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The Unicorn Dream: What’s Working and What Isn’t?

by Ant Sh
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The Unicorn Dream: What's Working and What Isn't?

For many startups, hitting unicorn status is a big item on the wishlist. However, as the tech industry continues to slow, so too has the number of new unicorns emerging — in 2022, just 47 companies reached unicorn status compared with 69 in the previous year. Despite a drop in funding, reaching that coveted unicorn title doesn’t have to be a lost cause.

In the latest edition of Sifted Talks organized by one of the leading media brands for the European startup community, Sifted, you can learn how cost management remains king when planning geographical growth, where and when to invest in your team and how opening communication channels with employees can prove fruitful in the long-term. The speakers team includes:

  • Tomáš Čupr, founder and group CEO at Rohlik, a grocery delivery startup and Prague-based unicorn;
  • Reshma Sohoni, cofounder and managing partner at Seedcamp, a European seed-stage venture capital fund based in London;
  • Brandon Deer, chief strategy officer at UiPath, which makes robotic process automation software and reached unicorn status in 2018;
  • Garrett Lawlor, vice-president of sales at Zendesk, a customer service software solution and unicorn.

Here are the key takeaways from the panel:

Be thoughtful about cost management

“In tougher times, the truth is that you need to be cost conscious — this means you need to follow a more standardized cost distribution curve in terms of the performance of your employees.”

Brandon Deer, UiPath

Clear communication is key for staff morale and trust

“You want the employees who are in it for the long term to be part of your company for the long run. The vast majority of them are in it to ensure that the company can win, that their teams can win, and that they individually can win along the way.”

Tomáš Čupr, Rohlik

Use cost analysis and data to plan expansion

“You’ve got to weigh up the cost to acquire and support regional expansion from a marketing and sales standpoint with the return you’re getting on it.”

Garrett Lawlor, Zendesk

Be intentional about what you’re working towards

“If you’re doing too much of one or if you’re too conservative, you could potentially be left behind. It is a balance, and Zendesk is right in the middle of it.”

Garrett Lawlor, Zendesk

Boost support for sales teams to stay aggressive

“If you double down on propensity and density and skillfully place some riskier bets, I think you’re in a place where you can both save money and come to a really great outcome.”

Brandon Deer, UiPath

The Source

Watch the full discussion here: