By Martin Hauge
At Frog, we have the expertise to help ensure the best chance of success in scale-up. Although this varies from business to business, our experiences have taught us that there are some common factors. To be a successful CEO, you need an experienced and capable management team, robust and professional processes, and effective financial reporting. These elements, which underpin Frog’s scale-up methodology, are key to determining the value and hygiene elements that ensure a business is in the best possible position to scale.
Scale-up is by no means a simple process and anyone who has grown a successful business will testify to this. I am currently Frog’s chairman, and have experienced this process many times. I spent fifteen years as an entrepreneur, founder and CEO of technology businesses. I later switched to venture capital, and in doing so had the opportunity to work with many companies both in the start-up and scale-up phase. My involvement has been as both an angel investor and general partner of Creandum, one of the most successful VCs in the Nordics, with over 60 portfolio companies, including Spotify, Vivino and iZettle.
At Frog, we have a vested interest in the success of our portfolio companies. When a CEO is fully immersed in their business, they benefit from an expert external eye to help map where the real gaps are. This is what we do; help CEOs bridge their gaps to ensure they can scale in a sustainable way, providing extra support where they need it most.
Frog’s decision to invest in a company is based very much on the team, with personalities playing an important role along with concept. Our process differs significantly from many of our competitors. We consider how we can help a business grow from the earliest stages of due diligence, using scale-up diagnostics to identify exactly what the CEO needs to make quick wins from day one.
When Frog commits to invest in a company, it is because we believe we can add real value, beyond capital. Through our expertise, we act as a scale-up partner who delivers tangible benefits from the moment we are on board. Unlike larger VC counterparts with less time to devote to individual startups, Frog promises its startups an engaged and collaborative business partner.
Once invested, we tailor our support to match the unique needs of a business. We can help recruit a chairman and senior management team; ensure a board better serves the business; and introduce portfolio CEOs to other investment partners from our network. We will also assist with planning for a future exit, supporting each company as they create a strategic and operational roadmap through scale-up and beyond.
Our unique ecosystem and robust methodology helps deliver the apparatus our portfolio CEOs need to take their businesses to the next stage of growth. We are there to help with the heavy lifting, to ensure our portfolio companies have the organizational rigor and strategic direction to ensure they are fully prepared for an effective scale-up.