ASX-listed software startup LiveTiles has brought on former Microsoft global strategist Michael Maurer to lead its expansion in to Germany, Austria and Switzerland, off the back of the company raising $12 million in the last two months to expand its sales and marketing teams.
The startup, which provides digital workplace software for the commercial and education markets, is no stranger to international expansion, being headquartered in New York and having offices in Sydney, Hobart, London, Seattle, Tri-Cities in Washington State and Minneapolis.
The expansion into Germany, Austria and Switzerland — known as the “DACH” region — means the startup is entering “one of the largest economic regions in the world,” says LiveTiles’ Australian co-founder and chief executive Karl Redenbach.
Redenbach says expanding into the region, where LiveTiles plans to open an office in Zurich in the future, will situate LiveTiles next to some of the world’s largest multinationals that call the region home, including Nestle, Siemens, Novartis, Allianz, Volkswagen and Daimler.
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To spearhead the expansion, LiveTiles has appointed former Microsoft global strategist Michael Maurer, who has also previously served as a consultant for EDS/Hewlett-Packard and Avanade. Maurer, who Redenbach brought on to “bring deep relationships with large enterprises” and deliver “expertise in selling and delivering productivity solutions to customers” is now based in Europe and joins LiveTiles’ global team of 75 employees.
The appointment comes as LiveTiles expands its offerings internationally off the back of its $11 million capital raise last month, which was achieved through a “heavily oversubscribed” share placement, according to Redenbach. The raise was upscaled from its original $8 million goal to $11 million due to demand, and led by “institutional and high-net-worth investors”, he says. Earlier this month, the company raised a further $1 million through a share purchase plan and additional top-up placement.
LiveTiles was founded in 2014 and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in September 2015 through a reverse acquisition of Modun Resources Limited, raising $12 million at the time from institutional shareholders. Since bringing on its first customers two-and-a-half years ago, the company now has 366 customers and an annual subscription revenue growth rate of 293%, according to Redenbach, which brought the company’s subscription revenue to $4 million in the 2017 financial year.
How to get your “dream hire”
Maurer is not the only high-profile appointment recently secured by LiveTiles: this appointment follows the appointment of ex-Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft executive Doug Caywood and former Wal-Mart executive Kendra Bluhm to lead the startup’s US expansion in April this year.
In March this year, LiveTiles also added to its board senior Facebook executive Andy McKeon, who was also previously creative director at Apple.
So what’s the secret to the startup’s hiring success? Redenbach says the answer is simple: building long-term relationships.
“We have known Michael [Maurer] for some time given our close relationship with many senior Microsoft executives around the world,” Redenbach tells StartupSmart.
“That’s the trick — the longer you build your relationships with contacts, the deeper their experience becomes in their industries and the more valuabl[y] you’ll be able to leverage that relationship for your dream hire,” he advises.
Redenbach says finding a dream hire is also about dedicating time and effort into the recruitment process, particularly when establishing a team in a new market.
“Interview, interview, interview,” he says.
“It is very time consuming, but critical to find high quality people who will also be a great cultural fit.
“The early hires in a new market are the most important hires.”