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Landed by Venture Desktop
52 minutes | Nov 18, 2020
Paul Murphy – Build for markets you understand
My guest today is Paul Murphy. Paul is a General Partner at Northzone , the venture capital firm that has backed iconic European companies like Spotify and Klarna. Paul’s background – especially when it comes to international expansion – is incredible. At Northzone, Paul has backed companies like TIER and Hopin (which has truly become the breakout company of 2020). We discuss the international growth paths of both of these companies in the episode. Prior to Northzone, Paul founded and was CEO of mobile games company Dots. There is a ton to learn from the trajectory of Dots, which was recently acquired by Take Two Interactive for almost $200m. The company has a a fascinating story of international ups and downs. We talk about lessons learned from trying to expand into China, the role strategic investors like Tencent can play in a company’s growth, and what he would do differently if trying to build a global gaming company today. I also want to give a shout out to Vincent, Paul’s colleague at Northzone, for making the intro today. To read the full transcript and my key takeaways, head to venturedesktop.substack.com.
57 minutes | Nov 4, 2020
Laura González-Estéfani – Growing in local markets by trusting local people
My guest today is Laura Gonzalez-Estefani. Laura is founder and CEO of TheVentureCity, a new business acceleration, investment, and growth model that helps diverse founders achieve global impact. Their portfolio includes outstanding global companies like Cabify, Optimus Ride, Spotahome, and Returnly. The firm has campuses in Madrid and Miami, as well as offices in San Francisco, São Paulo and El Salvador. The bulk of our conversation focuses on Laura’s incredible run at Facebook, where spent nearly nine years in a number of key roles spearheading international expansion for the company. She was Facebook’s first executive in southern Europe, leading expansion into Spain and Portugal. She then led the Growth, Mobile & Partnerships team for Latin America. We cover some fascinating ground in this episode. From Facebook’s approach to international growth in the early days, how leaders in new markets should think about building culture internally, to some very specific expansion strategies used by companies in TheVentureCity portfolio. I want to give a shoutout to one of my favorite writers, Sari Azout for the intro to Laura. Laura is truly a connector across the European, Latin American and U.S. innovation ecosystems and am so excited to share our discussion with you. Here is a quick rundown on everything we touched on during our conversation: 2:20 – A quick primer on TheVentureCity, the firm Laura founded 4:16 – The importance of trusting local people in local markets 7:19 – International growth stories from TheVentureCity's portfolio (Rocket, Glamping Hub, 1Doc3) 13:19 – Being laid off from eBay while pregnant and Laura's tranisition to international growth at Facebook. 18:32 – How Laura built her team in Southern Europe 26:11 – The shift to mobile and Facebook's growth in Latin America 31:10 – Sequencing international growth in Latin America 35:30 – The importance of speed and trust in international growth 36:36 – Laura's role on the European Innovation Council 46:13 – Product led growth and international expansion
48 minutes | Oct 21, 2020
Caen Contee – Operating Locally at Global Scale with Lime
My guest on this episode is Caen Contee. If I had to use one phrase to describe Caen, it would be that he is a man of action. His work today spans so many different areas, all of them focused on driving a positive impact on a global scale through business success. Caen is a founding partner at Ozone X Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm backing purpose-driven tech companies founded by underrepresented founders across the world. He is also the Chief Business Officer of Linear Labs, a very exciting electric motor company. All of this builds on the incredible work he did as an executive on the founding team at Lime, the global leader in micromobility, where he led global expansion, spearheading the company’s efforts in over 100 cities across 30 countries. We get into so much in this episode — from Lime's growth strategy in key cities like Paris to tactical advice on hiring early international growth teams. ----- Episode Highlights (2:31) The early days of micromobility expansion (3:55) Launching Lime in Europe (6:44) Early launch strategy in Paris (10:44) Managing global information flowsin an organization (15:22) Iterative learning in international expansion (23:58) Caen's day to day leading Lime internationally (31:48) Analogies between international expansion and VC (39:26) How capital providers can support international expansion (43:06) Maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health in high stress, high growth roles --- Dive Deeper Thanks so much for listening to Landed from Venture Desktop. To access transcripts and other key takeaways, subcribe for free at venturedesktop.com/landed or follow me on Twitter @brettbivens.
2 minutes | Oct 14, 2020
Trailer – Welcome to Landed
Welcome to Landed from Venture Desktop. Landed is the "collaborative playbook" to help founders, operators, and investors take their companies global. In each episode, I dive deep with leaders who have played critical roles on the ground and in the board room for the international expansion of the world's most successful companies. These conversations are highly tactical — focused on pulling out actionable ideas and real-world frameworks that you can use to win as you expand your company into new markets. You can access transcripts, takeaways, and key resources from each episode at venturedesktop.com. During the first season of Landed, we are covering the international expansion stories of so many intriguing companies and markets. From Facebook's early growth into Spain, Portugal and Latin America, to the micromobility battles on the ground in Paris in 2018, to the challenges with expanding into China. These conversations bring to life key learnings that you can implement in your strategy today — when to expand, how to hire and structure global teams, ways to maintain company culture in the face of mounting complexity, what role capital providers play in international growth. We go deep into all of these topics and more.
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