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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.


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):

I don't know, you know, I don't know all the details again. Great success story overall, I think.

Joel (20m 12s):

It's also worth noting a Personio job postings get distributed on nearly 500 job sites and boards, including StepStone, Indeed, Zing, LinkedIn, and Monster. So part of the in with a lot of SMEs, I'm sure you know, is like, we'll distribute your jobs and don't worry about multiple boards. We'll take, we'll take some of that off of your plate. I'm sure that's part of the hook to get into smaller businesses.

Chad (20m 36s):

Oh yeah. Well, and we've got more SMEs to talk about.

Joel (20m 40s):

All right. So Personio may be an old timey unicorn, but we have a fairly newly minted one. If you listen to the weekly show, you'll know about Hibob with a strong presence throughout Europe and offices in London and Amsterdam, H R I S solution Hibob announced a $150 million series C funding round last week. The round brings total investment at Hibob to 274 million since its founding in late 2015, giving it a valuation of $1.65 billion. With this recent funding Bibob's plan is among other initiatives acquire complimentary technologies and expand their global presence.

Joel (21m 25s):

I'll go ahead and start with the commentary. One thing I'm more cognizant of since doing this show is there are two types of companies in Europe in our space, those who want to roll the dice in America and those who do not. With Personio there seems to be zero interest right now in America, even with that valuation. Whereas, Hibob, wants a piece of the world's biggest economy. I think it's very difficult for European companies to come to America. Maybe it's the weird accents and the skinny jeans. My prediction is European companies in our space will sour on trying to conquer America. And the new normal will be conquering and being quite happy in your own backyard.

Daniel (22m 10s):

First of all, it must have something to do with the skinny jeans. There's no question, right? I mean,

Chad (22m 15s):

You never want to see Joel in skinny jeans, I'm telling you.

Daniel (22m 19s):

Yeah. You know, I don't know if I ever want to see anyone in them. But anyway, it must have something to do with that. Outside of that, I agree with you. And you know, I think that maybe not all, but many European-based companies, you know, need to buckle up before they come over here because you know, the level of investment and funding available to both emerging and already established companies over here is mind-boggling. And that means there's a lot of resources here in this market already to defend against, you know, people and companies who come from overseas.

Daniel (23m 2s):

So I'm always in the camp of, you know, taking these decisions on, you know, globalization and reaching out across borders in a very, very conscious way. You know, you can hurt yourself pretty bad if you do that too early.

Chad (23m 17s):

Right? The, well,the total addressable market Personio actually said, as they have 1.7 million SMEs targeted themselves, but there's 25 million SMEs in Europe overall. So I think, I think Daniel, you're probably right on that there's a ton of market to be had here, in Europe, if you can do, if you can do that and you can actually gain that traction, I understand there's a big pot of gold across the Atlantic, but why spend all the money to build that fucking bridge when you have pots of gold in Europe? I mean, that's when Hibob said that they were at least at least inkling to come to the U S that to me just flashed, they were trying to use that for funding.

Chad (24m 4s):

I don't know if that'll actually happen.

Joel (24m 6s):

Yeah. And I think, I think it goes both ways. I mean, we've talked about on the show house ZipRecruiter's, you know, is a big brand in the US but it's basically invisible according to Lieven over in Europe and very few companies that have been huge in our space in America, Indeed comes to mind, maybe Monster back in the day. It's really hard for Europeans to come to America. And it's hard for Americans to go over to Europe

Chad (24m 34s):


Daniel (24m 35s):

Yeah. That's certainly one way. Yeah. I think part of what is on the estimated a lot also is, you know, we're talking about people industries here, right? We're talking about HR tech, we're talking about human capital, recruiting HR services. And you know, this whole element of just, you know, intangibles in how you do business with people and focused on people and people-centricity between, you know, two different continents has been underestimated, you know, many times. Now that at the same time also means that there's always opportunity and like trying to export a business model or a new piece of technology overseas, for sure.

Daniel (25m 20s):

But I think, you know, some of those differences and intricacies in how you really deal with people or build a people-centric piece of technology have been on this estimated and are part of the reason why it can be really hard for companies to make that leap across borders or even across the big pond.

Chad (25m 41s):

So Lieven have you guys thought about House of HR doing any acquisitions or even trying to build that gold bridge across the Atlantic?

Lieven (25m 48s):

We've been talking about it a lot, I think, but for the moment we are focusing on Europe and as you said, there are plenty of companies in Europe, plenty of business in Europe. So no needs to build the expensive bridge.

Joel (26m 2s):

And let's be honest, most Americans are assholes.

Chad (26m 5s):

It's the truth.

Joel (26m 6s):

I guarantee you when Americans see favorite written with OUR instead of OR, they're like, well, fuck those assholes, can't speak our language.

Chad (26m 17s):

They're just using excessive vowels over there, we can't do that.

Joel (26m 21s):

But a bunch of pompous, skinny jean, French wearing cologne, assholes they are. So you got to get it just right and Americans, we're dicks, man. It's hard to make us happy.

Daniel (26m 32s):

Is this where we're getting into the German language chorus here that you teased at the beginning, is this the moment?

Joel (26m 39s):

Scheißekopf some, what is there?

Daniel (26m 42s):

There's this there's one word. You know, whenever the topic comes up with friends and you know, I was the over here in New York. There's one word that puts everybody to the test. So I'll share it with you. And then, you know, Lieven probably knows what it means, but it doesn't even matter what it means. You just have to pronounce it. Okay. So here you go. The word is <inaudible>

sfx (27m 15s):


Daniel (27m 15s):

Come on. You didn't even try.

Lieven (27m 16s):

<inaudible> Yeah. From, you know, from the new, nice song. <inaudible>

Chad (27m 24s):

Well, guys, all I have to say is this is a perfect bridge to, I don't know the next topic after this quick break.

sfx (27m 38s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Joel (27m 41s):

Money, money money

Chad (27m 42s):


Joel (27m 43s):

All right, guys, our buddy, our buddy George Larocque who opines on the investment goings on in our space, says the cash register continues to ring. George said in his Q3 2021 report that WorkTech VC investment set another record in dollar volume and deal count exceeding $6 billion in Q3 and $13.7 billion has now been invested globally in work tech during the 2021 year date surpassing the record set in 2019, by more than $8 billion. This sustained surge of VC investment in WorkTech reflects a deep level of interest in the changing future of work and the continuing wave of innovation now upon us.

Joel (28m 26s):

While the US still remains and retains the lion's share of cash, Europe is no slouch. Some highlights, UK leads the continent with 16 deals closed. Germany second with seven deals. The rest of the continent represented 14 other deals. Among the biggest European companies include Multi-verse, which we talked about in our last show. And ULife out of the UK. Coachhub and Meister out of Germany and Factorial out of Spain. Guys, what do we make of all these maybe lack thereof, euros being thrown around the world?

Daniel (28m 59s):

First of all, I'm really curious to know what Meister is now. Can you pick a more German word or a name for it for a company, right.

Chad (29m 10s):


Daniel (29m 10s):

I'm really curious there. I think this is a good development, right? Seeing Europe catch up at least to some extent with the funding levels here in the US is a good development also to be fair. You know, when we listen to these numbers, I mean, the US is a much bigger market, right? I mean, off the top of my head, I would say that just in terms of the population, you know, in the US versus Western Europe, you're probably talking about like, almost twice as many people, right? So it's not really surprising that there's more, still a lot more funding over here, but the catch-up effect in Europe is great. And I think we're going to see more of that.

Lieven (29m 51s):

Daniel, is that the reason why you moved to the US? I mean, you could have launched our company in Europe as well, I guess.

Daniel (30m 1s):

Yeah. Great question Lieven. You know, I moved here long before I started Volonte. You know, I moved here, it was more like the traditional situation where you move with the big companies. So that was still back with Adecco Group, like 10 years ago. I mean, now that you ask me, you know what I have launched the same company in Europe or would I have wanted to move over here? It's a good question. I don't know if I can answer it, but you know, generally speaking. Yeah. I think it's still somewhat easier to get something started over here compared to Europe, but, not always. So good question. I would have to think about that a little more. That's a good question.

Lieven (30m 38s):


Joel (30m 38s):

What are the major hurdles? Like we talked about Multi-verse last week, who does apprenticeships and they seem to be eyeing the US which has a lot less sort of red tape around gig work and contract work, et cetera. Whereas we've talked about Europe in length about, you know, are they going to be gig workers? Are they employees? Are they contract workers? And different countries have their own rules? Is that what you see as the main hurdle for these companies? Or do you see more than just regulation in regards to money coming into Europe?

Lieven (31m 12s):

As the whole climate? I think it's so many little things. It's like the sheer number of startups. There are so many startups in US more than Europe. It's another mindset, I think. So the whole investment climate is different. People aren't as afraid as in Europe to invest money. In Europe when we go broke, that's something to be ashamed of. Or when we go, is it called broke?

Joel (31m 36s):


Lieven (31m 36s):

Bankrupt, that was the word I was looking for, indeed. So in the US it's like, okay, you've done it once a second time you'll do better. And Europe, once you've been broke, you probably will not get a second chance as easily.

Joel (31m 50s):

So it's a cultural thing.

Lieven (31m 51s):

It's a climate, it's a cultural thing and also it's as the climate, the government is promoting it more in the US, I think there are many more funds available in the United States. So it's a whole bunch of things.

Daniel (32m 6s):

I think you're spot on there Lieven, for sure. Fully subscribed to that. You know, another way to look at this is also that, you know, it really depends on which problem you're trying to solve. Right. So you just mentioned Multi-verse right. I mean, I love their model and I think it's going to work or continue to work very well over in Europe, you know, here in the US you know, this whole topic of apprenticeships and the acceptance of it, and how does it really fit into the work ecosystem is just, you know, really different animals.

Daniel (32m 46s):

So, so yeah, sometimes I think it's important for companies to really, you know, not sometimes, I guess always, it's important to really think through these things through, you know, very thoroughly before, again, this question of globalization and taking this leap over here, or vice versa is taken. Some of that I think limits successful execution of these plans here.

Joel (33m 13s):

Quick note, apparently Multi-verse is headed up by Tony Blair's son. Do I have that right?

Chad (33m 18s):

Yes you do.

Joel (33m 20s):

That's interesting side note there. And it seems like culturally based on the number of startups, the UK is more open to risk and startups and giving money. Would that be correct?

Daniel (33m 28s):

Yeah, I think so this goes back to what Lieven just said, right. In terms of just, you know, the willingness to take risks and this idea of okay, you know, you're on your own. So, you know, you kind of go for it and, you know, go big or go home. Right. You know, this better than I do. So, so, so yeah, I think that's definitely part of it, for sure. Yeah.

Joel (33m 53s):

Cool. Well, speaking of crazy cultures, let's talk about Facebook for a second. Big news out of the EU, Facebook will hire 10,000 people in Europe over the next five years. Announcing its plans in a blog post the social media giant stated that it was quote "a vote of confidence in the strength of the European tech industry and the potential of European tech talent" end quote. "Facebook under increased regulatory scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic," says the Wall Street Journal "will focus on hiring highly skilled engineers to create a metaverse, which is an online platform where users engage with one another using virtual and augmented reality.

Joel (34m 35s):

The company previously referred to it's VR based work meetings app Horizon Workrooms as a metaverse project." Facebook has said, focusing on VR will reduce its reliance on other hardware makers. Guys, thoughts on the Facebook move to come to Europe?

Daniel (34m 52s):

Yeah. So is this actually focused on Europe? So these 10,000 jobs will be created in Europe? Is that what you're saying? I read the news.

Joel (35m 0s):

Yeah. They're a little cloudy on where. Their headquarters is in Ireland.

Chad (35m 4s):

Sounds like a bribe to be quite Frank

Lieven (35m 8s):


Joel (35m 9s):

A little tease, little carrot out there, like, you know, keep up the antitrust cases and we may not come to Europe, but most of the projections and the most excited group of people are the Irish, because the Facebook headquarters is in Dublin, I believe.

Lieven (35m 25s):

And the Belgium newspapers, they said it was to be all around Europe. So probably they are spreading different press releases according to the country they are sending it to.

Chad (35m 35s):

Imagine that right?

Joel (35m 36s):

Also a mix of remote work and office work.

Lieven (35m 39s):

Most of the bribe, the bribe actually is a pretty good guess, I think, Hey, we're going to provide 10,000 new people with jobs.

Joel (35m 48s):

Such cynics on this show.

Chad (35m 50s):

And Joel, remember when we had Miranda Bogan on and she was with, she's a senior policy director with a nonprofit called Upturn and her focus, a lot of her focus was the AI recommender based tech at Facebook. And she was, I mean, she was allowed voice against Facebook. Remember how they shut her up?

Joel (36m 9s):

Refresh my memory.

Chad (36m 11s):

They hired her. I mean, again, this is something that Facebook and big corporate America has been good at for years. Right. This is, to me, it shouts of nothing but bullshit and bribes. And again, who are you going to trust? Facebook? I think they're probably one of the brands that you don't trust, whether it's in Europe, it's in the U S wherever they're at.

Daniel (36m 32s):

Yeah. I think, you know, I don't know, maybe I'm old school with sometimes when it comes to this stuff, but I have a 13 year old and a 15 year old at home now, you know, and as much as I think, you know, that what the describing there, what Metaverse is all going to be about. And as much as I know that, you know, even for my kids like to be on top of some of these technologies, I also find it, you know, scary to imagine that they're going to spend even more time in front of the screen when in reality, I think it would just be really nice for them sometimes to grab their bike and head down to the beach or do something out there.

Daniel (37m 14s):

You know? So I guess I'm undecided on this whole topic here. You know, we'll have to figure this out yeah.

Joel (37m 20s):

Well, the jury is definitely out on VR. It's clearly not a proven technology as much as I would love it to be. It has a long way to go obviously. I think to Chad's point, you know, Facebook has more lobbyists and PR people than they do engineers, I think was last, last quarter, they have 900 PR people. This is sort of their game, right? Let's create some good PR. Obviously in the states in particular, they're under scrutiny with, you know, 60 minutes around the whistleblower and what they're doing to teens and, and all that. They had the outage a couple of weeks ago. So they need some good PR and why not in Europe, where by the way, we have a ton of lawsuits and antitrust issues to deal with.

Joel (38m 3s):

Facebook's mantra seems to be, if we're going to win, first we have to win some hearts and minds. And to do that, let's employ some people, or at least let's put out the promise of hiring people to make good with local governments and countries.

Lieven (38m 21s):

Yeah. And normally people would say creating jobs can never be wrong and creating 10,000 jobs is a great thing. My only small problem with it is they're going to create 10,000 very interesting engineering jobs. And they will take away 10,000 tightly skilled engineers from 10,000 necessary engineering jobs. I mean, every company in Europe is screaming for engineers. And when Facebook is claiming we're going to hire a 10,000 of them, the other companies won't like it probably. And it's the problem will solve itself. I mean, within five years, those people will learn a lot in Facebook probably and they will go to other companies.

Joel (38m 58s):

It sounds to me like some new visas will be distributed.

Lieven (39m 2s):

Probably they'll have to. And I also hope Facebook is going to promote a STEM education is targeting, you know, science technology. Okay. Education in Europe, because they have the leverage. If one company can promote something like STEM, it will be Facebook. So they can use their own channels to do something good for a change.

Chad (39m 23s):

Yeah. They want to do something good. Let's see them actually do something good. As opposed to just throw, press releases at countries.

Joel (39m 32s):

Chad, I'm not going to hold my breath. Just so you know.

Daniel (39m 36s):

You know, just fair point on the press release topic. You know, I don't know if anyone followed this, but Amazon put out this, this big press release just a couple of weeks ago, talking about, you know, tuition reimbursement and creating the future of work by helping people upscale and rescale and so on. And so to Lieven's point, you know, these big mammoth tech firms out there have the potential to do really good things, but so far, you know, it's still the smaller, not small, but smaller companies.

Joel (40m 14s):

Breathe Chad.

Chad (40m 14s):

Yes, No proof.

Joel (40m 15s):

You can't throw that grenade at the end of the show, Daniel,

Daniel (40m 19s):

I had to, I saved the best for last.

Joel (40m 22s):

The best for last is you Daniel. Thank you for joining us on the Chad and Cheese podcast.

sfx (40m 28s):


Joel (40m 28s):

For those listeners who want to connect with you and know more about your organization, where should they go?

Daniel (40m 34s):

Definitely, you know,, as I mentioned, earlier we have and then, you know, follow us on LinkedIn, give us some love there. We'll give it back and would be happy to, to share more about what we do and our mission here of, you know, creating better workplace and career changes.

Joel (40m 54s):

Love it.

Chad (40m 56s):


Joel (40m 56s):

And if you want to listen to more Euro goodness, checkout Guys, it's been fun. It's been real. Let's do it again in a couple of weeks.

Joel, Chad, and Lieven (41m 8s):

We out.

OUTRO (41m 45s):

Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of people, you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode. And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. Is so weird. We out.


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