Act big now: How 30X30 scaleup preezie tripled its headcount in under three years Case Studies Last Updated: Thursday 9 November, 2023 preezie Co-Founder Michael Tutek embarked on his retail journey at a young age, starting his first job at a consumer electronics store in Australia. Fuelled by sales excitement and a thirst for knowledge, he quickly recognised the importance of the relationship between shop assistants and customers. “It was clear how customers required the help of an expert to guide them through hundreds of products, so they could walk out confident with their purchase,” said little Tutek. Over the next few years, Tutek witnessed the rapid rise of online shopping in the digital age, wondering how consumers could receive the same level of guidance and assistance they get in-store, but in an online setting. Looking to create a solution that bridges the gap between in-store and online shopping experiences, Tutek teamed up with his co-founder Quoc Nguyen. Together, they set out to build Australia’s’s first online guided selling platform. The outcome was preezie, a company whose primary offering is a guided selling tool that empowers customers to make confident online purchasing decisions. Think of is it as an on-demand, non-intrusive sales consultant available round the clock. Designing for Scale Since launching in 2018, the Victorian MarTech have experienced 500% YoY business growth and closed out an $5.5M Series A raise with Afterpay-backed Touch Ventures and TEN13 in 2021. The capital injection saw the team triple in size over the next year, in a hiring push led by Head of People and Culture Michael Delaney (lovingly nicknamed MD) an experienced startup operator who has scaled the HR functions of big name scaleups like Salesforce and Docusign. MD said designing for scale from the start had been crucial in preezie’s back-office growth. “If you want to be a big business, act like one from the very start. Don’t be small in your processes, hiring, and people support mechanisms,” he says. “Often, I talk to people in high-growth businesses, and they are dealing with basic system challenges long after they should have been solved.” “Act big now, and you are going to be better prepared when you get there.” preezie co-founders Michael Tutek and Quoc Nguyen 30X30 preezie are now one of 18 companies tipped to reach unicorn status in LaunchVic’s 30X30 program – an executive education program for behind-the-scenes operators like MD crucial to the success of scaling startups. MD says the program has helped the team nail down the leadership qualities they need for their next stage of growth. “[Off the back of 30X30] We’ve created a detailed model for performance assessment and coaching,” he says. “In a business where people tend to end up wearing many hats, it is imperative that we all understand the core requirements of our roles, how we are being measured against success and what steps are in place to foster growth and development.” Building relationships with other startup leaders at a similar stage of growth was also important. “Taking time to listen to all the different voices of the mentors and fellow participants, experienced or not, really opened my eyes to new approaches,” he adds. “Even now the program is over we are still collaborating in the cohort so the value keeps on growing.” Startup to grown up Off the back of 30X30, preezie is now expanding to the US for their share of the US$925.40bn online shopping industry. As the team expands well beyond a group who can sit around one board room or lunch table, MD says team-wide communication rituals have come to the fore. “One thing we do here to a high level is company-wide communication. Each week, we all get together and go over what we are doing, how we are performing against our targets, what is successful, and what we need to get better at,” he says. “This has created very strong engagement amongst all the team and has meant that we can be really clear on what the core pillars of success are. It also empowers people to prioritise the things that are the most important.” Codifying values will also be useful in scaling preezie’s workplace culture beyond their William St HQ. “One of our core values is “Every lane is your lane,” and for us, this means that you are able to get involved in lots of different initiatives, teams, and opportunities,” MD says. “It is not only encouraged; it is vital to our success. Some of the best ideas have come from people with no direct stake in a solution who felt supported to express their thoughts, and it is a beautiful part of start-up life.” About 30X30 As many founders know, some of the biggest pain points to growth are in the day-to-day running of the business, often in the HR, Operations and Finance functions. 30X30 aims to free up founders to focus on key strategic priorities fundamental to your growth, while giving HR, Operations and Finance leaders the skills and exposure to common scaleup challenges and bottlenecks. For more information, visit https://launchvic.org/programs/30×30/.