Tools to help your business grow — Entrepreneur’s Handbook 3,2,1 Dispatch
Hello everyone, welcome to our fourth bi-monthly dispatch to help you better navigate your business or start a new one.
This 3,2,1 houses our 3 most viewed articles, 2 of our personal favorites, and 1 of our oldies but goodies that resonated with a lot of readers.
3 Most Read Articles
Steve Jobs’s Definition of “Smart” Will Reprogram Your Idea of Intelligence by Alan Trapulionis
Amazon Is Offering 33,000 Tech Jobs Paying $ 150k, And You Should Take It by Alan Trapulonis
2 Most Powerful Ways to Remember Everything You Learn by Thomas Oppong
2 Editor’s Picks
Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky Says This Is How To Build The Best Company Culture by Amardeep Parmar
Meet the Programmer Who Could Have Bought Google for $ 1 Million by Aaron Dinin, PhD
Editor’s Note: We want to congratulate Aaron on connecting with many of the most important innovators in internet history for his new Web Masters podcast. The first edition is with Louis Mounier, the man behind the world’s first popular search engine.
1 From The Vault
According to Steve Jobs, This One Thing Separates The Doers from The Dreamers by Michael Thompson
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Tools to help your business grow — Entrepreneur’s Handbook 3,2,1 Dispatch was originally published in Entrepreneur's Handbook on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
New Nitro Future of Work Report Shows How Lack of Access to Digital Tools Impacts Remote Work Global Banking And Finance Review
“sweden startups when:7d” – Google News
I run a small, but growing community of AI product managers. Up until now, I’ve been fuelling the overheads with modest meetup sponsorship from a number of corporates. Since the pandemic, meetup revenue has obviously disappeared, so I’m looking for a way to give my sponsors value by allowing them to promote job opportunities to my community.
Has anyone here set up a revenue-generating job board? Any good tools you’d recommend? Ideally, I’m looking for something that runs itself, i.e. allows employers to post jobs, and my members to get job alerts, with minimal intervention from me.
I’ve looked for a good solution for a while now, but everything I’ve found seems expensive and clunky. Any good no-code tools out there? Any advice, much appreciated.
What tools are you using for your roadmap, backlog, project management, product management, sprint planning and how do you connect/automate those tools?
Also, who is responsible for maintaining that tool in your team?
I am curious to know how your company is organized from a management point of view: the tools, the owners, the activities, etc. We are software startup and the more we grow, the more difficult is becoming maintain all the tools or be sure that everything/everyone is up to date.
Remote working has become the norm for many of us not on the front lines, and what’s been notable is that this is also changing the mindset for a lot of organizations, which are now hiring from an increasingly global talent pool. Today, a startup called Deel — which provides payroll, compliance tools and other services to help businesses do that in a more seamless way — is announcing $ 30 million in new funding to double down on the opportunity.
“We want to give access to services that remote workforces have typically not had access to,” said Alex Bouaziz, the CEO who co-founded the company with Shuo Wang (the CRO). “We want to be the platform for employees and contractors who are working abroad. We went to give them all the same level of care as employees working in the main office.”
The Series B is being led by Spark Capital and comes closely on the heels of Deel raising $ 14 million in a Series A only a few months ago led by Andreessen Horowitz. Deel is an alum of Y Combinator and counts the incubator, along with Nat Friedman, Ryan Petersen, John Zimmer, William Hockey and Alexis Ohanian, among its other investors.
Deel has now raised some $ 48 million to date, and while Bouaziz said that the startup is not disclosing valuation, he did confirm that the number has grown three-fold since May.
That may sound like a very rapid (too rapid?) progression, but it speaks to the company’s momentum. Deel is now being used by more than 500 companies (adding over 100 since May) and covering thousands of employees across 140+ countries. And it also underscores the specific market area in which Deel is working and the demand for what it offers.
In the words of Spark’s general partner Yasmin Razavi, who led the investment for the firm after proactively reaching out to Bouaziz over Twitter to get acquainted, all of the buzz these days is about workforce productivity tools and cloud services to manage data securely and efficiently among newly distributed workers, but Deel is helping fix something even more fundamental to keep from putting the cart before the horse, so to speak, when it comes to employing people across borders, whether they are employees or contractors.
“Everyone keeps talking about tools like Slack, Notion and Zoom as enablers,” she said, “but the reality is that if you can’t hire and pay people, there is no workforce.”
The problem that Deel is solving is the fact that up to now it’s not been very easy to do this. Companies either have to set up or already have in place local entities, or work with local legal teams to get things right. Chances are that if you are scaling quickly, you may not have these in place already, and might not have the funds to set it up if you don’t. That, in turn, might keep an organization from making the leap to working with the person abroad, or at least limiting the scope of engagement between the worker and company as a result.
(Deel is priced on a per-seat basis starting at $ 35 per person per month, but that varies by volume, services used and whether the person is a contractor or employee, and so on.)
Deel today already provides various tools to employees and the organizations that they work for, such as payroll services, tax compliance information, assistance on building contracts, invoicing services and a range of insurance options covering health and other areas related to working life.
The range of services currently includes lots of localised options: the contract tools, for example, help organizations build contracts that comply with local labor laws; the payroll offers different options localised for the best way to pay people in specific markets; and Deel provides comparative scenarios for employers to figure out if it’s best to keep people on contracts or take them on full time.
Now the plan is to continue building out that stack with more services aimed at both the workers and their employers. That includes loans based on salary for workers, more insurance and benefits options and so on. Interestingly, the fact that Deel offers so many integrated services that include recurring payments means that its life cycle with customers (and within the bigger two-sided marketplace, with employees) extends beyond simply just onboarding workers.
Razavi, Bouaziz and Wang are themselves the products of the rapid workforce globalisation that Deel has identified and builds products to support. The two co-founders met as students at MIT, but Wang comes from China, and Bouaziz is from Paris with family also in Israel, while Razavi herself is from Canada.
All effectively converged in what had become the de facto center of the tech universe, San Francisco — but these days they are not at all in the same places. Razavi spoke to me from Toronto, where she was quarantining before returning to the U.S. after a necessary trip to Portugal. Bouaziz spoke to me from Israel, where he went to see his family at the very start of the pandemic and has remained ever since. Wang is still in San Francisco for the moment.
It’s anyone’s guess where the three will be a year from now, and the point of Deel is that the company’s tools remove that variable from the equation. If things continue the way they have for the last eight months, that variable — where are you working from? — is going to be an increasingly common one, but with the help of a service like Deel’s, not a deal-breaker when it comes to getting a job or hiring the right person for a role.
There are a number of other companies out there that are disrupting the very incumbent world of payroll services, including the likes of Gusto and Rippling. The interesting thing with Deel is how it has focused squarely on the opportunity of providing services for people who are working across national borders. If that does become more commonplace, it’s likely to see significantly more competition, but for now, it’s a huge opportunity that’s only just opening up.
Marketing technology — and specifically tools that help companies leverage the internet to connect with customers in a way that is compliant with a new wave of data protection and privacy policies — continues to see a lot of traction with businesses and investors. In the latest development, Sarbacane, the French company that makes the Mailify SaaS-based email and text marketing platform, along with other other martech software, has raised $ 27 million, funding that it plans to use to continue building more technology in areas like AI-based marketing automation, as well as to continue its international expansion.
French investment company IDI is leading the investment with a $ 10 million stake, with management — led by founder Mathieu Tarnus — also investing. Tarnus has been and remains the majority shareholder. Paul de Fombelle, the COO who was on the founding team of the company, said the valuation is around $ 45 million with this investment.
Sarbacane — an instrument that has dual (relevant) meanings, an ear trumpet (for hearing better), and a blowpipe for sending out darts — is not exactly a startup in the strictest sense. The company is based out of the north of France, in a town called Hem, and it has been around for nearly 20 years — founded in 2001. It is already profitable, and it has raised some money in the past but has never disclosed how much.
It has some 10,000 customers on its books already, with a heavy emphasis on small and medium businesses, but also government agencies and a number of big names such as Christian Dior, L’Occitane, Mondial Relay and Warner Music, which do some self-service but also lean on consultancy from Sarbacane itself to help fine-tune how it all works.
All this, actually, makes Sarbacane quite a typical European startup, where we see a lot of businesses bootstrap themselves for years and turn profitable before at some point tapping investors, while still staying private, to take some money to boost growth. (In fact, just yesterday Mollie out of the Netherlands announced funding around a similar kind of growth/profit story, but there are a number of other examples across the whole of the continent.)
Sarbacane’s flagship product is an SaaS-based tool that lets businesses craft, send out, measure and respond to marketing campaigns over email and text messaging, which is sold as Sarbacane in France and Mailify outside of Francophonic countries. It competes with the likes of Mailchimp (the US-based martech ‘startup’ that’s also been around for ages and remains bootstrapped) and accounts for the majority of the $ 13 million in revenues that Sarbacane made last year, and the $ 16 million it expects to make this year.
Other products that it has moved into over the years include Layout for email design; Sarbacane Chat (for running chatbots); and Touchdown (a kind of all-in-one, multichannel marketing platform akin to Salesforce’s or Adobe’s marketing clouds), and it has more recently started to also grow by way of acquisition, acquiring the Datananas B2B prospecting platform to more deeper into CRM.
De Fombelle said that the company plans to use some of the funding to continue making acquisitions as we continue to see more consolidation in the fragmented world of marketing technology.
“We raised this money because in Europe, the players in email marketing and marketing automation are ten times smaller than they are in the US,” he said. “The market is huge in Europe but still very fragmented and so we have a big ambition to be a part of the consolidation.”
There has been a large swing in recent years where people have become acutely aware of marketing technology, but not for a great reason: it’s because of the gradual realisation of just how much of our data is sucked up and used by a wide range of companies to profile us and sell more to us in the future. Sometimes this is used in pretty nefarious ways, sometimes innocuously, sometimes actually quite usefully. Now, a wave of new regulations is making us all too aware of just how much of this happens, and is in the most proactive cases helping us cut down some of those vines, by giving us more control over how our data is used online.
All that potentially puts martech companies, and businesses using a lot of marketing and advertising technology, into an interesting, and sometimes not great, position, but de Fombelle said that in fact it’s been a big benefactor of the rise of GDPR, not least because it has always had a strong view on data protection and put a lot of the measures required by the regulations in place well before they were conceived.
That’s one reason why investors are interested even if Sarbacane itself hasn’t been trumpeting its own brand much.
“The Sarbacane Group is accelerating its development through the growth of its various brands, all of which are leaders in their respective markets. We are thrilled to partner with the team in the implementation of this strategy, and in its diversification and acquisition projects in the field of marketing software and B2B services,” said Julien Bentz, a new investor and member of IDI’s executive committee.
BrandOverflow Startup Offers Tools to Up Your Search Engine Optimisation Technology Times Pakistan
“startups when:1d” – Google News