Naspers is one of the world’s largest technology investors—they currently operate in 130 countries and grossed $20.1 billion in revenue last year. They aim to “build leading companies that empower people and enrich communities” through technology.
Recently, Naspers decided to expand its Corporate Venture Capital team by hiring senior level investment professionals and finance positions to grow their US footprint and invest through their early and growth stage funds.
These positions are fundamental to Naspers’ operations—having the right talent in these roles is integral to the success of Naspers entering the US market and building a world-class, strategic investment team with deeply embedded localized networks. However, these positions greatly differ from the roles of traditional venture capital investors or private investors. How?
They help thematically evaluate and select which businesses to invest in. As a long-term strategic investor and partner, Naspers takes a forward-thinking perspective on its investments by thinking not only about current financing, but also looking to own and operate companies as they successfully grow and scale internationally. With the potential to be ultimately absorbed by Naspers, there is a lot on the line when it comes to these investment decisions.
To fill these unique and vital roles, Naspers turned to Terrain Advisors and its CEO, Mark Jacobson. We interviewed Russell Dreisenstock, the Head of Investing for Naspers’ International Ventures, to learn more about their experience working with Mark and Terrain Advisors.
Here’s what he had to say:
“The Terrain team helped us find fantastic candidates. Through careful analysis, they discovered top talent---the type that we weren’t able to source ourselves, And then helped us land the interviews, while hiring all key positions in less than 90 days,”
At the time, Naspers was also reconfiguring their structure. Terrain was able to provide them with key market statistics and insights to benchmark their optimal organizational structure relative to their peer set—the most influential and impactful tier 1 funds.
After helping Naspers form a strategic hiring plan, Terrain successfully filled several key positions for investors including Parter US Food Delivery, Associate, M&A Investment and Senior Manager, M&A Finance. This effectively help set up the company for future success as Naspers continues to invest in and acquire new companies that are transforming the way the world interacts with technology.
Terrain accomplished this by leveraging data and carefully evaluating candidates for both skill and cultural fit. Delivered through a real-time environment, Terrain worked diligently to quickly identify and close world-class talent that possessed the right skills and personality traits for these unique roles.
Russell stated, “He [Mark] would bring the body of people that was clustered around what we were looking for on a bell-curve… I also liked the software… I could go in and rank people and make comments as the hiring manager.”
The real-time, online dashboard that Terrain software provides helped keep the Naspers recruiting team up to speed—which was important to a multinational organization with team members spread across multiple continents and frequently traveling across varied time zones. This empowered the team to stay on top of the market, easily collaborate on a weekly basis, and make highly informed selection decisions together.
Terrain Advisors were able to help them successfully fill these high-value positions by effectively recruiting highly specialized talent in a data-driven, collaborative, efficacious manner—all to the delight of the client!