Bitmovin Inc.: A Start-Up Goes Global
(8 pages of text)
By the second quarter of 2018, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the online video technology company Bitmovin Inc. (Bitmovin) had propelled the start-up along an aggressive growth path. After founding the company in Austria, he had relocated Bitmovin’s headquarters to California’s Silicon Valley, raised more than US$40 million in investments in two funding rounds, and was now in the process of building a global sales organization for the company’s innovative online video infrastructure solutions. Within the next few years, the CEO wanted Bitmovin to achieve $100 million in revenues and initiate an initial public offering on the NASDAQ stock exchange in New York. However, Bitmovin’s rapid international growth had resulted in a globally dispersed organization in which effective communication and alignment were difficult to achieve. The sales team was able to close deals with big-name customers in the media industry, but marketing and demand generation had been neglected and there were not enough potential customers in the sales pipeline. The company had recently failed to reach its growth goals for the first time, and the CEO wondered whether the company still had the right sales strategy and the right person as its sales leader.
The case can be used in an undergraduate- or graduate-level course on entrepreneurship, international business, international marketing, or sales management. Ideally, students will have had an introduction to marketing and sales before discussing the case. The case explores the ways that technology start-ups can build effective global sales and marketing organizations. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- describe the components of a comprehensive sales and marketing strategy for a born-global start-up company (i.e., a start-up company with a vision of becoming a global player a short time after its founding);
- identify the challenges of building and aligning a global sales organization and develop strategies for dealing with these challenges;
- explain the tension between flexibility and process orientation in fast-growing start-up companies; and
- outline the links between marketing (demand generation) and sales (closing deals) in a business-to-business context.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
Austria; United States, Medium, 2018
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