Want to learn the best business insights from remarkable speakers at Slush 2023, but don’t have the time to watch the full speeches on YouTube?
You’ve come to the right place. Below is a summary of a speech by Mikko Salovaara, CFO of Bolt.
(psst: the notes were automatically generated with Wudpecker's AI notetaking tool. If you'd like to check these notes + transcript + audio recording without needing to log in, press here.)
<p class="h1-rich">🤏 TL;DR</p>
The speaker discusses cost-cutting, optimizing working capital, differentiating between cash and non-cash expenses, increasing gross margin, and fundraising. Action items include creating a cost matrix, negotiating with suppliers to optimize working capital, exploring equity compensation for staff, evaluating trial-based marketing, and raising more money than needed. The importance of understanding investor behavior and managing spending wisely is emphasized.
<p class="h1-rich">✨ Summary</p>
- The speaker introduces himself and his background, mentioning his experience in cost-cutting and finance roles at various companies.
- The speaker outlines the topics he will discuss: cutting costs, optimizing working capital, differentiating between cash and non-cash expenses, increasing gross margin, and fundraising.
- Importance of knowing the actual costs, controlling who approves purchases, and monitoring cash outflows.
- Building visibility for finance and management teams to understand costs and identifying areas for potential cost reduction.
- Using a cost matrix to have multiple individuals responsible for approving spending.
- Avoiding reliance on averages and using Pareto analysis to identify major contributors to spending.
- Emphasizing the role of top leadership in setting a culture of cost control and leading by example.
- Encouraging ideas and empowering teams to contribute to cost savings.
- Implementing symbolic cost-cutting measures and shortening payback thresholds for commercial spending.
Optimizing Working Capital
- Importance of negotiating with suppliers to improve payment terms and avoid trapped cash.
- Consideration of an internal or external collection team to manage delinquent customer payments.
Cash vs Non-Cash Expenses
- Suggestions for reducing cash expenses, such as offering equity compensation, salary sacrifices, and paying vendors in equity.
- Exploring product-based marketing approaches that allow customers to try the product for free.
Increasing Gross Margin
- Importance of optimizing gross margins to drive profitability and growth.
- Consideration of pricing optimization and its impact on cash flow.
- Assessing the viability of the business based on the ability to optimize pricing.
- Importance of having multiple plans with different runway periods and raising money when it is not urgently needed.
- Advice to raise more money than needed and manage spending wisely.
- Acknowledgment of the emotional nature of investors and the need to understand and capitalize on it.