At Renaissance we have many years of experience in helping our clients create successful teams. Below are some examples of clients who we have collaborated with, through different growth stages of their business, to create success.
We received a phone call from Alex Chesterman in late 2018.
Renaissance have been working with Alex since he first set-up Zoopla back in 2008, hiring executives onto his leadership team from inception, through to their IPO in 2014, and right up until the sale of the business to PE giant Silverlake for £2.2bn in 2018.
Having been told by Alex that he was unlikely to start a new business after Zoopla, we were (not entirely) surprised to hear that Alex was setting out to disrupt the used car market with his new, well-funded business, Cazoo.
The brief: to help Alex build a world class leadership team of the highest quality, as fast as possible.
Fast forward six months to mid-2019 and Renaissance could reflect on a job well done with 11 industry heavy weights hired into leadership roles at Cazoo. These hires included digital technology industry leaders such as; Jonathan Howell (from Made.com) as CTO, Darren Bentley, (from Moneysupermarket) as Chief Customer Officer, and, Alex Gersh (from Betfair) as CFO plus auto industry leaders such as Tony Long (from Tesla) as Operations Director and Kevin Harding (Autotrader) as Pricing Director.
Cazoo plans to launch formally in the UK towards the end of this year and aims to make buying a used car no different to buying any other product online today by letting consumers select from thousands of cars online and have it delivered to their door in as little as 48 hours.
"These latest hires each bring with them deep retail and digital experience and proven track records in their respective fields. Thanks to the efforts of Renaissance we have now assembled a genuinely world class senior management team at Cazoo, and we are now entirely focused on delivering the UK's best used car buying experience."
Alex Chesterman, Founder and CEO
For more information visit www.cazoo.co.uk
Currencycloud was formed in 2012 to monetise a cross border trading platform that had been created within FX Capital Group. At its inception, a syndicate led by Atlas Venture, Anthemis Group and Silicon Valley Bank provided a Series A funding round of $8M and Mike Laven, a serial Fintech CEO, joined to lead the business.
It was quickly apparent to Mike that whilst the company’s technology approach was sound, a significant re-platforming was required to manage the increasing volume of transactions running through the platform. The re-platforming exercise was successfully delivered by our first hire into the business, a new VP Engineering.
Once the technology platform was stable and scalable the company’s next task was to begin to commercialise. To kick-start this, we hired a CPO/CMO to build the product offering and to raise awareness of the brand. Subsequent hires over the coming years included a VP of Sales, CFO, CTO and most recently CRO.
During this time Currencycloud has gone through three further funding rounds, raising more than $80M and has cemented its position as one of the UKs hottest Fintech businesses.
“Over the years Renaissance have always delivered high calibre executives for us to select and they continue to be a valued partner as Currencycloud aggressively expands. Sebastian has worked tirelessly against some tough briefs and has now helped us build most of our senior team. I would have no hesitation in recommending Renaissance’s services”.
Mike Laven, CEO Currencycloud
For more information visit www.currencycloud.com
In 2018 Renaissance started to work with Madrid based, digital property rental business Spotahome and their charismatic founder Alejandro Artacho. On the back of some amazing fund raising and hyper growth internationally, Alejandro wanted to build a new leadership team and to pivot that team to London from Madrid.
Founded in 2014, Spotahome is one of the most exciting high growth consumer internet companies to emerge in the past decade. The company’s mission is to reinvent real estate and change the way of renting forever by delivering the best consumer rental experience.
The company is uniquely successful at building the trust of users who are being asked to take out a contract for accommodation they have never viewed in person. The level of user engagement is extraordinary with the company having 6 times the Trustpilot user feedback of its leading competitor despite being founded only 4 years ago.
Operational in 17 countries and 33 cities the business employs more than 400 people and has recently relocated its HQ to London where the new C-level suite is located.
Spotahome has raised $72 million of growth capital to date. In June 2018, they closed a B round backed by KPCB, Passion Capital and Seaya Ventures. Investors also include Travis Kalanick and Emil Michael (Founder and CBO Uber), Drew Houston (Founder & CEO Dropbox), Arthur Kosten (Co Founder Booking.com) and Klaus Nyengaard (Founder Just Eat).
Alejandro Artacho worked extensively with Renaissance to create the optimal scalable organisational structure and to build a senior management team with the depth of experience to create a global category leader in the digitisation of the property rental marketplace. Working with Renaissance, Spotahome has hired Balaji Nageswaran (SVP HelloFresh and former Amazon Director in Seattle) as their Chief Product Officer, Cleo Sham (Regional Director of Operations EMEA at Uber) as their Chief Operating Officer, Amanda Symonds (former VP Marketing at Trip advisor) as Chief Growth Officer, and, Alan Burns (former CFO at Photobox) as Chief Financial Officer.
For more information visit www.spotahome.com
Founded in Utah in 2002, Qualtrics spent it's first 10 years as a bootstrapped, founder led business. In 2012, Sequoia and Accel Venture co-invested in their largest single joint syndicate with a Series A funding round of $70M. Their initial market entry strategy for Europe was to build a significant inside sales organisation in Dublin, Ireland. Whilst this operation proved to be highly successful it became apparent that to successfully grow their enterprise client, a new direct sales organisation would need to be established. The decision was taken to base this operation in London and EVP Global Sales John D'Agostino appointed Renaissance to undertake the search.
We conducted a highly efficient and rapid process that resulted in the appointment of Simon O'Kane as initially VP Enterprise Sales EMEA but with a clear mandate that he would soon take over all the European operations. Having put the cornerstones in place, we were then asked to go to market to find a leader for the marketing organisation. Once again the process was swift and successful and resulted in the appointment of Caroline Mogford as Marketing Director EMEA. Caroline had spent the previous seven years with Google in a variety of EMEA marketing leadership positions. Building on this success, our Menlo Park operation was asked to engage at Headquarters in Utah, and over the next 12 months conducted searches for VP Demand Marketing and Head of Product Marketing. Again, these searches proved to be highly successful resulting in the placement of Peter Francis and Sahil Sethi.
During the time that we worked together, Qualtrics raised a further $330M and exited in January 2019 to SAP in an all cash deal for $8Bn. This represented the largest independent SaaS acquisition in history.
"Seb is as good as they come in the executive search world. For me he has been a great thought partner, an organized thinker, and has relentlessly pursued and achieved our desired outcomes. His sense of urgency and understanding about the need to hold a very high bar are impeccable".
John D'Agostino, EVP Global Sales
For more information visit www.qualtrics.com
As one of Europe’s leading Fintech start-ups, GoCardless is on a mission to take the pain out of getting paid for businesses with recurring revenue. By creating a global bank debit network; to rival credit and debit cards, they have built an optimised platform for taking invoice, subscription, membership and instalment payments. Their API powers recurring payments from more than 40,000 businesses around the world such as The Guardian and TripAdvisor, and also enables partners such as Xero, Sage and QuickBooks to save huge amounts of time on tasks like payment reconciliation.
Now processing more than $10bn a year in annual transactions, the business has offices in UK, EU, US and Australia and is backed by some of the world’s leading investors including Adams Street Partners, Accel Partners, Balderton Capital, GV, Notion Capital, Passion Capital and Y Combinator.
“Renaissance has proved instrumental in hiring a wide variety of leadership roles for GoCardless. They’ve been able to source some top candidates, all with deep digital expertise, excellent academics and strong leadership and people skills. Their team have developed a clear understanding of the special profile needed to join a very traditional and operational industry sector and have the capacity to help transform it into a 21st century enterprise.”
Hiroki Takeuchi, Founder, CEO
For more information visit www.gocardless.com
Soldo, a London based fintech startup, address the gap that currently exists between traditional banking organisations and the needs of their commercial customers. Their initial approach is to provide a multi user spending account, complete with MasterCard cards and supported with an intuitive SaaS platform enabling straightforward administration and effortless reporting. Soldo was founded and is led by the CEO Carlo Gualandri, a highly successful Italian technology entrepreneur with a track record of building and exiting businesses in the world of Media (Virgilio), Banking (Fineco), and Gaming (Giococ Digitale). In July 2019, Soldo raised a significant Series B round of $61m taking total funding to $82m - the largest to date for a fintech in spend management.
"Working with Sebastian and Renaissance has been one of the best decisions of the year. His support for our C Level executive searches has been outstanding, from brainstorming about the organisation, to selecting high quality candidates to closing really good hires that were the best we could have aimed for. I am looking forward to continuing our relationship."
Carlo Gualandri, Founder and CEO
For more information visit www.soldo.com
Matches Fashion, founded over 20 years ago, is an established pillar of high-end fashion retail in London and of the UK fashion industry, and more recently has become one of the most exciting and fastest growing Ecommerce businesses in the world.
The business services the global market with over 450 international designer labels across womenswear and menswear, with names including Prada, Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Halpern, and ships to customers in over 170 countries worldwide.
Renaissance was appointed by Founder Tom Chapman and CEO Ulric Jerome to build out their technology leadership function as it scaled up for global growth.
“We have been using Renaissance for some key leadership hires at Matchesfashion.com. Tony and the Renaissance team really spent the time to understand our personality in order to maximise the success of each search they took on. A number of these key roles report to me directly and because Tony really understands my management style we were able to secure some great hires!”
Ulric Jerome, CEO
For more information visit www.matchesfashion.com
In 2008, the Zoopla website transformed the property portal landscape with the introduction of a highly differentiated proposition providing data and delivering transparency to empower consumers to make smarter property decisions
Today, Zoopla Property Group Plc owns and operates some of the UK’s most trusted and effective home-related digital platforms including Zoopla, uSwitch, Property Software Group and Hometrack. Their mission is to provide the most useful resources for consumers when finding, moving or managing their home and be the most effective partner for property industry related businesses.
ZPG was acquired in July 2018 for £2.2bn by Silver Lake Partners, a US private equity firm specialising in technology investments.
“Zoopla prides itself on the strength of its senior management team and, since our launch in 2008, Renaissance has played an important role in helping us fill some key positions within that team. Tony and his team have an excellent understanding of the skills required to fit into a fast-paced start-up environment and have introduced candidates who have fast become an integral part of our business.”
Alex Chesterman, Founder and CEO
For more information visit www.zpg.co.uk
Finding great leadership is extremely difficult and critically important to creating sustainable growth in any company. Seb and Renaissance Leadership makes that task much easier. Seb does a very good job of understanding and calibrating with what is needed for each role, the company objectives and culture, and experience needed to ensure the candidate and company are successful. He does not just send you resumes or use the same bench of talent. His thoughtful and purposeful approach separates him and the firm from any of firm I have used in Europe.
Ex-SVP WW Sales and Operations, Apigee
Since Seatwave's launch in 2007, Renaissance has been integral to the creation and development of a strong management team. As a growing business striving to be a leader in our marketplace, we have relied on Tony and his team's expertise to help us find the right people to match the fast paced environment we operate in. They have consistently delivered high calibre candidates who are right on brief and who have proved to be real assets to the business. We would highly recommend Renaissance to others.
Founder and Former CEO, Seatwave.com
We just completed an exceptional VP EMEA search with Renaissance. From initial engagement, through to the closing and referencing of the selected candidate, the speed, sense of urgency and attention to detail has been nothing short of excellent. Even when unforeseen circumstances arose during the search, the team reacted swiftly ensuring the process remained on track and was driven to a successful conclusion. I have been working with recruiters for some 20 years and can tell you this has been as good an experience as I have had in my career in partnering. I am delighted with our new EMEA VP and would not hesitate to work with Sebastian again.
EVP WW Sales and Operations, Carbon Black
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