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5-year-old Deel is now worth US$12 billion | Vol 120

Free Content

Welcome to Volume 120

How can you sell stakeholders on the value of marketing in an economic downturn?

Show them that investing in content marketing is like investing in the stock market. You gain returns when you play the long game. 

People don’t stop searching for solutions online because the market is down. So if your company pauses marketing right now, you will miss tons of revenue-generating and relationship-building opportunities by the time the market recovers. 

Use this information to sell stakeholders on the ROI of content marketing and protect your budget 😉.

Also, Ross will speak at SearchLove Conference in San Diego alongside Aleyda Solis, Rand Fishkin, and other talented marketers on March 13 and 14, 2023. You get 15% off when you purchase tickets via this link

Here’s what’s to come in today’s issue: 

  • 5-year-old Deel is now worth US$12 billion
  • How Gusto went from underdog to a $10 billion valuation 

Let’s jump in.


🎧 Listen to the latest episode of Create Like the Greats while you work to hear Ross Simmonds break down Gusto’s journey to a $10 billion market cap. 👀



5-year-old Deel is now worth US$12 billion 🤯

Deel is one of my favorite platforms. That’s because the company allows talents worldwide to collaborate efficiently and stay compliant. 

And I’m not the only one who feels this way. 100,000+ workers and 15,000 companies worldwide who use the service do. 

No wonder the company had 5x its annual revenue by the end of 2022. But that’s not even the amazing part. 

Deel is now a decacorn after five years in business. That’s massive growth in an economy where even big tech companies are laying off workers to extend their runway. 

TechCrunch reports that most of Deel’s ARR are from its Employer of Record (EOR) business. Who knew helping companies stay compliant as they hire talents worldwide makes your business recession-proof? 😅 Deel retains 85 cents for every revenue dollar it generates—making its profit margin a whopping 85%. 

Deel’s progress story teaches us that building a business around solving a problem of the future pays. Who knew remote work would become a big thing? It appears Deel did, and the company is reaping the benefits of its foresight and investments. It’s the same way Calendly, Slack, and others profited from the shift to remote work in 2020. 

Deel recently acquired Capbase for an undisclosed amount to enter the equity management space. The company has acquired other startups like Paygroup and Roots to expand its offerings and gain market share.

We’ll keep our fingers crossed to see how Deel sustains its impressive performance. But for now, Deel is the real deal ☺️.



How Gusto Went From Underdog to a $10 Billion Valuation

Who doesn’t love a good underdog story? 

Gusto was the underdog of enterprise HR and payroll solutions. Giants like Quickbooks, ADP, and Paylocity dominated the market. However, Gusto has made solid efforts to gain market share. 

When Ross first wrote the Gusto piece in 2020, the company was valued at $4 billion. Gusto is now worth $10 billion. 

How did Gusto more than double its valuation in nearly three years? 

Ross’ latest episode on the Create like the Greats podcast breaks down Gusto’s strategy. You should listen to the full episode to see how you can use this strategy to drive significant growth for your business, despite the current economic conditions.


Want to sponsor our next issue? Reply to this email, and we’ll share how you can reach more SaaS founders and marketers today.



🎧 Hubspot launches its podcast network on TuneIn—a live-streaming audio service with more than 75 million monthly active users. 

🚀 Merriam-Webster acquires Wordless clone, Quordle. You can now find the game on the Merriam-Webster website. 

🤑 Microsoft invests billions of dollars into Dall-E and ChatGPT’s creator, OpenAI. This came out shortly after Microsoft announced its decision to lay off 10,000 employees.

💰 LinkedIn alternative, Peerlist raised $1.1 million in a seed funding round. HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah led the round. 

⛔️ Third-party apps are no longer welcome on Twitter.



The State of Technical SEO report is out. 

Aira and the Women in Tech SEO community partnered to create this report. Here are three key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • The biggest risk to technical SEO success is when there’s no one to make changes that should be made on your website.
  • You should prioritize these three skills when hiring a tech SEO specialist: Data analysis, content strategy, and ability to read and understand HTML/CSS
  • The top three tools experts recommend for tech SEO are Google Search Console, Screaming Frog SEO Spider (for crawling and log file analysis), and Semrush (for assessing a website’s search visibility)

You can read the full report here.



5 realizations about self-care that I’m taking with me into 2023 by Amanda Natividad



MNS New Music Friday


This charcuterie board of insights is brought to you by me, Jessica Tee O. ✌🏾!

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