Nicole Sahin – Ceo of Globalization Partners Talks to us about the $150 Million Investment that will help further accelerate the company’s global growth
Congratulations on Globalization Partners’ recent funding of $150 million with UK-based TDR Capital, Wincove Private Holdings, and Sands Capital! Can you elaborate on the investment and your logic behind the move?
Over the years, there have been numerous investment offers on the table. As the company was growing so quickly, I would talk to an investor and then walk away. It never felt worth it to pause our growth in order to bring in an outside party. However, as we continue to scale, it becomes crucial we have a formalized board representing outside shareholders who can provide additional oversight. Mike McGovern from Wincove is a good friend of mine and he introduced me to John Rosen from TDR Capital, which led to us putting this deal together, along with participation by Sands Capital. Globalization Partners—with our unique legal and tax infrastructure that forms the basis of our Global Expansion Platform™—sailed through due diligence, and this is something I am very proud of. In fact, TDR normally only invests in multibillion-dollar companies and their legal team was very impressed by us; it’s unusual for them to show interest in a company of our size. Their belief in us demonstrates that we have built a global employer of record platform that can withstand the scrutiny of world-class investors. Having a team of that calibre that believes in us is a testament to what we have built and what we stand for.
You announced Globalization Partners intends to use the investment to grow the company—particularly client services, technology, and expansion. Can you tell our readers a little bit more about your plans?
Our priority is building out a robust customer service ahead of growth, which is critical in maintaining our 95% client satisfaction ratings. I believe technology is at the forefront, but at the end of the day, there will always be people behind everything we do because we are a people-centric business. We ultimately take care of our clients’ teams around the globe. Nevertheless, if you don’t automate your solution and allow your clients to manage everything right from their fingertips, you are always going to be behind in terms of usability. Therefore, enhancements to technology is an ongoing priority. We have already tripled the size of our sales and marketing team within the last six months, and we will continue to expand that team further. Looking forward, Globalization Partners will soon be announcing some key strategic partnerships.
You built the company solely on revenue, contrary to Silicon Valley’s usual funding method. Does this latest investment signal a change in business model or strategy?
It doesn’t signal any changes in our business model or strategy, because we would have built the business with or without the investment. That said, it’s highly unusual for most entrepreneurs to be as aggressive as I have without outside investment, so it does signal more of that to come. Having an external board, however, does provide another layer of management and oversight. It will hold us even more accountable from an outside lens, to all our stakeholders. That said, we have always worked with world class advisors, like EY and Deloitte, so there has always been significant oversight in place.
Globalization Partners has a very strong valuation, and your investors possess an exciting portfolio of high value companies in their funds. Being in such company clearly indicates the investors’ admiration for Globalization Partners. What opportunities does this present going forward?
I think the opportunity in the market is vast and largely untapped. We have proven that a market exists, but we haven’t even scratched the surface yet! For example, if a UK company wants to hire employees in Brazil, they would normally have to figure out how to do business in Brazil which includes setting up a local company, learning about in-country employment laws, and managing payroll in Brazil. When they work with Globalization Partners, they can skip all of that and go directly to market with their first employee. We put their professional on our payroll, so the client instantly has a locally compliant way to employ people in more than 170 countries.
A commitment to employee and customer satisfaction has been a central value of Globalization Partners, implementing your ‘Triple Bottom Line’ philosophy. Do you anticipate any challenges to this concept as you scale?
I do not, and this is a key point. I was just talking to another organisation about the importance of negotiating terms, as I would never agree to do something that I didn’t feel 100% right about. Our clients range from $15million-$1billon a year in revenue, and they are usually high growth, international, and professionally managed companies. I don’t want to run a company where I’m not taking care of my clients, customers, and employees. The investors performed their due diligence in the company, and it proved something that I had suspected all along – our clients are willing to pay a premium for our services because of our approach. They see the overwhelming advantage to our philosophy and rely heavily on us. When clients work with Globalization Partners, they are outsourcing their global legal infrastructure. We are dedicated to delivering the highest quality to them and our investors.
Nicole, you are retaining full control and direction moving forward. Can you tell European Business Magazine’s readers about any future partnerships or plans for Globalization Partners?
Five years from now, we will fundamentally change how companies go global and will be the market leader in this industry. We are excited to start providing our comprehensive solution to the European market, with our sales headquarters in London. Many people still don’t know that this business model exists, but they will!