When I hear the words “venture builder” and “pre-seed” in the same sentence my natural journalistic skepticism is oft to creep in. The website for Warsaw's More Growth raises more questions than it answers, and according to a statement released by the company they aim at, "developing products and brands that help people take care of the most important aspects of their lives, improve them and therefore achieve personal growth,” (one sec, I need to go heave).
However, would appear as though its co-founders CEO Kuba Koziej, chief people and culture officer Piotrek Sosnowski and Ariel Finkelstein aren’t just blowing smoke. They’ve actually done it themselves previously, they are just clearly in need of some better copywriters. More on that below.
Koziej and Sosnowski are the co-founders of Warsaw’s Zety, a career-finding service that helped would-be workers with building their resumés and providing career advice. Over the course of 6 years, they went from the classic built-in-a-garage startup to a thriving business employing over 120 staff members and used by 100+ million people at its peak.
So impressive was this peak that in 2019, San Juan-based BOLD sat up and took notice and snapped up the Zety.
Having completed their runs at BOLD (one can only assume this was part of the Ts&Cs of the deal), Kuba and Piotrek aren’t done building yet. This time around, instead of one, they’ve decided to go the venture builder route and have their hands in a number of pots all at once.
“At Zety we built a platform that helps millions of people looking for career advice. Now we are using this expertise to build products and services in other verticals that are equally important to people: parenting, personal finance, and wellbeing, and are still underserved by existing online platforms,” explained Koziej.
Rounding out the team, Piotrek and Kuba are joined by Ariel Finkelstein, a Microsoft Accelerator mentor (amongst many other board seats) who brings a long track record of angel investing and company building to the table and will be heading up M&A and strategy at More Growth.
“6 years ago, I got to know Kuba and Piotrek in their early days of working on Zety. They were young and still learning, but they were dedicated, focused, and willing to improve all the time. Kuba was building a strong SEO-driven SaaS company and I got to work with them on improving and selling Zety. We became friends, then co-investors, and now we decided to take it to the next level. We operate on the same principles and values, and we decided to build a new company on the foundation of our core strengths in organic traffic and our passion for building something huge with a strong and successful team of founders,” commented Finkelstein.
Again, I’m not going to say this is all fluff, but, according to a statement released by More Growth, they intend to use the funding to invest heavily in, “content specialists and writers with expertise in the three fields of interest.” Additionally, and forgive me but isn’t this putting the cart before the horse, the company is looking for engineers, product designers and managers, and, wait for it …. “well as marketing specialists (including outreach, digital PR, and copywriting) who will develop all the products.”
As for the lead investor Inovo Venture Partners, partner Michał Rokosz explained the rationale behind the deal, “We have been watching Kuba and Piotrek since the early days of Zety. They impressed us with their attitude and focus, which resulted in an extraordinary pace of growth. When we learned that they are launching a completely new business, we were certain that we wanted to become a lead investor in their funding round. More Growth has everything that VC is looking for: a strong team that already proved its capabilities in building and scaling businesses, a huge market, and even bigger ambition.”
There are big ambitions and … everything else.