Gain full visibility across your data landscape, find meaning in your data and improve the quality of business decisions.
Discover and download solutions and pre-built integrations for the Collibra Platform.
Get unparalleled value through the combined expertise and unique strengths of our people and technology.
See how security plays a key role in everything from how we build and deliver our platform to how we hire and train employees.
Collibra Privacy & Risk
Discover and understand data that matters so you can generate impactful insights that drive business value.
Understand your ever-growing amount of data in a way that scales with growth and change.
Show how data sets are built, aggregated, sourced and used, providing complete, end-to-end lineage visualization.
Build customer trust by operationalizing privacy policies and scaling compliance across new regulations.
Modernize your operations with a solution that is scalable, accessible and resilient: data in the cloud.
Drive digital growth and customer engagement by breaking down data silos and adding value to customer interactions.
Fuel your self-services analytics with the right data to develop unique business insights.
Innovate for the future while successfully navigating the complex web of regulations.
Transform decision making in the public sector with secure Data Intelligence that is FedRAMP Authorized.
Cloud ready data
Government and public sector
Tap into our knowledge base by connecting, sharing and learning from your peers in our Data Citizens community.
See how Collibra is helping global organizations unlock the value of their data.
Find the resources you need to accelerate time to value and fuel your growth.
Learn from the leaders in Data Intelligence through our individual courses, learning paths, and certification programs.
Data Citizens '20
Take your data strategy to the next level by arming yourself with the knowledge you need to achieve Data Intelligence.
Get advice, tips and tricks from our product experts and industry thought leaders to learn how to make your data meaningful.
Join the world’s largest virtual gathering of professionals focused on empowering businesses to deliver on strategic goals through Data Intelligence.
Check our upcoming events calendar to discover exciting opportunities to learn from our product and industry experts.
Connect the right data, insights, algorithms and people to optimize processes, increase efficiency and drive innovation.
Read our latest announcements, news coverage and thought leadership articles.
Find an opportunity to challenge and be challenged, and work with some of the most talented people in the business.
Get in touch with a member of our global team by locating an office near you, calling us or sending an email.
Startups and tech companies are created and developed all over the globe. Many of these companies who get their start in Europe make the move across the pond and put down roots in the US. There are a lot of reasons why an organization would choose to make this move; Forbes published an interview with Collibra co-founder and CEO Felix Van de Maele to understand why he chose to bring Collibra to the States. Below is an excerpt from “Lessons in ‘Hopping the Pond’ from Collibra’s Felix Van de Maele.”
Q: If you’re a European tech company looking to expand into the U.S. market—and want to open a substantial office there—when do you do it? How do you know when your business, and/or the market you’re serving, is mature enough?
We looked at the U.S. early on. We wanted to find companies that had a problem we could solve. When we were still based in Europe, we got to know potential customers through conferences and other events. I feel like maybe when a company gets seven to nine U.S.-based customers, it might be time for the founders to move. I feel like we made the move organically. But I believe when a company decides to move, it has to be a founder, or someone close to a founder, to move first.
In our case, my co-founder Stan (Christiaens) moved first. I finally went as well, and moved my family, because the situation just wasn’t productive anymore. I was spending over 50% of my time in New York. There was too much jetlag. But earlier, when I was doing more day-to-day product management work, it made more sense for me to stay in Europe.
Q: How specifically was it difficult for the business to be based in Europe, and serve U.S. customers??
Serving your customers becomes a lot harder. In the beginning, when you have very few customers, you need to do absolutely everything to make them successful. We were on calls with (U.S.-based) customers in the middle of the night all the time. In the end it meant customers had a lot of control over us. We also believe that presence creates opportunity. It’s very difficult to close a deal if you have to say to a prospect you won’t be able to visit them until a couple of weeks.
Q: What are the implications of a move to the U.S. on sales and R&D? Is there a faster pace of activity?
It’s hard to hire a VP of sales in the U.S. Salespeople in the U.S. are really good at selling, especially themselves. It’s very hard, in the beginning, to really know if someone will be good or not. That’s why one of the founders needs to become local in the U.S. Otherwise, you just don’t know if things are working or not. Selling is also more of a black art, especially in the beginning when it’s not as repeatable yet. That’s another reason why one of the founders should move. The founder should be together with the VP of sales in every big sales meeting.
The thing which surprised me is how much more expensive scaling in the U.S. becomes. Part of that is location of course. New York and San Francisco are expensive cities.
Q: And what about R&D?
On R&D, initially, we kept R&D in Europe. I think that works well, especially in the beginning. When we were at the point where we were selling three different products and had more than 100 employees, and felt we needed to modernize our stack somewhat, we decided to augment our R&D capabilities with some presence in the U.S. as well. The challenge broadly is that the gap between sales and R&D becomes even bigger. You always need to bridge the gap between the personalities of a sales team and an R&D team, but now they are further apart, and you need to bridge the culture gap between U.S. and Europe.
Q: Speaking of company culture: Having two offices across the ocean has to be challenging, in many ways, from a cultural perspective.
When you move to the U.S. and open an office there, the center of gravity does sort of change quite a bit. You have to make sure the people left in Europe don’t feel like the third wheel on the wagon. It all creates uncertainty—sometimes you feel like you don’t know what the guys in Europe are doing or the other way around. Ultimately, you need to figure out if you’re going to be a dual HQ company or really move the HQ. I don’t mean from a legal perspective but from an operational perspective. Where you hire your executive team will really dictate that. Both have pros and cons.
It becomes a big part of the job as CEO, to manage that well. You need to build much more thought and structure in the way you and the company communicate and make decisions. Scaling really rapidly is very difficult already; doing it simultaneously on two continents adds another layer of complexity that you can’t underestimate.
We accelerate trusted business outcomes by connecting the right data, insights, algorithms and people for all Data Citizens.
No results for this post
© 2020 Collibra. All Rights Reserved.
A message to our Collibra community on COVID-19. Read more from our CEO.