It’s not often that you speak to the CEO of a company who has multiplied their business by 6 – and only over the past year and a half. Growing from 50 employees to 300 since 2018, Mews Systems Hospitality Technology has demonstrated the potential of true hyper-growth, one that requires meticulous execution and alignment.
But first, a round of applause! Just a few days before we recorded our episode of the podcast, it was announced that Mews closed their Series B round with 33 million dollars to fund their next stages of growth, already in the works of course. So we had a lot to talk about when Matthijs Welle, the CEO of Mews, joined me for a discussion on scaling up this past week.
It’s a really insightful episode of the podcast, which you can listen to here. Or you can keep reading on for a few highlights from our conversation.
How to prepare for hyper-growth
The first time Welle stepped into a hotel at age 4, he knew he wanted to work in the hospitality business. Since then, he’s always worked in that direction, including the 10 years that he spent at the Hilton. For that reason, he was very familiar with the pains that come with operating a hotel, especially considering the massive problems that still exist in the way hotel technology operates, according to him. Problems that airlines solved long ago still plague the hotel industry.
That was when Welle teamed up with Richard Valtr to create a new kind of hotel, one that was more like a living room than a reception, where guests don’t have to wait to be checked in. This revolutionary idea and stunning execution has catapulted the 7 year old company into a stunning stage of hyper-growth, that expects to reach 1,000 employees in the next 2 years.
Even Welle admitted that it sounded daunting when said out loud but also mentioned that it has been only high-spirits and looking to the future over at the Mews offices. So with one huge stage of growth behind them and another just on the horizon, what is that Welle has to share on his experience?
Bring in the specialists
“At the scale that we’re growing right now, we can’t afford to Google answers. We have to have people that have lifted before.” -Matthijs Welle, CEO of Mews
Welle shared that one of the biggest lessons he’s learned as a CEO is how to go from doing every task (including taking home the bathroom towels to wash every night) to doing almost no tasks. While of course managing and operating a company is a task of its own, he admitted that most of his time is spent in meetings listening and giving insight. Long gone are the days of getting to touch each and every project.
So the task then becomes trusting that the people he has chosen will do their jobs well. Additionally, he mentioned that bringing in people who have scaled before has been a huge asset to them. This was their experience when hiring their new Chief Operating Officer, who wasn’t from the hotel industry.
It turned out to be a very fruitful practice, especially as they continue to grow so rapidly. Interested in hearing more about it? Listen to the whole episode here!
Then, keep listening and keep scaling!