How Recently Funded Companies Are Investing in People

Talent acquisition and tech leaders share how they are prioritizing talent after funding rounds.

Written by Parissa DJangi
Published on Sep. 21, 2022
How Recently Funded Companies Are Investing in People
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Funding rounds put money in the bank – and they are opportunities for growth, too, when companies can sharpen their goals and invest in the talent that will help achieve them. 

As a result, tech companies are often strategic about how they use funding dollars to support talent. Being strategic means being clear about an organization’s needs, since no two companies have the exact same ones in the wake of a funding round. If they are hoping to roll out a new product, for example, they may intend to hire engineers with the technical expertise to support that goal. Or, if companies intend to connect with new markets and potential customers, they may seek out marketing professionals who can build targeted campaigns. 

Even as many of them prioritize new roles or hope to attract fresh talent, some companies prefer to invest in their current talent, and funding rounds can also create opportunities to make employees feel valued. Investments in employee well-being or company culture are important ways to support them during times of growth. 

With so many different ways to prioritize spending, we spoke with talent acquisition and tech leaders from recently funded companies to learn about how they are investing in people.

 

A group of employees from Twelve stand in two rows together, and they are all wearing dark shirts
Twelve

In the news: Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Berkeley, California, Twelve uses C02, not fossil fuels, to produce chemicals and reduce emissions. The company announced its most recent financial win in June 2022, with $130 million in Series B funding. 

Kylin Ellison, Head of Talent, explained how the company is growing while staying true to its core values.

What key hires are you looking to make post-funding and why?

“I wouldn’t say there are singular roles which are critical, but rather the funding has unlocked capabilities for every team in relation to Twelve’s goals. Our Technology Development team will now have the capability to focus on innovation as well as scale. Our Productization team is quickly growing and tasked with the lofty goal of future high volume production, and we’ve got a whole suite of support functions that Twelve is prioritizing in preparation for scale. 

“That being said, there are a couple of leadership hires coming down the pike (CPO and CFO) that I’m personally excited about. Prioritizing a Chief People Officer is going to help Twelve further iterate upon our people-centric culture.” 

How are you investing in your current employees?

“We think about people investment in a few different ways: 

“Challenging & Engaging work: One of the best and most important ways to keep our employees excited about coming to work every day is to align their work with personal passions. At Twelve, we have the fortune of being a company with a hugely impactful mission that every employee can relate to at a human level. However, that’s not enough. We also want to make sure we connect every employee’s day to day with that mission. 

“Growth & Learning: There has been a strong commitment to iteration, learning and growth since before my time at Twelve. I believe it’s something our founders prioritized in the foundation of Twelve’s culture, and it remains one of our values. We’ve begun to think about formalizing career growth and learning paths at this stage of company for exactly that reason. Our aim is to bring evolution to individual employee careers while also having a worldwide impact on climate. Employee experience is often dependent upon the experience with their direct managers, so we’re spending time and effort upskilling our managers to ensure they’re all equipped to be beacons of Twelve culture. 

“Experience: Work should be fun, and I love that Twelve creates opportunities for employees to enjoy each other. There’s always an upcoming food-truck day, employee celebration, team-building activity or company event. There’s a nice balance between hard work and joyous occasions.”

How are you maintaining your company culture in a time of growth?

“This one is tricky because, ultimately, I believe our culture has to change as we scale. Granted, there are pieces of it that we will intentionally bring with us. But what was once a 30-person startup with everyone working in the same lab just isn’t the case anymore at almost 200 employees. As we scale to multiple locations, build out new functions and add new people to the team, culture will need to change to accommodate. For me, the excitement and power is in the ‘how.’ 

“The team is already starting to build out tools/processes to automate some work that is currently manual to free up individuals to do the hard and creative work. 

“As we scale, we welcome all team members to be active participants in building out company values that influence the way we work and collaborate.”

In which cities are you currently hiring for tech roles?

“Today, our HQ is in Berkeley, California, and the bulk of our hiring for tech is still in the Bay Area.”

 

Highline employees appear in two separate pictures
Highline

In the news: Highline, based in Plano, Texas, announced in August 2022 that it had raised $13 million in Series A funding, which will in part support the fintech company’s mission to help their customers manage payments.  

Gosia Cohen, Highline’s Lead Technical Talent Partner, discussed some of the ways that Highline will use this investment to support talent.

What key hires are you looking to make post-funding and why?

“Our current focus is on welcoming two diverse director-level leaders. A Director of Engineering, Platform, will manage our high-performing backend team. Ideally the person still enjoys coding and getting into the trenches with the engineers and solving complex problems. The other hire – Director of Product, preferably with an engineering background – will drive our product efforts and help us shape what Highline’s payments engine will look like. We anticipate continuing to hire into the product and engineering teams through the fourth quarter.”

 How are you investing in your current employees?

“We recently have extended our benefits package to include funding for further education and training of Highline’s employees. This was introduced based on survey results from our employees. Highline actively encourages feedback from the team on everything from the work environment and culture to perks and benefits. I, myself, am working on advancing my skills by doing a Cornell recruitment course and am really enjoying it! We have also rolled out paternity leave. To further encourage healthy life-work balance standards, we also decided to completely close down the office during the weeks of the Fourth of July and Christmas.”

 How are you maintaining your company culture in a time of growth?

“Highline recently completed a Series A funding round, and we celebrated in style! All employees were invited to Dallas for an exciting onsite. We all appreciate working remotely but really enjoyed being able to see each other in person. We plan on making this an annual event (Costa Rica next?!). When we all work from our homes, we cultivate culture by offering everyone a lot of trust and flexibility; we do not believe in micromanagement. As a startup, we strongly believe that by establishing strong values, we build a strong company foundation – this did not happen in the ‘top down’ style. Every single person participated in a value-definition exercise during the recent onsite.” 

 In which cities are you currently hiring for tech roles?

“We are remote-first, and all of our teams work in a distributed way – our engineering team in particular. As a recruiter, I love the fact that I can prioritize skills over location. Currently we have employees based in the United States, Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil, Canada, Lithuania and Nigeria. (I was born and raised in Poland, now living in Austin.) I am empowered to explore various locations and the talent that organically aids in driving diversity. We would love to welcome more tech talent both in the United States and worldwide! Our fourth-quarter hiring appetite is big!”

 

A group of employees from May Mobility stand outside between two buildings on a sunny day
May Mobility

In the news: Founded in 2017, Michigan-based May Mobility develops autonomous vehicle technology to make public transportation smarter and greener. In July 2022, the company announced its latest funding round: It brought in $111 million in Series C funding. 

Amanda Krause, Director of People Operations, shared how May Mobility has been directing those funds.

What key hires are you looking to make post-funding and why?

“We are fortunate to be growing rapidly and have a need for amazing people in all areas of the business. We recognize the importance of having talented individuals across the company because each and every employee contributes to our success and helps us get closer to our vision of transforming cities through autonomous technology to create a safer, greener and more accessible world. Our world-class recruitment team is always on the lookout for our next great hire, especially in autonomy, software and vehicle engineering.”

How are you investing in your current employees?

“Our vehicles may drive themselves, but it’s our people that drive our success. Investing in our employees is a top priority. We continually evolve and improve by engaging them for feedback and listening to what they find to be most important. Based on what we’ve heard, we have introduced a thoughtful total rewards package that includes desired benefits, wellness and flexible work perks, an intentional focus on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging and a professional development fund for each department to power up every employee’s career growth.” 

How are you maintaining your company culture in a time of growth?

“Company culture is a direct output of the experiences an employee has throughout their time at May. As we scale, we believe in designing our culture with intention guided by our four core values. Some examples of our values in action include hosting biannual in-person retreats intended to help foster connection and belonging as well as providing ongoing flexible work perks for our distributed workforce.”

 In which cities are you currently hiring for tech roles? 

“At May, we know amazing people don’t live in just one part of the world, so we have numerous remote positions in addition to in-person and hybrid roles based out of our headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Our vehicles are mobile and our people are too! The ability to hire globally and to have a distributed workforce allows us to bring the best and brightest to May to help us achieve our mission of transforming cities.”

 

Collage of three pictures featuring RentSpree employees posing together and celebrating as a team
RentSpree

In the news: Founded in 2016, Los Angeles-based RentSpree raised more than $17 million during a Series B funding round in August 2022. These investments support RentSpree’s mission to make rent management easier. 

Sarah Udaipurwala, Human Resources Director, People and Culture, discussed RentSpree’s post-funding itinerary.

What key hires are you looking to make post-funding and why? 

“Our near-term key hires include the built-out of our in-house finance team, bringing in a Chief Financial Officer and expanding our engineering and UX teams. Now that we have moved beyond the initial startup phases and are in expansion mode, it is important to customize and personalize the way we handle some of our functions by bringing them in house. Another focal point for us is to ensure we have a balanced workforce in the countries where we operate: the United States and Thailand.” 

 How are you investing in your current employees? 

“We invest in our employees in a number of ways, including offering synchronous and asynchronous learning for teams and for management. We also are laser-focused on listening to our employees’ feedback and instated a fully remote environment with at-home benefits this quarter that allows for flexibility and work-life balance. We always want our employees to feel valued and appreciated, whether it is through company wide milestone celebrations or by investing in state-of-the art tech tools that enable and support our people at the highest level. They range from top-of-the-line project management and interactive cloud storage tools to forward-thinking performance review platforms and a reward application that allows for employees to recognize and support each other with real-time feedback.”

 How are you maintaining your company culture in a time of growth? 

“We have a clearly communicated mission – to build meaningful relationships and empower people in their real estate journeys – and values, which include collaboration, innovation, impact and integrity. They guide us as we evolve and grow.”

 In which cities are you currently hiring for tech roles? 

“We are currently hiring across the United States without many restrictions. As mentioned previously, we have adopted a fully remote working environment, which enables us to hire the brightest and the best anywhere. We do have physical offices in Los Angeles, our headquarters, and in Bangkok, and we appreciate and use these beautiful spaces for collaboration, celebrations, client meetings or special events. Ultimately, however, we continue to create a company that values flexibility and employees’ agency over being confined by a particular location.”

 

Coalition employees stand by a pool
Coalition

In the news: From its headquarters in the Bay Area, Coalition has been providing cyber insurance and security for its customers since 2017. In July 2022, the company announced a successful round of Series F funding, in which it raised $250 million. 

Ariane Flieger, Head of Global Talent, shared some of the ways that Coalition is using this money to invest in talent. 

What key hires are you looking to make post-funding and why?

“We are focused on maintaining momentum and will continue to prioritize high growth. We made four strategic leadership appointments in 2022, including Jim Young as Coalition’s first Chief Financial Officer (CFO), John Littzi as General Counsel, Julie Richardson as a board member and Doug Turk as Head of Revenue. We are excited to continue furthering the company’s vision to provide security for all.”

How are you investing in your current employees?

“Coalition invests in its current employees – and new hires – with completely company-covered healthcare and unlimited PTO. Coalition is remote-first but offers employees who want to meet in person or work in an office the opportunity to do so through WeWork.

“Coalition unites its distributed workforce through an annual companywide offsite, a global event focused on bringing everyone together.

“Coalition also offers continuing education opportunities to support employees in their growth journeys. Coalition supports employees in getting new certifications, traveling to major security and insurance conferences and more to support knowledge furtherance, skill-building and growth. Coalition allocates these resources and empowers employees to choose how to use them.”

How are you maintaining your company culture in a time of growth?

“Coalition’s core values are character, humility, responsibility, purpose, authenticity and diversity. Our values will always remain at our core no matter how much growth we endure. We balance pride with humility: absolute pride in performance and total humility before the magnitude of the task. We empower our employees to ask for help, speak up and work with everyone across levels.

“We are a culture where all team members can thrive irrespective of their creed, gender, religion, sexual orientation or any other arbitrary subdivision.

“After hitting our fifth anniversary last March 2022, these values still ring true – and they will continue as we scale and grow our global footprint.”

In which cities are you currently hiring for tech roles?

“Coalition has grown massively in the last few years, and we are excited to continue this trend. We currently have over 600 team members spread across more than 25 cities.

“As a remote-first company, we have open positions across the entire United States, Canada, Portugal and the United Kingdom, with expansion plans for Australia. We also have office locations available to employees in San Francisco, New York, London and Provo, Utah.”

 

In the news: Triller’s app empowers users to create music videos with AI. The Los Angeles-based company has gone through multiple rounds of funding and raised $333 million, with its most recent gain in August 2022. 

CTO Joseph Smarr explained how Triller is putting its funding to use.

What key hires are you looking to make post-funding and why?

“We plan to expand our tech team across the board. Specifically, we’re placing emphasis on AI and machine learning engineers that will enhance our processes and efforts in social engagement, content classification and recommendation, natural language processing, e-commerce and video and audio editing. These roles are essential in Triller’s success, and we hope that by expanding this team, we continue to grow our online community of content creators and users.”

 How are you investing in your current employees?

“Triller employees are shareholders and owners. As part of this fundraising process, we will take the company public, which will create a liquidity event for them in 2022. Our employees are our greatest asset and the primary reason for our success. Therefore, we want to ensure they are rewarded for their efforts and dedication as we continue to grow and expand.”

 How are you maintaining your company culture in a time of growth?

“Maintaining our company culture is essential – especially during this rapid time of growth. As part of this commitment, we are prioritizing employee development and expanding our presence at industry conferences and events that focus on the creator economy and Web3, to allow our employees to learn from and network with leaders in the industry. We also implemented new workplace technology in order to enhance the employee experience. The pandemic forced us to create a more flexible work environment for all our staff, including bringing in new tools to streamline our product development, testing and launch processes. These solutions have allowed us to support a 24-hour product development clock and leverage teams across the globe – ensuring our employees are not experiencing burnout but feel motivated in their roles.”

 In which cities are you currently hiring for tech roles?

“Amid the evolving digital transformation, we found that our employees can work from anywhere, while continuing to be productive and engaged. Therefore, we are currently hiring tech roles in all cities and offering fully remote opportunities. This allows us to expand our pool of talent and connect with tech workers that we may have not had access to otherwise.”

 

Prime Trust employees stand indoors as a group
Prime Trust

In the news: Nevada-based fintech innovator Prime Trust raised $107 million in Series B funding in June 2022.

Chief Human Resources Officer Melissa Bonner described how that windfall is impacting Prime Trust’s goals.

What key hires are you looking to make post-funding and why?

“After our successful $107 million Series B round, Prime Trust is focused on scaling our business to continue meeting the needs of our customers. Right now, we’re focusing on expanding our engineering department to support ongoing and new initiatives.”

How are you investing in your current employees?

“Prime Trust’s culture is employee-first. We offer competitive benefits and compensation packages, and our team constantly evaluates our position in the marketplace to stay competitive and retain talent.

“For instance, we’ve recently started providing employees and their immediate families memberships to the meditation app Calm. We have received positive feedback on this initiative along with other longer-standing programs.”

How are you maintaining your company culture in a time of growth?

“During times of growth, it’s important that HR professionals work with company leadership to discuss what the current culture of the business is and how it should be maintained. For Prime Trust, transparency and the “family feel” that we’ve developed are two attributes that are central to the company and every major decision made is done so through that lens.”

In which cities are you currently hiring for tech roles?

“Since most of our open roles can be done remotely, we are hiring talent across the country, spanning many states and time zones.”

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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