought that it would be a unique opportunity for me to take the HR skills, experience and capabilities that I had, and intersect them with a consumer brand that I have a lot of passion for.
Around the same time frame there was an increasing recognition at TripAdvisor that with 2,500 employees, and the company growing globally, we really needed to elevate the people function to work in partnership with the CEO to execute more strategically against our business and talent priorities. And so that was very exciting for me as well, thinking about the potential impact I could have.
Nari Ansari: Absolutely. You’re titled Chief People Officer, so what areas fall under your responsibility?
Beth Grous: That’s a great question, because my job description is perhaps a little different than most heads of HR.
As Chief People Officer, I have all the traditional HR domains:
- HR business partners
- Total rewards (compensation and benefits) and HR systems
- Talent acquisition (our recruiting engine)
- Learning and organizational development
- Equity, diversity, and inclusion
In addition to those more typical functions, I have a few other areas of responsibility, including our global real estate portfolio and office experience for our 40+ offices worldwide, and our social impact function, which is a combination of both our TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation and our employee volunteerism and giving activities.
Nari Ansari: Since you became Chief People Officer, how have you established the HR team as a business partner to the rest of the organization? What steps did you take, what lessons did you learn as you industrialized the function, and what advice would you have for other HR leaders of growing tech companies out there?
Beth Grous: When I joined, I looked around and I said, “There are some places where we have real strengths, and some places where we need to fill in some blanks.” Probably the biggest shift we made was to build out an HR business partner (HRBP) function – we wanted to shift a portion of our team from being more focused on tactical day-to-day priorities to taking a pro-active focus towards business objectives and working with their counterparts throughout the organization. That shift in focus meant that some people stepped up to develop their skills and to work differently. Other team members transitioned out of the organization and, also importantly, we had a few members join from the business side. It was a significant shift to staff and organize this HR business partner team.
Nari Ansari: That’s an impressive shift. Tell us a bit more about the role and skill set of HR business partners.
Beth Grous: The members of our HRBP team are expected to have a deep understanding of the business—financials, strategy, and how each business function aligns and interacts to execute against those objectives. I encourage the HRBP team to frame their day-to-day work by asking the question: “How am I working with people at all levels of the organization to help drive the business forward?” Much of this learning happens on the job—and our business leaders are very supportive of sharing their expertise. It has been an important shift for us, because with this knowledge and understanding, they can then support the business most effectively: defining the right organizational structure to support strategy, ensuring that we are hiring and developing a diverse and talented group of employees across the organization, and aligning rewards, as some examples.
I am fortunate that I work for a CEO and with an executive team who greatly values the input of our people and human capital team on matters not just related to HR domain areas, but also matters related to the overall business. This has been exciting and fulfilling for me and my team.
Nari Ansari: That’s great. I think what’s top of mind for many company leaders and talent leaders is retaining exceptional talent. You talked a bit at our recent TCV CHRO event that TripAdvisor very methodically thinks through, manages, and monitors the customer journey and that you and your team symmetrically are methodically thinking through, managing, and monitoring the employee journey as well. Can you talk a little bit more about what that looks like for your 3,600 plus TripAdvisor team members today spread across 40+ offices?
Beth Grous: I’m going to make an obvious statement here. If you retain and engage more of your workforce, you have less of a need to recruit people…
Nari Ansari: Right.
Beth Grous: We recognize that those two things sit in a very healthy and logical balance. We also recognize that turnover in and of itself is painful. You lose institutional knowledge. It’s disruptive to teams. It slows throughput. It slows innovation. We’re only as good as the people that we have working in the right teams and right configurations to execute against our business objective. We think a lot about how to make TripAdvisor a great place to work, to encourage not only retention, but also to drive engagement and satisfaction. Just like our sales team thinks about the “customer first”, we think about how we can put our employees first. That also means that we are taking their views into account, so it’s not just about delivering “HR services” to our employees but having a dialogue with them. This aligns with our brand, which is all about transparency and providing honest and constructive feedback. For example, we know that what makes a company a great place to work likely means different things to different people. To someone early in their career, that might mean, “I get to have a lot of different experiences and I’m promoted pretty rapidly.” To someone in a different phase of life or with different interests or needs, that might be that an individual wants a lot of flexibility in terms of the hours when they work or the places where they work. We encourage flexibility, and we also have office spaces with many different places where people can get away from their desks if that helps them work more effectively. We think about our workforce just like TripAdvisor (and many consumer-facing companies) think about their customers, recognizing that one size doesn’t fit all. That does not mean that we can necessarily be all things to all people—but we try hard to listen, learn, and discern what’s most important to our workforce, and meet our employees’ needs, as long as it makes sense for the business.
I believe that there are some things that transcend all employees, regardless of role, experience or tenure. Employees want to come to work at a place where they understand the business objectives, they understand the strategy, and they know their role, how their role ladders up to executing against that strategy. So as a company, we spend a ton of time being transparent about those elements – we do that through company town halls, through company meetings and through various forms of communication. Communication is so important, and I don’t think we can ever do enough of it internally! We’ve found it critical for our employees to understand the business context and importantly, how they fit into that context, so that they can be most successful—and therefore we can be most successful as a company.
Nari Ansari: That makes a lot of sense. I do think that having a much more rigorous multi-faceted view of your employee base is becoming critical for companies of all sizes and in all industries. And I also think open communication across the organization is important, particularly when it feels like change is the only constant these days.
Another trend – and transition – we are seeing is that HR is becoming more tech and data driven to deliver on human capital and business goals. We’ll talk more about this in a follow-up Q&A and address other topics that are top of mind for today’s HR professionals and tech companies, including HR’s role in successfully executing acquisitions. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us, and I look forward to our next conversation.
Beth Grous: My pleasure!