From $4M ARR to $50M+ USD ARR in 1 Year – What Are the Lessons Learned?

Daniel Eisenberg
Photo: Pierre Ekman

$4M ARR to $50M ARR, 50 to 550+ people, and $600M raised within the same year! Daniel Eisenberger from Deel tells us about all the things they’ve learned during this incredible journey of hypergrowth.

One of the reasons Deel was able to reach this growth pace thanks to macro trends like the talent shortage, globalization, and remote work. However, many of their learnings remain valid for other companies in other industries. And with a ludicrous NDR rate of 350%, Deel sure has managed to do something not many others have pulled off.

Daniel Eisenberger shares six learnings from the journey so far.

  1. Treat your customers like investors

Help your customers win, and they will do the same for you. For example, Deel has built something they call “perks” into their product. This means they offer customers the opportunity to promote their services to other customers via in-app promotions and advertising. This is added value for the customers, and Deel also capitalizes on these perks. There’s also a “refer a friend” button in the Deel admin dashboard, and the people referring friends get compensated when those leads turn into deals. 

  1. Build your company to scale from day one

To be able to grow at a high pace, it’s essential to plan for scaling from the very beginning. Build out RevOps from the start, build a very structured and clear onboarding system, and use a “buddy system” to give new employees “buddies” to guide them into their roles faster. Also, hire more people than you need; hire for tomorrow and not for today.

  1. Run the company like you’re running out of time

Create a sense of urgency. Keep meetings short, at Deel, meetings are either 15 minutes or 30 minutes. Hire people that you trust, and delegate work to them. Give people responsibilities and ownership, and allow them to make things happen. 

  1. Working harder is a competitive advantage

When you grow fast, you need commitment and engagement from everyone in the company. This means you need to get buy-in on the journey from all your people. A great way to do that is to incentivize with equity. Everybody who works at Deel has equity. 

  1. Look for the PHD in people

Hire for personality, and train for skills. Here, PHD stands for Purpose, Heart, and Desire, which, as Daniel notes, comes from within. Everything else we can teach, but purpose, heart, and desire, we can not teach. Make sure to hire people that bring the right qualities. 

  1. Remote-first employment policy

This gives you a much broader hiring base since you can access top talent globally. Time zones may restrict this possibility in certain roles, but for all other roles at Deel, there are no geo-dependencies. This allows the company to grow and hire at a much higher pace.