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Enter, Stage, Right

Unpacking company investment stages to help find your fit

Part One (of seven)

Growing big businesses is a well-worn path. While there are always ways to inject innovation and do things slightly differently, understanding each stage and phase of growth helps you choose companies and roles that can make your soul sing.

Company-fit is very much like investing. Getting onboard early brings with it great risk and potentially great reward. Waiting a while offers the sliding scale of more security with less upside. This sits alongside your propensity to take those risks and the nature of how you like to work.

Perhaps you thrive in a scrappy startup? Maybe you’re addicted to speed and seek an accelerating scale-up? Or, you prefer the ‘good life’ when things are more stable and you can focus on maximizing previous efforts.

No harm, no foul. It’s all up to you to place yourself in the right sea of change so you can happily deliver to expectations, given the resources available.

Over the next few weeks, in a series of seven articles, Good Soul Hunting will unpack the different stages of growth for you. So if you need a refresher on what a pre-seed is, the differences between Series A and Series E, or want to know what venture capitalists usually look for – hop on board. We’ve got you covered.

So let’s get going.

First, however, a caveat:

When it comes to evaluating businesses, what’s on the label doesn’t always reflect what’s in the bottle. It can be tough to tell if a company will be your cup of culture until you’re actually in the seat, doing the hustle. As perfect as it may look on paper and as good as it may sound in the interview, how do you know if the place and stage are right for you? It comes down to culture.

Glassdoor’s survey of 5,000 adults across the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany reveals just how crucial workplace culture is - “more than three-quarters (77%) of adults would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there.” Furthermore, a study by Robert Half discovered that “more than one-third of workers in the U.S. (35%) and Canada (40%) wouldn't accept a job that was a perfect match if the corporate culture clashed.”

On the flipside, Hays found that company culture was the main reason people would consider resigning, with “34% overall, listing it as the main motivator and 47% of active job seekers saying it is the reason they are leaving their current role”. The message – loud and clear.


So how do you find that elusive culture fit?

“The most powerful weapon on Earth is the human soul on fire.” – Ferdinand Foch, French general and military theorist

Understanding where a business is in its life cycle, along with the tensions and opportunities that accompany that, is a great place to start. Knowing the difference between Pre-Seed and Series C offers good clues in establishing if the fit will gel or jar.

In a previous blog, we showcased the mammoth opportunities for future-forward go-getters to make their dent in the sectors of health-tech, fit-tech, and well-tech. Let’s take a deeper look by dicing the main investment stages, from early-stage to hyper-growth. This will help you identify where you are most comfortable playing – what motivates you, your desire for order or disorder, and what vibe sets your soul on fire.

Look out for the Part 2 in this series, when we delve into the early start-ups – namely, those at the pre-seed and seed round stage.

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