Podcast

Welcome to ‘How to Scale’, the podcast focused on helping purpose-led software companies to successfully Scale-Up hosted by the senior team members of Frog Capital.

For more than 10 years we have developed a solid understanding of the common challenges that scale-up companies face. With our group of operating partners, who have learnt from years of experience, we have created the Scale-Up Methodology, which brings together insights and tools to help improve companies’ probability of success of reaching sustainable profitability. Each podcast looks at a different challenge that all companies will face on their way to scale.

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We welcome all feedback, questions or topic suggestions for us to cover in future episodes, so please email us any time.

You can also listen on your favourite podcast platforms: Apple | Spotify | Audible

Season 2

Episode 5

In the 5th episode of the second season of Frog’s How to Scale podcast, Operating Partner James Bagan speaks with John Lord, serial chair, investor and advisor to scale up businesses, about structuring processes to enable successful sales scale-up.

John is currently chair at Red Flag Alert, Tred and Engage PSG Search, focusing on steering these companies through their scale-up journeys. He previously founded TruNarrative in 2016 until their successful acquisition in 2021. Prior to that he was Group Managing Director at GBG Plc, helping to take the business from a valuation of £18M to a listing on AIM of £1Billion.

In our conversation we cover:

  • The importance and value of process
  • Understanding the difference between KPIs and Standard Operating Procedures
  • Implementing Minimum Standard Operating Procedures to enable effective sales
  • Adopting a sales playbook to deliver Minimum Standard Operating Procedures
  • The criticality of discovery in the sales process
  • Utilising high gain and low gain questions to get closer to the customer
  • Nature versus nurture in sales people

Episode 4

In the 4th episode of the second season of Frog’s How to Scale podcast, Senior Partner Mike Reid speaks with Dawn Marriott, Partner at Hg Capital, about effectively developing the leadership team as you progress through the different stages of scale-up.

Dawn focuses on the CEO community at Hg Capital, driving growth and operational effectiveness within their portfolio. She acts as a serial Exec Chair with a particular emphasis on driving change, growth and C suite succession. Previously she headed up Hg’s Portfolio team and was CEO in Hg investments Kinapse and Azets. Prior to that she was Group COO at Capita plc; where she was part of the team for almost 20 years who grew the business to being one of the largest companies in the UK at that time.

In our conversation we cover:

  • The right skillsets for different stages of growth
  • Confident leadership through difficult conversations
  • The Scars and Stripes Brigade – Building an experienced network you can trust for guidance
  • Building out the right team by identifying blind spots
  • Asking for feedback to grow self-awareness in your team
  • Authenticity and kindness when exiting people
  • The chair as a tool to help the CEO be successful
  • Communicating your purpose effectively to find the right fit when recruiting

 

Episode 3

In the 3rd episode of the second season of Frog’s How to Scale podcast, Senior Partner Steven Dunne speaks with Matthew Elson, CEO of Evotix, about how entrepreneurs can create a purposeful business that builds sustainable profitability through the scaling journey.

Matthew has been CEO at Evotix since buying the business for £1 in 2011 and has continuously grown 30-40% year-on-year under Matthew’s leadership, transforming how companies manage Health, Safety & Risk, and engaging with their employees to deliver safe, nurturing and compliant workplaces. Frog invested in Evotix in January 2020 when they had reached £6m ARR and were acquired in May 2023 by which time they had reached profitability and passed £20m ARR.

In our conversation we cover the use of unit economics and the ‘Rule of 40’ to monitor performance as you scale. In addition, the key idea of splitting the business in two is discussed, to enable the margins from the profitable customer base to fund the growth of the loss-making part acquiring new customers. Matthew also shares his approach to fulfilling purpose in the business to drive long-term growth as well as his experience of selecting an acquisition partner with aligned values.

 

Episode 2

In the 2nd episode of the second season of Frog’s How to Scale podcast, Senior Partner Mike Reid speaks with Dale Murray CBE about how entrepreneurs can work as effectively as possible with their boards and how they can mentor and coach their own senior teams to collaborate at board level.

Dale is an experienced board director to global technology businesses and a successful tech entrepreneur. She is currently on the board for 6 companies, including Xero, the cloud accountancy software business. Earlier in her career, Dale co-founded Omega Logic which launched mobile phone “top-ups” in the UK in 2001. Within 5 years their gross transaction revenue reached £450m p.a. and she completed the sale of the company to First Data Corporation.

In our conversation we cover how entrepreneurs should approach introducing and working with a board. We also discuss building relationships inside and outside the boardroom, utilising the board’s experience to spot threats and using a chair as a bridge between the board and the management team. Dale also shares some of her own boardroom experiences from her time as an entrepreneur.

Episode 1

In the 1st episode of the second season of Frog’s podcast, How to Scale, Senior Partner Mike Reid hosts and speaks to Martin Leuw about the role of purpose in software scale-ups.

Martin is a serial software entrepreneur with a 25-year track record of creating significant tangible value to PE and Founders through leading business growth. As Group CEO of IRIS Software Group, over a 10 year period, Martin led the scale-up growth from £2m to £50m EBITDA pa and Enterprise Value from £30m to $1bn, delivering a 90% IRR exit to the PE backers.

In our conversation we discuss how Martin used the role of purpose as a key catalyst to scale-up his businesses and discover tangible takeaways that can be applied to your scale-up journey.

Episodes 1 to 12 from Season 1 continue below

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Episode 12

In the twelfth episode of ‘How to Scale’, we focus on ‘building a strong collaborative culture’. Host Jens Düing speaks with Frog’s in-house psychologist, John Sutherland.

John is one of Frog’s Operating Partners and is a specialist leadership team development consultant. He works with the companies Frog invests in to assess their senior teams, assist with new key hires and develop team culture.

In our conversation we dive deeper into topics including building team culture and language, the rules of belonging, fostering an environment for robust contention, nurturing, strong collaboration, teamwork, and dealing with difference.

You can find more content from John at https://frogcapital.com/profile/john-sutherland/ as well as many other Scale-Up insights and toolkits from our other Frog operating partners.

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Episode 11

In the 11th episode of How to Scale, host Jens Düing speaks to Adam Hale about the 5 things software companies need to focus on at the same time, to set them on their way to ‘Scaling to Market Leadership’.

Adam is the Chair of 3 companies, including Clue Software, one of the companies Frog has invested in. He has had successful careers in executive search and professional services, as well as successfully scaling a business called Fairsail from 13 people and £700k ARR to over 200 people and £12 million ARR before being acquired by Sage Group.

In our conversation we’ll cover the 5 areas Adam concentrates on with the businesses he chairs, which are purpose, focus, customer success, innovation and team.

We cover these topics extensively in Frog’s library of Scale-Up toolkits, other episodes of the podcasts and many other Scale-Up insights from our Frog operating partners. Go to frogcapital.com/scale-up for more.

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Episode 10

In the tenth episode of How to Scale, host Jens Düing speaks to fellow Senior Partner, Mike Reid about the steps for software companies to follow to increase the chances of ‘Being Successfully Acquired’.

Mike founded Frog Capital in 2009 and has been investing in businesses for over 20 years and overseen the sale and acquisition of over 50 companies in that time.

In our conversation we’ll cover topics including building value sustainably, shareholder and stakeholder alignment, corporate communications, mastering due diligence, and most importantly of all; planning well in advance.

Listen now

Toolkit

You can also find Mike’s accompanying toolkit, ’11 Steps to Being Successfully Acquired’ here as well as many other Scale-Up insights and toolkits from our Frog operating partners, here.

Episode 9

In the ninth episode of How to Scale we focus on scaling HR through fast growth. Host Jens Düing speaks to Ulli Dittgen-Noweski, who is Chief People & Communications Officer of Caspar Health, one of Frog Capital’s portfolio companies.

Ulli has a wealth of experience in HR leadership roles across the world, having worked for BMG, MSD and Schering-Plough Research Institute amongst others before joining Caspar Health.

In the conversation we cover putting the right HR processes, policies and structures in place to enable growth. We also talk about how to develop buy-in by making staff feel heard, attracting and recruiting the right talent and navigating cultural differences.

Episode 8

In the eighth episode of ‘How to Scale’ we discuss the role of the Chair at software companies through the scale-up stage. Host Jens Düing speaks with fellow Senior Partner, Mike Reid, and Frog’s in-house psychologist and Team Development Operating Partner, John Sutherland, who have put together a Chairing Framework, which forms the basis for our discussion.

Put together in collaboration with Frog’s wider network of Chairs, it examines the five key elements a Chair will focus on:

  1. Strategic time horizon
  2. Balancing Stakeholder focus
  3. Governance/ Mentoring approach
  4. Adaptive/ Intentional style
  5. Development strategy

You can find more information about Frog’s Chairing Framework by downloading the accompanying scale-up toolkit here.

Episode 7

In the seventh episode of How to Scale we focus on mergers and acquisitions. Host Jens Düing speaks to serial entrepreneur Michael Kent, who was the CEO of Azimo, one of our former portfolio companies, which recently was acquired by Papaya Global.’

In the conversation we cover growth strategies with mergers and acquisitions, including what to focus on if you’re looking to acquire for the first time and a reminder that the process does not finish when the transaction is completed. We also talk about the difference in skill sets between organic growth and acquisitive growth, and the importance of focusing on people and relationships before, during and after any deal.

If you’d like to read further content on mergers and acquisitions, you can download Frog’s toolkit on Growth Strategies with M&A.

Episodes 1 to 6 continue below

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Episode 6

In the sixth episode of How to Scale, host Jens Düing speaks to fellow Senior Partner at Frog Capital, Steven Dunne about Scaling Finance Teams.

In the conversation we cover topics including the organisation and process of scaling the finance function, and why engagement with the rest of the business is fundamental to success.

If you’d like to read content from Steven, go to Scale-Up Insights where you will find articles and toolkits from him and Frog’s other operating partners.

Episode 5

In the fifth episode of How to Scale we focus on the glue that holds everything together and serves as the secret sauce to success for any business, especially at the Scale-Up phase – teamwork. Host Jens Düing speaks to Operating Partner and ‘in-house psychologist’ at Frog Capital, John Sutherland.

John is one of Frog’s Operating Partners and is a specialist leadership team development consultant. He works with the companies Frog invests in to assess their senior teams, assist with new key hires and develop team culture.

In our conversation we discuss the common pitfalls in team development and what strong teams do to address them. We cover topics including diversity, dealing with different styles and approaches, and how leaders can evaluate their own behaviour, team dynamics and the fit with the business strategy and purpose continuously.

You can find more content from John as well as many other Scale-Up Insights & Toolkits from our other Frog operating partners.

Episode 4

In the fourth episode of How to Scale we follow last episode’s focus on the recent tech downturn with the perfect antidote that lies at Frog’s core – scaling businesses sustainably. Host Jens Düing speaks to fellow Senior Partner at Frog Capital, Steven Dunne.

Steven is Frog’s CFO and heads up our operating partner programme. He has over 20 years’ experience working in private equity backed businesses and private equity companies themselves. He works closely with the CFO’s at the companies Frog has invested in.

In the conversation we cover topics including balancing growth and profitability, how purpose impacts a business, strong leadership and strategic financial management and planning.

If you’d like to read content from Steven, he has written several great pieces available in the CFO section of Scale-Up Insights where you can find many other toolkits from our other Frog operating partners.

Episode 3

In the third episode of How to Scale we focus on the recent tech downturn and how entrepreneurs can best react to market volatility. Host Jens Düing speaks to fellow Senior Partner at Frog Capital, Mike Reid.

Mike has been investing in software companies for over 20 years and ridden out the dot com bubble and the global recession of 2008/9 when he started Frog Capital.

In the conversation we cover topics including aligning board and shareholder priorities and managing changes and communicating them with the wider team.

Episode 2

In the second episode of How to Scale we speak to Andrew Betteley, an Operating Partner at Frog Capital, about ‘Scaling technology products and teams’. Andrew has been leading software development projects and teams for 20 years as a CTO and consultant having started as a developer and engineer.

In our conversation we’ll cover topics including scaling system architecture to prevent performance throttling and how a CTO transitions from being involved in everything to delegating effectively.

Episode 1

In the first episode of How to Scale we talk to James Bagan, an Operating Partner at Frog Capital, who specialises in sales and marketing. James started out many years ago in sales and went on to lead Private Equity backed businesses as a CEO. James covers topics including moving from founder sales to hiring a sales leader and a sales team, avoiding reliance on star performers, establishing consistency and predictability, and answering the all important question: what is the most important KPI in sales?

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