Fast turnaround for Head of Sales following internal re-organisation

Following a recommendation from one of our trusted partners, Jurupa was contacted by a mid-sized American software vendor who was seeking to hire a VP of Sales for EMEA on an aggressive timescale. The project was made slightly more complicated due to some internal re-organisation, meaning an incumbent Head of Sales would be relocated to the US after a brief hand-over period.

Although the customer had enjoyed some great success in the US, their EMEA operation was at a much earlier stage of development. Consequently, awareness of the brand was limited in the region.

Engaging directly with the company’s SVP WW Sales and working closely with their Talent Acquisition team, we negotiated a retained search for this crucial hire and went out to market seeking to utilise a variety of channels including advertising, network utilisation, social media and internal database management. Maintaining acute awareness of our client’s timescales for hiring, we elevated the priority status of this search and provided a shortlist of highly suited, senior candidates for the role within just five days.

After a tough interview process which tested the candidates to the maximum of their ability, we were successful in guiding the process to a stage where our client had two outstanding candidates to choose from. This was described as “a nice headache to have”!

Alongside this process, we added further value by providing background checks for the chosen candidate (as per their CEO’s directive) and assisting with the relocation of their incumbent back to the US with his family. Fast forward six months and the new VP Sales EMEA has delivered fantastic results ahead of time, reorganised their GTM strategy and provided a valid case for a major expansion in the coming six months.

Start-ups are taking over CES

The Consumer Electronics Show keeps on growing. Several years ago the show outgrew the massive Las Vegas Convention Center and started using part of the Sands Expo Center several blocks away. They called it Eureka Park and made the exhibit space less expensive in a bid to attract startups to the show. It worked. And it’s bigger than ever with startups filling both levels of the Sands.

CES is now a startup show. Avoid the nonsense of the LVCC and head over to the Sands Expo Center in the Venetian. This is where the interesting companies are located this year. This is where you’ll find startups making new wearables and smart home tech. It’s where small companies are displaying their new 3D printers and craving attention.

The only downside? You’ll miss Samsung’s latest refrigerators and the sad booth babes employed by car audio companies that dot the North Hall.

CES 2016 is the largest to date with 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space. The CEA, the organization behind CES, expects 20,000 new products to be unveiled at this year’s show. It’s also quickly becoming an auto show and this year’s event features nine out of the top ten automakers exhibiting. Plus, Faraday Future is finally taking the wraps off its plan.

Young startups (or those tight on cash) have long attended CES, but not many did so in an official capacity. Founders would attend the show in partnership with a key partner such as Intel or Microsoft or NVIDIA. Or, they would simply get a suite in a local hotel and invite press for a drink and demo. Both still happen, but a quick browse of the Sands Expo Center exhibitors reveals that many startups are getting small booths.

There’s Atlas Wearable, Blocks and Double Robotics. Ring and Roost. Withings and Fitbit are there, too. 3D Systems has a large booth, but is surrounded by smaller 3D printing companies like Formlabs, MarkForged, and Voxel8. There are sections dedicated to the smart home and wearables and robotics — all away from the main convention center. Even Techstars and Indiegogo have booths at the Sands.

There’s now halls filled with rows and rows of startups barely out of crowdfunding vying for buyers and suppliers and the press to take notice.

It’s important to remember that CES is not open to the public. It’s a trade show primarily existing for members of the industry and those like these start-ups hustling their way into the industry.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch.

Car Buying Platform Carwow Raises £12.5M Series B Led by Accel

Carwow, the U.K. site that claims to offer a better way to buy a new car, has stopped off for some further funding. The four year-old startup has raised a £12.5 million Series B led by Accel, who I understand tried but failed to get in on the last round.

Previous investors Balderton Capital, Samos Investments and Episode 1 Ventures, the company’s original backer, also participated. It follows a £4.6 million Series A investment in December 2014 and brings total raised by Carwow to £18.4 million.

Founded in late 2010, Carwow originally launched as a car review aggregator before hitting on the idea of providing a platform to improve the experience of buying a new car. It allows consumers to compare offers online and buy directly from ‘trusted’ dealers that are registered with the platform, specifically avoiding the arduous but otherwise necessary requirement to haggle over price and in a way that potentially introduces a lot more transparency.

That because, says co-founder and CEO James Hind, car buyers traditionally turn to their nearest dealership who provide a headline price and follow up with a claimed discount. However, as a customer you rarely have much data with which to compare that offer and can’t be sure if you’re getting a good deal. Instead, Carwow turns the model on its head.

Users “build” the car they would like to buy — specifying make and model/features etc. — and then receive offers direct from dealers through the Carwow platform. They can then quickly compare offers by price, location of the dealer, reviews of the dealer and what’s actually in stock. It’s then up to the buyer to decide whether to contact a dealer based on their offer, which they can do via anonymous messaging through the Carwow platform.

In addition, Hind tells me dealerships, perhaps after a little resistance, have taken to the model because the leads that Carwow sends them are of extremely high quality. Once a customer has gone through the site’s funnel they not only have a much better idea of the car they want to purchase and any extras but their ‘intent’ to purchase is absolutely beyond doubt.

To that end, with fresh capital in the bank, Carwow is planning to significantly increase spend on marketing as it continues to build awareness of the brand. This includes TV advertising — which has already begun — to compliment other channels such as online. Hind says that the startup’s typical customer tends to be older and of course affluent enough to buy a new car but it isn’t always easy to reach them via online alone.

In a call with Accel’s Fred Destin, he described TV ads as a great way to increase brand awareness, while online is still the place to convert, but that the two work well together. The impact of television advertising, he says, is also more measurable than it used to be in the past and that, perhaps compared to other VCs, he enjoys investing in startups where after finding market fit the biggest challenge is building a consumer brand.

On that note, he draws similarities to another company he has been heavily involved in: Zoopla, the property listings aggregator. As with Carwow, the startup champions the consumer but also had to build partnerships with legacy players on the supply side in the form of estate agents. Destin says, like Zoopla, Carlow’s main consumer proposition is about cracking open the data on pricing and making the buying process much more transparent overall.

Interestingly both Hind and Destin say that in the new as apposed to pre-owned car buying space, Carwow has little or no direct competition, not withstanding the traditional dealerships it also partners with. And it’s those partnerships, along with the Carwow brand itself, that makes the startup’s offering somewhat defensible.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

How can Britain produce more game-changing media businesses?

Everyone loves a Silicon Valley success story. Why, then, do media businesses in the UK have such a tough time getting the support they need to grow?

Despite the huge opportunities in media, it remains a risky business for financiers, and it’s no secret that while the amount of online content is booming, the people who publish it are struggling. Unsurprisingly, the problem isn’t creating quality content; it’s getting readers to pay for it.

Thanks partly to the proliferation of ‘click bait’ and our growing ability to turn a blind eye to ads, ‘per-click’ revenue isn’t worth what it used to be. Prash Naidu, CEO and founder of marketing agency Rezonence, explains: “Advertisers see it like this – publishers are selling them a big bag of apples, but only one apple in that bag is good; the rest are rotten. A user might land on a page, but it doesn’t mean that they’re paying attention, or even sticking around past the fold.”

Research by video advertisers Teads also found that increased downloads of ad blockers could have a £14bn impact on online advertising revenues this year alone. That’s without taking into account Apple’s revelation recently that the upcoming iOS9 will support ad-blocking add-ons officially for the first time.

It doesn’t help that some of the biggest names in publishing have struggled to make the switch to online profitable. “Publishers are generally seen as distressed assets,” says Prash. “Newsrooms have halved since the 1990s and traditional publishers are making a fraction of the revenues they made in print. Unless things change, the writing’s on the wall.”

The big funding question
Although the sector may seem to be in disarray, where there is chaos, there is opportunity. From fledgling platforms to new advertising models, new media firms are rising to the challenge, creating innovative ways to profit from online publishing and help the sector shrug off its ‘distressed asset’ label. Yet even these innovative young firms can struggle to find start up and growth funding through traditional channels.

Dale Lovell co-founded Content Amp in 2010. Last year, Content Amp merged with Adyoulike to create a native advertising firm turning over £10m a year; a figure set to double in 2015. With its low impact on user experience and high engagement rate, native advertising is becoming an increasingly popular form of online ad revenue. It’s at the core of several successful online media business models, such as Buzzfeed and Huffington Post.

“When we started Content Amp in 2010, we basically bootstrapped it,” Dale explains. “We set up at the height of the recession, so access to funding was obviously going to be difficult. After a year or two we secured a small overdraft but all of our growth came from money we made. Could we have grown quicker with access to funding? Absolutely.”

Similarly, when Prash and the team at Rezonence created FreeWall – a free access alternative to paywall whereby users pay with brand engagement rather than cash – securing funding was far from simple.

“Getting funding for us was difficult, but not impossible. We had fairly low costs and a small, manageable business model. We then got onto BBC Labs, so could benefit from free office space. Otherwise, we pretty much operated on a shoestring. Gradually we built up a few clients here and there, until we could show investors that our business had legs.”

With the FreeWall model, Prash hopes that online media firms will be able to show investors that they, too, have legs, and can build a stronger business model with real advertising revenue potential. However, with more and more alternatives like FreeWall and native springing up, gauging which company is creating the next big thing and who will fall by the wayside can be a difficult call for financiers.

Naren Patel, CEO of Primesight, explains: “The problem is that there’s often a lot of chat about the next new thing, but it’s difficult to know what will have staying power. Over the last few years in the out-of-home sector, we’ve had QR codes, beacons, we even had a digital billboard with Lucozade that synchronised with car radio adverts. All of these ideas have been successful, but it’s hard to know for how long. It makes fundraising difficult for creators of these new formats, no matter how great the idea is.”

Access to bank funding has often be hampered by a lack of understanding of the sector, not just in terms of trends but also business models and profitability.

“It can be difficult for banks and investors to understand how money is made in digital media; it can be quite abstract,” says Dale. “Over the next few years, I think financiers will start to understand the space a lot more. I think you’ll see good banks doing everything they can to learn about the opportunities in media and publishing, and how they can better support the sector.”

Royal Bank of Scotland is one bank who wants to support game-changing media businesses. Mark Middleton, corporate director, technology, media and service, explains: “We recognise that the media landscape is constantly changing and see just how important it is to innovate and identify new opportunities.

“At RBS, we have formed a specialist media team to work closely with companies in the media and tech sectors to understand their needs and tailor appropriate funding solutions. In order to achieve further growth and success, many companies require support with access to funding and it is here that we can support this sector.

“The forthcoming roundtable discussion will provide a great platform from which to understand the media and tech industry in much better detail – hearing from some key industry players about the things that really matter to them.”

Article courtesy of LondonLovesBusiness.com

Apple car to arrive by 2019

Fruity cargo cult Apple is speeding up its efforts to build an electric car, as interest in its overpriced consumer cash cow contemplates a future trip to the meat-works.
Sources in the Inner Sanctum of the cult have called it a “committed project” and set a target ship date for 2019.

Jobs’ Mob has spent more than a year investigating the feasibility of an Apple-branded car, including meetings with two groups of government officials in California. Leaders of the project, code-named Titan, have been given permission to triple the 600 person team.

Apple has hired experts in driverless cars, but the people familiar with Apple’s plans said its first electric vehicle will not be fully autonomous. Apple wants that to be part of the product’s long term plans, but admits that will take a bit longer.

Apple’s commitment is a sign that the company sees an opportunity to become a player in the automotive industry just as the money made in gadgets dries up. Apparently cars are similar technology in that they need batteries, sensors and hardware-software integration and manic fans who will buy anything.

So far the fruity cargo cult has not said anything, but that means we can expect about four years of hype from the Tame Apple Press. The timing is interesting as that is the period we think that iPhones have lost market share significantly.

Article courtesy of TechEye

Revionics selects Jurupa to assist with EMEA expansion

Revionics_EndtoEnd

Leading retail software solution provider Revionics have selected Jurupa as their sole supplier of recruitment services in EMEA. Under a full service RPO agreement, Jurupa is working in close partnership with the management teams located both in the US and Europe. Having successfully completed the hire of 2 Sales Directors in Europe, Jurupa are looking forward with great anticipation to helping Revionics achieve their ambitious growth plans for 2016.

Nick John, formerly of Dunnhumby & Marks and Spencer PLC has joined as Sales Director for Northern Europe whilst Marcelo Medina, formerly of Data Systems International and Kewill joins as Sales Director for Southern Europe.

Revionics is a proven leader in End-to-End Merchandise Optimization solutions. More than 40,000+ retail locations around the world optimize with Revionics across 18M+ products and 2.2B+ SKU/store combinations are modeled weekly. Revionics empowers retailers around the globe to profitably execute a data-driven omni-channel merchandising strategy by utilizing one of the most comprehensive set of shopper demand signals to increase financial performance and improve customer satisfaction. Revionics’ solutions are powered by unmatched demand-based science and advanced predictive analytics to help ensure retailers have the right product, price, promotion, placement and space allocation to drive business performance and seamless shopper experience – online, in-store, social and mobile. Delivered on a scalable, SaaS-based platform, Revionics solutions offer real-time insights and dynamic decisions at speed, scale and frequency, while providing fast ROI. Revionics has been recognized as a Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ and JMP Securities’ Hot 100 Software Company.

Worldwide leader in next generation TV advertising and data solutions selects Jurupa

BlackArrow-logoBlackArrow, the worldwide leader in next generation TV advertising and data solutions recently selected Jurupa to exclusively manage a key search in EMEA as part of their ambitious plans to expand into international markets.

Jurupa were engaged by BlackArrow on a retained basis and carried out a dedicated search campaign to identify a 2nd hire in the region.

The process involved the incorporation of a UK subsidiary and carried highly specific requirements and directions from the US board.

We are therefore delighted to welcome Elvio Caruana to the BlackArrow team, who joins from Cisco and will carry responsibility for managing all aspects of technical client engagement in EMEA.

Congratulations from the team @ Jurupa!

The career benefits of working for Tech start-ups

There is such a thing as a free lunch, but there are better reasons for choosing to work for a start-up over an established corporation, says the MD (EMEA) of tech company AdRoll.

Zen meditation rooms at Pinterest, free haircuts at Zynga and laundry services at Twitter. The perks of working at tech companies are the stuff of legend.

But there is far more on offer when working for tech start-ups than the perks you might find at their juggernaut counterparts – namely, the chance to stand out, climb the career ladder more quickly and be part of a business journey rather than just a cog in the machine.

Working for a tech start-up, with all of the pressures it entails, used to be considered a risky move. Now many professionals see they offer far more opportunity than a large company – greater responsibility, professional development and the chance to make a meaningful contribution.

AdRoll’s Ambassadors programme, for example, offers experienced “AdRollers” the chance to bring their knowledge of the retargeting platform as well as the company’s culture from an established office to a new one.

Most of the original Ambassadors came from San Francisco and New York to help launch offices in Dublin, London, and Sydney. However, this programme isn’t just limited to those in the States; the recent launch of the Tokyo office included a Dubliner whose only prerequisites for the post were enthusiasm and a love of AdRoll’s product and culture. How many corporations would let you make such a leap?

International relocation aside, there are also more opportunities to move through the business and experiment with different roles in a start-up.

Start-up staffers do tend to wear more hats than the average employee – whether that’s heading up both design and marketing, or juggling engineering and sales. These diverse experiences are more than just a cost-effective way to grow quickly, they are also valuable chances to explore different interests and grow a unique skill set within the business, rather than outside of it.

More than that, start-ups offer driven individuals the chance to solve problems that many larger companies haven’t been able to tackle. Take the advertising industry. It’s been the programmatic technology vendors, who focus all their resource on developing the most advanced algorithms for online advertising, who’ve excelled over the larger agencies and software organisations, where ad tech is only a part of what they do.

The opportunity to be part of such a fast-moving, agile business is what attracts many passionate and dedicated people to tech start-ups, whether they have the perks of Facebook or are still working out of a basement.
Good relationships and successful teams don’t necessarily need a free lunch in order to grow – it just helps.

Article courtesy of Michael Bertaut, Managing Director EMEA @ AdRoll

Innovative tech start-up seek out Jurupa to help take them to the next level

Due to our success with innovative tech start-ups, Jurupa was introduced to a highly regarded, early stage company that had just received a round of funding and was seeking to take their business to the next level. Based in the buzzing area of London known as “Silicon Roundabout,” the company sought advice from us on identifying some of the best available talent in London to become part of their initial sales team.

The brief was relatively straightforward – we were tasked with finding three of the capital’s very best business development professionals. These salespeople needed the ability to understand a brand new concept in an established market, an ability to evangelise a disruptive new business model and perhaps most importantly, to handle life working in a typical start-up (wearing different hats, changing gears, multi-tasking, maintaining energy, faith and belief in difficult times etc.)

To ensure a high level of qualification and subsequent suitability, we devised a “pre-interview” for selected candidates before introducing them to the client. This was driven by the client’s exacting requirements for their first on-the-ground sales team. The results speak for themselves, as 28 days after the initial meeting between us and our client, three offers of employment were made. Six months later, the company is growing at a frenetic pace, being shortlisted for multiple awards and gaining ever greater recognition for their innovative business model.

We are proud to have played a crucial part in supplying key employees to support the growth of this exciting organisation at a vital stage of their development. As this company continues to scale, we have received enquiries into the feasibility of outsourcing HR services, allowing the client to concentrate on business development and R&D. Via a carefully selected partner, we introduced a specialist services provider who is now responsible for providing professional employment law advice and ensuring compliance throughout the business.

The end result is a satisfied customer who began by speaking with us about straightforward recruitment services and is now aware of our full range of partner services!

Talk to us today to learn more about how we can help your business prosper all the way from incubation through to rapid scale and build out.

CA gets ‘agile’ with $480M purchase of Rally

Expanding into the field of agile software development, CA Technologies is acquiring programming tools and services company Rally Software for $480 million.

CA will add Rally’s technologies to its own roster of tools and services for project management.

Rally’s software and cloud services help teams manage complex software projects and include functionality for collaboration, managing projects and portfolios, diagnostic analysis, and platform integration.

Rally has shaped its products to work in agile development environments, in which teams of developers closely collaborate to build applications quickly. More than two-thirds of companies said that they plan to implement, or have already implemented, agile programming methodologies, according to a recent Forrester survey of 560 IT decision makers.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, and founded in 2001, Rally has more than 11,500 employees in 45 countries. It generated sales of $87.5 million in its most recent fiscal year. Its customers have included defense integrator Raytheon, cable company Comcast, and storage systems vendor EMC.

Although it maintains a considerable business in mainframe software, CA has branched out to offer a wider range of cloud and systems management technologies. For large teams, CA offers a variety of lifecycle management and change management products.

CA expects to close the transaction by the end of September.

This article is courtesy of ComputerWorld.