Growing a company from nothing to millions of revenue in a few years is one of the most challenging but rewarding experiences someone can go through. At Storm2, that is exactly what we have done.
In just two years, we have grown from three recruitment buffs working in Founder, James Browns’ bedroom to 173 people across London, Amsterdam and Singapore and three sister brands – Storm3, Storm4 and Storm5.
But how have we achieved so much in so little time? We’ve spoken to those who have been here from the beginning to share their journey and advice on what it’s like to work for a hyper-growth startup.
In August 2019, Founder James Brown joined forces with Jamie Robinson and George Trewhella to launch a recruitment consultancy focused on exclusively scaling the disruptive tech sector; FinTech. The vision was shared by Puffin Point, our investors, who gave James and the team institutional funding to launch the business.
“My vision for Storm2 was to solve the FinTech recruitment problem. FinTech was growing but there weren’t any specialists recruiting for these companies. I found a shortfall in the market and made my move,” James Brown, CEO.
12 months later, whilst tackling a global pandemic and Brexit, performance still managed to surpass the wider recruitment sector, expanding from 1 to 40 via our grad Academy. These results lead to one of Storm2’s greatest achievements; securing a funding round of $2.5 million to facilitate growth into the Asia Pacific and North American markets. Our efforts and hard work were validated by winning the Best FinTech Recruitment Company 2020 by SME News, Finance Awards.
“Being among 20 other grads, we all started on the same page. The small office and nature of the company meant the structure was flat – for quite some months I was sat amongst the founders, learning and growing from their knowledge and expertise,” Nat Rozner, Senior Talent Associate.
18 months down the line, our second global hub was launched in Singapore to establish our presence in the APAC market, headed up by Candy Choong. Timing couldn’t be better as our team of 11 specialist Consultants benefitted from Singapore’s expansion of its FinTech offering with the likes of InsurTech and RegTech.
“Walking into a 15-person office on my first day is a stark difference to the environment we work in today. The organic growth system and opportunity to wear multiple hats was something that pulled me to Storm2, not to mention the chance to work in their international offices; an opportunity that is promised from day one,” Shay Patel, US Commercial Associate.
We were kept on our toes with the launch of our third global office just 4 months later in April 2021. Attracting some of the top European Tech talent, the Amsterdam office was an obvious choice to further service the European market. Lead by Angela Ward, a team of 20 micro-niche Consultants were hired to support the expansion.
In April we also surpassed 100 Consultants with our biggest Academy cohort, in which 120 graduates began their Storm2 journey as Consultants, across all three offices, in a single day – a major milestone for Storm2.
“From the beginning, I believed in the mission and liked the idea of being exposed to how a business grows. I wanted to excel quickly in my career and Storm2 allowed me to grow alongside them. The beauty of a startup meant I was able to prove my work ethic and develop my skills to do something that never even crossed my mind starting as a Consultant”, Ana Paceoaga, Senior People Associate.
And we’re not done growing yet. By 2024, our aim is to have 1,000 specialist Consultants across 8 global locations working within our 4 sister brands.
3 Tips from 3 Founders
Founding a company has its highs as well as its challenges. We spoke with Storm2’s Founders on what their best advice would be when making the jump to establishing and leading your own company.
Solve a problem
One of the most common mistakes in entrepreneurship is creating a solution before identifying the problem. You may think you have a million-dollar idea, but have you done the research to see if it could be successful?
If you really want to achieve success, the first thing you need to do is find a problem to solve. The problem serves as the foundation of the company.
“We have stuck to our plan and not changed course. There will always be temptations; remain vigilant to the problem you are solving and be responsive to new and emerging trends in your industry”, James Brown, CEO.
Constantly set clear goals
Every quarter, half and year, and for every area of your business that matters, make sure you set tangible goals so you can measure success and failure.
And make sure everyone is motivated to achieve these goals. Then, when hurdles inevitably come along, they are just hurdles to jump over rather than events that re-direct your business so much that it no longer achieves its goals.
“Don’t get caught up focussing on things that aren’t going to take your business to the place you want it to be. Instead, focus all your time trying to achieve the goals you set that you know will lead you to success”, Jamie Robinson, VP of People Operations.
Focus on building a culture with smart people
Your culture represents your values as a company, the way you do business, how you take care of your employees and ultimately, your company vision. Pet friendly offices may get you more applicants, but a strong startup culture will keep people around.
“Startups are hard work for everyone. If employees feel part of something special and enjoy where they work, the business will build and grow around their hard work”, George Trewhella, VP of Sales.
Hyper-growth is not a formula for success; it is hard and the majority fail. But when it is done right, it is the most rewarding journey to be a part of.
“Seeking perfection at every stage will simply slow your businesses growth and development. Sometimes ‘good enough’ is all that’s needed,” George Trewhella, VP of Sales.
If you are looking to scale your startup, get in touch. We work with FinTech clients across the world to help scale their teams to become a success.