She nearly went bankrupt, however managed to show round and lift BRL 530 million for her HRTech
- September 25, 2022
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Mônica Hauck, co-founder and CEO of Sólides, told the company’s history of overcoming in a lecture at the Fire Festival
In February 2022, HRTech solids received a contribution of R$ 530 million, the largest funding ever raised by a startup in the sector in Latin America. Monica Hauck, co-founder and CEO of the startup, participated in the Fire Festival on Thursday afternoon (1/9) and talked about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and how a change of course when almost going bankrupt brought her to the present moment. “Entrepreneurship is a lot of work, it’s difficult, but I don’t want another life”, she declared.
Since 2010, Sólides has been offering people management tools, showing an average growth of 40% per year until 2015, when Hauck and his partner, Alessandro Garcia, made a series of wrong decisions and almost went bankrupt. From that moment on, the CEO decided to pivot the company, despite all the risks they were running.
“I remember to this day. She was in the car, crying because he needed to fire people and he didn’t have the money to pay. I decided to keep going to build something big. Sólides as it exists today was born there, it is the result of the decision in the car”, recalled the CEO.
Determined to create a solution SaaS for people management in SMEs, she designed an aggressive business plan, with the aim of tripling growth for two years in a row and then doubling it for another two years, even though the economy faced a crisis in 2015 and investors were still did not often contribute to the HR segment. “I didn’t have resources, I didn’t have an investor, I had to fire more than half of the team, but I decided to pivot Sólides. I had no room for error, as I didn’t start from scratch, I already had a fixed cost,” she pointed out.
The CEO says she knew it would be easier to hire the team from scratch, with specialists in the new business model, but decided to invest in the development of part of the team, putting the company’s product to the test, which was intended to help SMEs with recruitment and selection. to retaining talent using data to analyze productivity. “I knew which profile liked change or not, who was more innovative, who needed security. I set up an execution plan according to the team’s behavioral mapping. It worked because we used our product,” she said.
Once the service was validated, the next challenge was to sell to the new audience, the SMEs, the need to digitize the HR process, approaching companies that often did not even manage people. According to the CEO, the market was not ready for the solution and the solution was to focus on educating entrepreneurs. “The country loses billions of reais due to employee turnover. The biggest cost center for companies is payroll, they spend and they know they have to do something, they needed someone to teach,” she declared. In the last month, Sólides won a thousand new customers, reaching smaller and smaller companies.
Regarding the investment received this year from the American private equity manager Warburg Pincus, Hauck says that it is the result of a journey of building reputation and credibility, but stresses that funding is not a guarantee of success, pointing out that without a well-defined business plan , a contribution can be the beginning of the end. “I spent many years without being recognized, I heard a lot, they called me crazy and said it wouldn’t work. What attracts the investor is the consistency, the hard work that brings results. You must have execution, discipline and focus on building the journey, because receiving funding without strategy can mean problems”, he concluded.
Source: PEGN Magazine