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Euro Unicorns & Facebook Bribes?

Did you know bathing in beer is taking Europe by storm? Yeah, that's the kind of show you can expect as you push play.

Volonte CEO and founder Daniel Masata join the Euro crew to discuss beer bathing as well as two continental unicorns that just got funded. Then they dig into more funding as record amounts of cabbage flood the industry. If it's Facebook news you want, we have that too, as the social media giant has announced Europe can expect thousands of new jobs over the next five years ... but is Facebook just playing PR and bribing the Old Country?

Maybe. Gotta listen to find out.


Disability Solutions works with employers each step of the way as consultative recruiting and engagement strategists for the disability community.

Chad and Cheese Podcast Does Europe Intro (6s):

Some podcasts, do it for the fun. Some do it for the fame, Chad and Cheese they do it for global effin domination. That's why bringing America to its knees was just the beginning. Now they have their eyes set on conquering Europe and they've drafted industry veteran Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze of Belgium to help them navigate the old country and bring HR's most dangerous podcast across the pond to trash-talk like never before. Not safe for work in any language. The Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe.

Joel (39s):

Oh, it's the show with zero supply chain issues. But boys, my colon backed up this morning after that bowl of Lucky Charms, magically delicious my arse. You're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe. I'm your cohost Joel "bottleneck" Cheeseman.

Chad (56s):

And this is Chad "red light, green light" Sowash

Lieven (60s):

And I'm once again, just Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze forgetting to find a new nickname.

Joel (1m 4s):

And on this episode, Facebook goes full court press on the old country, unicorns, money, more unicorns, and more money chi-ching oh, and Chad VR, baby. Hell yeah, let's do this.

sfx (1m 20s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Joel (1m 22s):

What's up guys?

Chad (1m 23s):

Oh dude. I'm telling you right now

Joel (1m 25s):

It's our tenth show if my math is correct?

Chad (1m 28s):


Joel (1m 28s):

We're on show number 10. We made it this far.

Chad (1m 31s):

Carry the one.

Joel (1m 32s):


Chad (1m 32s):

Yeah, no, that's right. That's right.

Joel (1m 34s):

Certainly 10 more episodes.

Chad (1m 37s):

Let me check real quick is Lieven their? Lieven are you there?

Lieven (1m 40s):

I'm there. I'm still there.

Chad (1m 42s):

I got to give a shout out to sound effects right out of the gate because last week's show the first five minutes you were in your kid's treehouse. And we had actually some back and forth about that. That didn't make the show because your audio for that five minutes didn't record. So I had to go in and actually use sound effects to replicate a Lieven's reactions. My question, do you Lieven, did I do an okay job?

Lieven (2m 7s):

Probably nobody noticed any difference. So that says a lot about me, I think.

Joel (2m 13s):

Well, we have a special guest guys. We didn't have one last week, so we're not really happy to introduce Daniel Masata he's the founder and CEO of Volonte and longtime HR services, tech human capital geek, and he promises to give us some German accent at some point, Daniel, welcome to the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Daniel (2m 34s):

Thanks so much. Thanks everyone for having me on. Yeah, we'll get back to that German thing later, for sure.

Joel (2m 42s):

Yes, it is Volonte German? Ah, that doesn't sound German. What the heck? What the heck does that company do?

Daniel (2m 49s):

It's not German. It's a good question. The name is inspired by the French language. You know, I spent a few years in France as well, so Volonte.

Chad (2m 59s):

So sexy. Oh yeah.

Lieven (3m 1s):

Does it come from vole? Stealing?

Daniel (3m 6s):

Lieven nice try. But no. No, it's Volonte for willpower. You know, we built a workforce agility platform and we're really helping people navigate change better, you know, in order to navigate change, well, you need some good strong willpower and you got to understand like what to focus on. So it's all about willpower, Volonte not stealing, Lieven. No. Sorry.

Lieven (3m 31s):

Could have been, could have been.

Joel (3m 32s):

And, where are you calling in from today Daniel?

Daniel (3m 34s):

I'm calling in from beautiful Long Island, New York.

Chad (3m 37s):

New York City?

Joel (3m 39s):

Another European that came over here to mess things up. Love it.

Daniel (3m 43s):

There you go. Yeah. Another one of those.

Chad (3m 45s):

Yeah, because that's not what our history was set upon.

Joel (3m 51s):

Well guys, how about some shout outs?

Chad (3m 53s):

Do it.

Joel (3m 53s):

All right. I got a shout out for, for beer. Is there a better shout out than that?

Chad (3m 58s):

No there is not.

Joel (3m 60s):

Apparently bathing in beer is the hottest thing going in Europe right now. According to an article from Vice Belgium's first beer spa just jumped up in Brussels. We're Chad and I will conveniently be next month, by the way. So I'm just saying the Chad, Cheese and Lieven live from a tub of Duvel. I don't know, maybe in our future? Inside the spa, guests are invited to a hot based scrub before hopping into large tanks of brewing liquids butt naked. You can pick your favorite hop, which you can use to exfoliate your skin, which I know is important to Chad.

Chad (4m 35s):


Joel (4m 35s):

It's good for your skin, full of antioxidants and hops are also part of the hemp and cannabis family. So you'll be nice and relaxed. What's to hate about bathing and beer. Shout out to crazy Europeans bathing in my favorite brew.

Chad (4m 50s):

Lieven. What is this about? You guys make some of the best beer in the world and you're going to waste it in a tub?

Joel (4m 56s):

The best!

Lieven (4m 56s):

At least we wash.

Chad (4m 58s):

Wait a minute, wait you're from Europe and you're saying at least you wash. Oh, I'm sorry go ahead.

Joel (5m 4s):

No, have you done this or know anyone that's done this?

Lieven (5m 7s):

I've never heard of story as stupid as that one. I've never seen someone bathing in beer or maybe I have, but some different situations. I should have give it a try probably. It sounds fun. Like, yeah.

Joel (5m 20s):

Sounds a lot of fun to me. Try it one picture the picture had a tap right next to the beer, tub of beer. So

Daniel (5m 26s):

I don't even know. I don't know why this is so, so strange to you guys. We do this all the time in Germany. I don't know. You know,

Lieven (5m 36s):

On Sundays, Sunday beer bath.

Chad (5m 37s):

Yeah, but we're not talking about bathing and beer with regard to how much you drink Daniel during October. You're talking about getting in a tub. Yeah,

Daniel (5m 47s):

I misunderstood then clearly. Yeah. That's different. That's what Belgians do. Oh, that's what you said, right? Yeah.

Lieven (5m 53s):

Yeah. I've got a shout out. Shout out to Play It! Play It is a Belgium game-based learning platform. And basically they create a virtual lookalike of a company in which avatar can walk around and then they use the surroundings to train people from home, which has been working great during COVID. But now recently, one of their clients, which is a big grocery chain, they trained older employees in resuscitation, you know, heart massage and mouth to mouth, et cetera. Recently, a customer collapsed in the store and was successfully resuscitated by one of the employees claiming he got the skills by playing the educational game. And I think it's a great idea to keep your clients alive so probably a very good investment.

Lieven (6m 35s):

Shout outs to Play It! (

Joel (6m 37s):

Here's the heart massage, everybody.

Chad (6m 40s):

It just seems like total bullshit to me. I don't know how many CPR classes or like combat lifesaver classes I've gone through. I just, to be able to find out where you need to put your hands and your mouth and all that stuff, to be able to think that you can do it on a video game to me, if you can. That's awesome. But it just seems way foreign.

Joel (7m 0s):

I had a dollar for every time I got smacked for asking a girl if she wanted a heart massage, but I'm just trying to help.

Chad (7m 8s):

Yeah. I think you're talking about breast exams. I have a shout out to Ted Lasso, baby. They're about to step up their game. That's right after receiving 20 Emmy nominations, four wins and most definitely the surprise feel good show of the COVID season. Ted Lasso has struck a deal with England's premier league that will allow the series to use premier league footage, logos, and trophies. So I can imagine where Jason Sudeikis and his Merry band of writers will use the hell out of these goodies. Daniel do you watch a Ted Lasso at all?

Daniel (7m 45s):

Believe it or not, but I have not watched it yet. No. Obviously it's in the news everywhere. Sorry. That's I know watched it yet. Now. I certainly will. You know, today's a day for sure.

Chad (7m 59s):

So you've got two seasons that you can binge through. So right after the podcast, I, we expect you to go ahead, unplug everything else and just go do it.

Joel (8m 6s):

And we have to start prescreening our mystery guest. We can't have a Ted Lasso-less guest on the show. Chad, your infatuation with Lasso is part equal parts, refreshing and equal parts a little creepy.

Chad (8m 19s):

I can see that!

Joel (8m 20s):

You're probably sad this season's over and you have to wait until August of next year for a whole new round of,

Chad (8m 25s):

Julie and I love it when we hear the Mumford Sons, you know, intro it just like automatically joy just enters our heart.

Joel (8m 34s):

So I understand that there's only one season left and they're done right. Is that,

Chad (8m 38s):

I don't know that that's the truth?

Joel (8m 41s):

But I'm pretty sure that they said three seasons max. Now if the money's good enough anything could happen.

Chad (8m 47s):

That's right.

Daniel (8m 47s):

And then isn't it always, like they say, they're done and then comes the prequel and then the prequel to the prequel. And so I'm sure there's a long runway ahead of you.

Joel (8m 55s):

And one guy gets his own show and then there's an offshoot of another show

Chad (9m 0s):

Beard's going to be next.

Joel (9m 2s):

Yeah. Clearly, clearly Roy Kent should have his own show, right? I mean, clearly Roy should have his own show. Daniel, anything from you, shout out wise any special someone, or?

Daniel (9m 13s):

You know what, I'll just I'll make you yawn probably because it's not Ted Lasso. But you know, just to my team, you know, Volonte is,

sfx (9m 26s):


Daniel (9m 26s):

You know, we're not even two years into this. It's complete startup madness very often. And you know, they're just hanging in there doing all this great work while a fantastic first customer. And it's just madness sometimes. So I have to give this one to my team here, Karen and Simone and Brooke. And Minisha, and the whole crew, you know, just shout out to them!

Chad (9m 48s):

How big is the team and why did you do it?

Daniel (9m 52s):

The team is a group of seven to eight now, you know, depending on how we flex up and down and why I did it, I spent 15 years with Adecco group. You know, the big, big guys here in the space. Yeah, there you go. Had 15 fantastic years there. You know, worked my way all the way up from working student recruiters helper while I was still at university in Germany. And then, you know, just worked my way all the way up. And after 15 fantastic years had to try myself on this entrepreneurial path. And you know, I think that we have a problem out there when it comes to career change and change in the workplace.

Daniel (10m 36s):

It's just not managed well and handled properly by most companies. You know, you have all these crazy stats. I think just last month, McKinsey came out again saying 70% of company change initiatives fail. And we just set out to, you know, solve for that. So, you know, for us it's all about turning workplace and career change into more positive and empowering and you know, proactive experiences also. So that's the why in a nutshell, just had to do this. There's so much to be done in this space.

Chad (11m 10s):

So where can you find out more about the Volonte?

Joel (11m 14s):


Daniel (11m 14s):

There you go, I love it. How you say it?, is our website. You can see everything there. We have a little explainer video and then of course, you know, hit us up on, on LinkedIn. We're pretty active on there as well.

Joel (11m 30s):

And Chad and I do voiceovers Daniel, if you love the way we say Volonte, we're happy to take your money and say it in a recording.

Daniel (11m 38s):

I might take you up on that because I have to say, I've listened to the Chad and Cheese podcast so many times, and I'm so impressed, like how your voices can actually sound this nice. You know, I thought it was all like enhanced and you know, equalizers times 10. I don't know.

Joel (11m 56s):

T-Pain mic, but yeah, I might take you up on that. Be careful

Chad (12m 1s):

I'm into it.

Joel (12m 2s):

Well Chad, you know what that music means.

Chad (12m 5s):

I'm coming Baby.

Joel (12m 6s):

We're coming to Europe. That's right. We'll be spending one of America's favorite holidays in a country that couldn't give a shit. Europe. We'll be there for Thanksgiving. Lievin, tell them about the conference. If they want to attend,

Lieven (12m 21s):

I'm going to repeat myself. I'm afraid, but

Chad (12m 23s):

It's called marketing, Lieven. I don't know if you've ever yes. Repetition, repetition, education.

Lieven (12m 30s):

Okay. Repetition is good. And I'll get, so basically to 25th of November we're organizing and we are, that means House of HR is organizing the biggest e-recruitment conference. And it looks, it's a Congress, some international top keynote speakers. Also Chad and Xheese will be there. Topics like e-sports for recruitments. We have lots of Belgium beers. E-sports that I mentioned e-sports yet? I'm very into e-sports, but that's going to be great. Then search engine marketing of course, we have programmatics. We have lots of other stuff, remote work. And you're going to meet some many fans from the show, which already appeared in one of your episodes.

Chad (13m 18s):

It's like a beautiful area. Ostend is, am I saying that right? Ostend.

Lieven (13m 25s):


Chad (13m 26s):

Okay. It looks gorgeous if you're in Europe or you're in the U S and you want to spend Thanksgiving with the Chad and Cheese, go to E Check out the speakers, register, get a flight and get your ass over there. We might not have turkey, but we will have beer. Well, no, we will have turkey, cause Joel will be there. I forgot.

Joel (13m 48s):

By the way, I love how Lieven says we have many well-respected and knowledgeable speakers and then Chad and Cheese will be there. This man,

Chad (13m 59s):

I love it, he's on he's on point.

Lieven (14m 2s):

There has to be a difference, you know?

Joel (14m 10s):

All right, well

Chad (14m 13s):


Joel (14m 13s):

All right. My favorite soundbite, here we go. We got unicorns everywhere coming out of Europe, everybody. All right. So we're going to highlight two companies first and foremost, Personio a German based HR tech services provider Personio has raised $270 million in a series, a funding round to improve automation of recruitment and human capital management processes for SMEs across Europe. The new funding brings the company's total valuation to $6.3 billion. Personio founded in 2015 and headquartered in Munich offers a wide range of services from recruitment application tracking to onboarding payroll management development and data analytics.

Joel (14m 60s):

It has a thousand employees and also offices in Madrid, London, Dublin, and Amsterdam. Guys this sounds like a European juggernaut.

Lieven (15m 9s):

Sounds a bit like Volonte, So Daniel, you know what to do?

Daniel (15m 15s):

Yeah. A little bigger right now, but that's going to change obviously very soon. No, you know what? I will say, I've heard good things about these guys end up based in Munich. There's a lot of good beer there too. So I'm not too surprised that good things come out of Munich, but you know, seriously, the thing is that I'm not surprised about this significant traction over in Europe, also for companies like Personio and the significant growth there, just because, you know, it's what I've been saying, you know, basically my whole life, right in this industry, the focus on the employee, on people and on their contributions to a company's success, you know, we're still only at the beginning of that.

Daniel (16m 1s):

And so when Personio puts a good product out there, you know, they really build a platform that I would argue in certain ways is, you know, similar to like a Workday over here or UKG and so on. I'm not surprised that they're getting a lot of attention, so kudos to them, you know, well done.

Chad (16m 20s):

So they reached unicorn status in January of this year, you can check out our podcast from late January called the "Personio Rides the Dinosaur." They've grown from 3000 to 5,000 customers in less than a year, $524 million USD with a valuation that went from in January 1.7 billion to now 6.3 billion and here's the biggest point they do not need the cash. Literally Personio is the hot girl at the bar that never has to buy a drink. Right? So this is amazing. There's so much money that's out there, but companies like this, you got, you've got to be salivating, Daniel, you've gotta be salivating right now.

Daniel (17m 4s):

It's true. You know, I mean, to be fair, you know, some of these stats like the client count, you know, I mean, you really have to dig into this sometimes.

Chad (17m 14s):

You think they're bull-shitting.

Daniel (17m 15s):

Here. I'm not necessarily saying bullshit and you know, but there's a big difference between winning a big enterprise customer and like your mom and pop shop around the corner. Right? We all know that. But still it's a great star, you know, again, good for them every, every bit of more attention and focus on human capital and the value of people, you know, in companies, success stories is good for everybody, including Volonte, you know? And, and by the way, all of this obviously is about digital transformation, right? Because Personio is a digital platform that wants to take care of all of these workflows and processes that, you know, have to do with employees and people in organizations, that's digital transformation right there.

Daniel (17m 58s):

And that's, you know, where we come in with Volonte, where we say, we want to help organizations and their employees succeed throughout this digital transformation. And you know, how they work, how, you know, they can leverage automation. And this is all good. You know, it's I'm cheering for them.

Lieven (18m 17s):

You said something about the mom and dad company but it's actually, they aim mid-sized businesses. They don't do the big corporate institutions, just the mid sizes. And I think it's a good, a good choice because those companies, they outgrow, they have outgrown the Excel sheets and all those little tools they were using and they need some kind of a platform communicating altogether. So they'll be reached out at the right time again. So it's, it's a good client base. And also it's better in my opinion, to have many small customers than just a handful of big ones. If you lose one, it's less hard.

Chad (18m 53s):

Daniel to Lieven's point, we're talking about SMEs, right? Joel is pretty much a hater on the SME side of the house, cause they're hard, man, you got it. You've got to corral all those cats, you've got to herd all those cats versus versus going whale hunting. So I guess the question is could Personio actually be, I don't know, successful without this type of cash in the first place?

Daniel (19m 20s):

Yeah. You know what I think so. I think there is a need for, you know, good platforms out there that do what Personio does. Right? So, I don't, you know, and you said it earlier, it doesn't even seem like they need all this cash. My, point is, and again, I'm not, I'm not arguing with their success story at all, it's just, you know, client count is a number that needs some, some double clicking, right. And then obviously, obviously, you know, the smaller, your average customer size is the more expensive it is also to find them. So maybe that's why they've taken on this additional money because, you know, it's really expensive to acquire those customers out there.

Daniel (20m 4s):