Fast growthHiringNew marketsRecruitment & HR

So you’ve validated your idea; taken it to market; established early traction; and sales are beginning to take off.

You think you’ve cracked it, right?

However, moving from the startup phase into scaleup territory comes with its own challenges, as an audience at a fireside chat in London heard last week.

Co-hosted by Screenloop and StackOne, the event – Founders’ guide to scaling your SaaS from $1m to $20m – at HSBC Innovation in Finsbury Square, London –  featured a trio of entrepreneurs behind fast-growth startups.

Screenloop – AI-Driven Talent Operations Platform & ATS


Hanna Marie Asmussen, founder & CEO of Localyze, emphasised the need for people aligned with the business, while noting that adaptability and a similar mindset are more important than experience as business needs change rapidly.

“You have to kick people out who are not on board with the system,” she told event host Anton Boner, co-founder of Screenloop.

Harrison Rose, founder of and former co-founder of Paddle, discussed the high cost of retaining underperforming team members and the importance of quick evaluations. 

He highlighted that not firing soon enough can set a tone of acceptance for underperformance.

“If the company is growing at 300%, everyone on the team needs to – otherwise the company will outgrow you,” he said.

Jay Radia, founder of Reachdesk and Yieldify, stressed the importance of thorough referencing and validation during hiring, noting that spending extra time on this process is crucial.

“Make those extra calls. It might be harder, but it’s worth it to avoid costly hiring mistakes,” he said.

He pointed out that VPs often excel in one area and it’s crucial to ensure their skills align with the business needs.

Rose concurred, emphasising the need to identify the missing skills necessary for the business.

‘Steps business owners should take when looking to exit’


When it comes to scaling, Asmussen emphasised that focusing on culture-market fit – over product-market fit – is crucial for rapid growth.

The speakers agreed that moving from experimentation to repeatable systems is key, with hiring being crucial in this transition. A focus on data and performance is also key, supported by a strong culture.

Meanwhile establishing rules – such as avoidance of saying ‘yes’ to every customer request – is paramount.

Kofi Siaw, vice president at HSBC Innovation Banking, highlighted the key takeaways from the discussion on LinkedIn.

“Founders can do unscalable things to get to $1m ARR,” he wrote. “To scale to $20m +, founders need to move away from the early period of ‘successful chaos’ to a business of predictable systems.

“Scaling to the US is critical. Founders should be prepared to relocate if they want to be successful in that market.

“[They must also] learn when to say no to customers.

“Building startups is hard! Look out for your physical and mental health.”

Embracing fear: How women can overcome imposter syndrome in FinTech