From Series A to B
It’s a typical Tuesday morning at Vungle, SF. We crowd into the common area, turn on the old big screen and wave to our slightly pixelated coworkers across the pond in London, Berlin and Pakistan. The rest of us here in San Francisco squish together on the two tired old couches we bought off Craigslist ages ago, and pack tightly into the room — remembering back to the days when the office still seemed spacious.
Someone bangs the giant gong and we’re all stunned into silence as Zain commences our Tuesday call. He is wide-eyed and grinning, always seemingly in awe of how much we’ve grown and how far we’ve come.
We’ve learned a lot since our seedling days, but we’ve still got the hustle that turned a single idea into a once in a lifetime offer and two one way tickets from London to San Francisco. One TV series, two rounds of funding, and a packed room full of Vunglers later, we enter into our Series B excited, hopeful and ready take the leap into new territory.
We chat about the journey that led us to today and Zain reflects on Vungle’s evolution, stating, “As we’ve grown, we’ve realized how small we really are. We’ve always felt invincible, but as we’ve matured we’ve become much more self-aware. We’ve surpassed all of our own expectations, upgraded our visions and reset the bar. Our definition of what success looks like to us has completely changed — we’ve always dreamed big, but now we truly can, and this time we are planning on changing the industry and the world around us.”
Bold statement, you say? Probably. But, we are Vungle — we are bold. We’re hustlers and we’re here to make a name for ourselves. The challenges we face now are maintaining the hustle culture, finding new awesome people and scaling that “Vungle-ness” into an ever-growing company.
How do we plan on doing this? Here are three things we’ve learned from Series A to B:
1. Hire people that share your vision
We have hired an expert talent team made up of five people from top companies including Apple, Google and LinkedIn. Together they are committed to hiring folks who will help build our infrastructure without stifling the creativity and drive that are so essentially Vungle.
We’ve managed to maintain this culture as we grew from ten to fifty employees, now we need to learn to scale that same culture from fifty to one hundred fifty. We always want to nurture the creativity, ingenuity and hustle that brought us here, and we’ll do that by hiring people who value that in a career.
2. Invest in infrastructure for the long term:
We are now at the point where we know how to create a business, the question now is how do we expand that business?
In our series A we learned to focus our skills and fine tune our strengths. We know we are excellent at building and maintaining relationships with our customers, but as we expand we are going to be diving into uncharted territory. To do this we need to hire people who are experts in the field — people who know what they’re doing and who share our vision and our drive.
When it comes to large enterprises, it’s not only about having a good product, it’s about fitting into the overall infrastructure of a company from marketing to engineering to accounting and we need skills and a strategy to do that.
We are part of a fast-paced, competitive market where the successful companies are going to continue to grow, while the others fall away — Vungle is not going to stop growing anytime soon.
3. Raise money before you need it:
Money in the bank is a powerful thing. You might be wondering why Vungle raised a Series B when we didn’t need the money.
Raising money when it’s not essential to your lifeblood puts you in a really great position. Because we were not desperate for funding, we were able to pick who we wanted to work with. We are now working with our dream investors and are able to upgrade our vision and ambition because we are very comfortable financially.
This means we can focus on the things that matter to us most without endless bank statements looming over our heads. We plan on using the money we raised in our Series B to build out amazing new monetization technology and raise the bar for the industry as a whole.
We’ve learned so much from our Series A to our Series B, and will continue to grow in the years to come. One day, probably very soon, we will outgrow our little common area, our old Craigslist couches will collapse, and we won’t be able to fit all of our global offices on one big screen. Things will undoubtedly change, and we will all have to learn to adapt. But one thing is certain; we will always be Vunglers, proud to be part of a company built off of drive, creativity and hustle, working towards a common vision and with an ambition to change the world around us.From Series A to B by Sofie Singer