What is Olam Capital’s Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy?
We are committed to a safe work environment in which no member of our startup community is discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation, race, religion, age, nationality, gender identity or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. We will promptly take appropriate remedial action to address any form of harassment or discrimination that is brought to our attention. We will also address any reported claims of retaliation to ensure a comfortable and productive work environment for all those who work with our team.
How do you help your companies hire?
It’s said that successful founders should spend over 50% of their time on hiring during growth periods. We actually think this is an understatement. But we also know devoting this many hours while running a company can seem impossible.
That’s why we have a small, focused team to help share the load. And our partners will always pick up the phone to help close candidates (they have a pretty astonishing batting average).
Our Talent Team works side-by-side with our earliest-stage companies to help them jumpstart their hiring process. Their work sourcing candidates and making introductions is complemented by our rich, proprietary dataset on compensation so that you can make the smartest offers.
How do you help your companies acquire customers? How do you help companies grow?
Many early-stage founders don’t come in with an innate sense of how they’ll acquire customers. They might know the usual levers to pull and experiments to run, but every company is different — and sometimes very different if they’re working in a new industry or domain. Whether you’re a consumer company trying to nail early paid marketing or an enterprise company crafting its go-to-market strategy, the best way to get up to speed fast is the same: learn from folks who have been there before.
In addition to being entrepreneurs themselves, our partners have worked with hundreds of founders on their early growth and customer acquisition plans and experiments. We’ve seen every type of company, sector and tactic — and we make a point of sharing all we know (and lessons hard won by our other companies) in working sessions between partners and founders, often every other week.
If we don’t have the answer, we know someone else who will. It’s our job to make it easy to find. Olam Capital Network allows our entire community (everyone at all of our companies) to candidly air their worries and problems, ask questions, present their problems, and help others with what they’ve learned. Most questions asked on Network are answered within 24 hours, giving people a nearly real-time resource whenever they hit a wall. Many of the questions focus on customer acquisition and growth, how to evaluate the costs involved, what has already worked for others, and pathways through scaling.
Lastly, we have a real-world database of hundreds of experts across functional areas who we can connect to our companies to provide custom, focused advice based on the exact situation. Hailing from incredible careers, these folks have told us what they know in granular detail so we can match them very specifically to the right problem-solving opportunities — all on demand. So whether a startup needs to know how to restructure its sales team, which A/B test to run on its landing page, or how to calculate its CAC and LTV, we can set them up for a call, coffee or meeting that will neutralize the problem and slingshot them forward, fast.
Growth isn’t something that just happens. It’s a slog. It’s hacking through the jungle and traversing the frontier without a map. Every single time. When that’s the reality in front of you, all you can ask for are the best guides — and we’ve got you covered.
Do Olam Capital partners take board seats?
Yes, we do in some cases. What’s consistent is that we’ll be extremely active helping you build your company in the first two years of its life. Often, we’ll take a board seat at first and give it up to a new investor after later rounds. (We’ve found that entrepreneurs like this – as it helps them manage the size of their boards as they grow).
Outside of board meetings, we prefer what we call “working sessions.” Every 4 to 6 weeks, we go deep with a founder on a big challenge. We’ll spend the entire meeting working through the problem, and we’ve found this type of collaboration far more valuable than traditional reporting and governance. That said, we know how to operate and make an impact in more formal meetings too. (And, by the by, if you’re looking for board meeting best practices, check out this piece from one of the best board wranglers we know.)
Who are Olam Capital’s limited partners/investors?
We pick our investors very carefully. It’s important to us that we generate returns for shareholders we can be proud of and who share our values. The vast majority of the capital we invest comes from entrepreneurs and organizations in the logistics space.
In light of the recent troubling news coming out of Saudi Arabia, we want to specifically highlight that we do not have sovereign wealth funds or governments of any kind as investors in Olam Capital.