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Global Workforce Podcast:

Managing a compliant carve-out from Spotify with Olle Råghall of Soundtrap

June 24, 2024
Olle Råghall, COO of Soundtrap reveals Soundtrap’s incredible journey from inception to recent reacquisition by its original founders

Show notes

Merger & Acquisition

What does it take for a startup to thrive amid acquisitions and global expansion? In this episode, Olle Råghall, COO of Soundtrap, reveals Soundtrap’s incredible journey from inception to recent reacquisition by its founders. We explore strategies for talent retention, managing compliance across different countries and the challenges and successes of navigating a global workforce.

Key Takeaways:

(03:27) Advantages of contractors: cost, time and flexibility.

(04:48) Contractors can be less invested in long-term success.

(05:34) Legal compliance is like a pendulum between protecting workers and being pro-business.

(17:12) Knowing your contractor and protecting intellectual property.

(18:00) Clearly define roles and expectations in job descriptions.

(22:27) OmniProtect covers legal costs, penalties and taxes for misclassification.

(24:18) Regularly review contractors to ensure they haven't become de facto employees.

(31:12) Using contractors is a great way to step into the global workforce.

(35:27) Challenges arise when negotiating with people you must work with post-acquisition.

(43:00) There’s always more ability than opportunity; hire talented people to make a difference.

Resources Mentioned:

Soundtrap website

Omnipresent homepage

Thanks for listening to the Global Workforce Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a 5-star review. And be sure to subscribe so you never miss any insightful conversations.

Video shorts


You're listening to the Global Workforce podcast with me, George Britton.

Each week, we interview an industry expert to dive deeper into the world of managing a global workforce and discuss the big strategic challenges that you're going to encounter along the way.

This episode is brought to you by Omnipresent, the global employment platform that allows you to employ anyone, anywhere without having to set up an entity.

Designed, built, and supported by global employment experts, Omnipresent takes care of your international employees and contractors, so you don't have to worry about payroll, HR, or compliance issues, making it easier, faster, and safer to expand internationally.

So hello, everybody. My name is, George Britton. Welcome to our webinar today.

I'm the director of sales and customer success and partnerships at Omnipresent. And, this is the first in a series of webinars that we'll be hosting all around m and a success. Over the coming weeks and month, I'll be talking with different people in the m and a world about their experiences, sharing insight and value with the community.

Now to kick things off today, I'll be joined by, Ollie Rakul, DOO at Soundtrap. Good afternoon, Ollie.

Good afternoon.

Great to be here. Thanks for being here. So far?

Yeah. It's going very well. I'm, calling in from from, Aix en Provence, Southern France, which is my my, my, where I work from.

So I have a nice nice, sunny spring day down here in in, in Provence.

Well, I'm very jealous. I'm based in rainy, Surrey, and it's been raining here for about two weeks solid.

I've chosen before.

I I did spend a year in, in France a few years ago, about twenty years ago, but I've never spent the spring in in Provence.

I'm very, I'm very jealous.

Yeah. It's very nice. Everything. Yeah. It's just everything is earlier.

That'll touch now.

Fantastic. Well, look, I am really excited to be to be here with you today. I think I've been asking to asking the team to start a webinar with you, for about six months now. So I'm really excited to be here and and chatting with you today.

What we'll be doing today is digging a bit deeper into the Soundtrap story from before the, Spotify years through, through the Spotify acquisition initially in twenty seventeen and then, last year's reacquisition, how you and the leadership team are thinking about things like talent retention, people strategy, and things like compliance, managing that across half a dozen different countries internationally.

But before we dig into that, in any more detail, just a bit of housekeeping. So there should be time at the end for q and a. So if you do post any questions in the chat for Ollie or if you wanna ask me some questions as well, please do feel free. We have, moderators on the chat as well. So, they'll be able to answer any immediate questions that come up, but we will try and leave time at the end for until q and a.

But for those who don't know, Ollie, perhaps we could start with just an introduction to, yourself, when you, came across Soundtrack and then a bit about Soundtrack, what it is what you what you are trying to achieve.

Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. So I'm, my name is Ollie. I'm, forty three years old, and I live in in, Exemplo, on the south with my my wife and to to Jill rep.

I've, yeah, I have a business background. I work in consulting and and, also very much an entrepreneur part, and I've founded a bunch of companies. And and and, and I love love sort of, thought up entrepreneurial environment.

I'm also a music producer and musician. I, you know, played music all my my life, and and some seven years ago, I wanted to to make a change. I was in another company called the, fantastic company I went outside. We grew from thirty when I joined to to two hundred employees, and and I'd be over. I left four years later, and it was a great journey. And and, but I feel like I was, done there. In contemplating what I wanted to do with my life, I I kinda went back to root and realized, of course, I have a huge passion for music, so I started to look for for, for, for opportunity in music and found it fantastic startup called Soundtrack.

Then was, was the company of thirty thirty five people, and it was, was, in May two thousand seventeen. So it was about seven years ago.

And it's an online youth making tool. It's a tool for for for, making music. Yeah. If you have an idea for a song, beat.

You can create your beat, sing your vocals. You can produce music. And what's unique about SoundCloud was that it's, it's completely cloud based. It's browser based, so it's sort of a Google Docs for music, so you can work simultaneously from anywhere in the world, with the same project.

So kind of three, yeah, three main problems that we were set up to solve is that, one, making it very complicated.

It takes a lot of a lot of technical know how.

And two, it often sort of download the software. So with the single single user environment, you can't take your projects with you. And three, they're not collaborative, the current tool that were out there. So with SoundCloud, we wanted to fix that because most of the music makers, they are not music producers. They're not all the engineers. They don't want to to, necessarily learn how to operate the studio. They just wanna make music and do that with others.

And and, we started up out as a consumer tool, but then quite early on, we had of course, we were founded in in in Stockholm. It's a it's a Swedish company. But early on, usage pickup were very in the US.

And, teachers started approaching us to school and say, hey. This is a great tool. We use it in school. And and we got an early reward from a teacher's association in the US for best, best, educational creative tool of the year, and and doing after that Google approach that, for us to be be sort of featured in their Google classroom, creative bundle as sort of their garage band.

So, so quite early on, we pivoted to to various sort of time for education and type of pay, and that's where we were when I joined.

And then about six six months after I joined, we were acquired by Spotify.

And and so for for, yeah, since then, we've been part of of of Spotify. Of course, the idea with with the with the music listening and music creation, same tool was, was a very cool one.

During that time, we grew from thirty five to to to, about triple the size.

It's been a fantastic journey. We've learned learned, a lot being part of of, as a global and really, really fantastic company.

But but, in sort of our strategy and and theirs, we kind of made made a decision, this, last spring to to part ways. So the the, the two of the original founders of Santat bought Santat And now we are are an independent company again. But during that time, of course, we've continued to to serve serve schools throughout the world with with another in in the US, but we also built out again our consumer. So right now, we have have, two main business model SoundCloud for for consumers, anyone that want to make music in use of, and it's SoundCloud for education with SoundCloud, that is used in in school.

Super interesting to him. It's really interesting to hear about the the how the schools, piece kind of arose. Was that something you were kind of aware of and you took you decided that actually we want to target calls, or did did it kind of happen organically? Some schools started using it and then you found out.

Yeah. Organically. The schools are using it then and and then then, then, they had specific needs because we're sort of social network. You connect with use it with other people and schools that need need, compliance for that to be able to to to shield off and work with wall garden. There's a bunch of unique requirements in in schools, and schools have their learning management systems that they they need integration with for something to work better. Today, it started it happened organically. They started using us and and and, and the bond of the an additional compliance, so we we we we, accommodated that and and but it's very much user user, driven.

Yeah. Yeah. That's really interesting.

And tell me, what was life like back in the pre Spotify days? So back when you joined kinda six months before the acquisition, were you all kind of office based in Stockholm, or, like, what was the community like? How did it all how did you all come together?

Yeah. So we had no business Stockholm, in, sort of moment in central Stockholm where everyone went to work like, like, we used to in those days. We were a very sort of internationally environment company already then, I think. Already then when we were thirty five people, we had some at least ten plus different nationalities, and and, English was sort of the main main language spoken. So it was was a national environment, which would sort of be very inspiring, but it was well till very, yeah, everyone worked in Stockholm and all of the the the Stockholm.

Except that we should add, all of them, we had started with on a consultancy base thing having having sales staff and teachers in the US supporting us with our US clients. Because, of course, in in the consumer model, we have users in, you know, two hundred plus handwritten all over the world, but then one can do it. With with a browser, it can can use us. But for for the schools, it's more, of course, localized and and and, the need for local support is is, bigger.

But rather than we had network and and consultant working with us, in in, in the US. Former teachers also organically reach out to us and said, hey. Well, I love the tool. Can I be part of it?

And we say, yeah. Of course.

Interesting. So you had teachers coming to you, asking to to be your, to kind of partner with you and to be, your consultants in in international locations. That's super interesting.


And very but very, very US based. So it's, the school school thing, took up very much in the US, and and, we're we were all based in in Stockholm, Jordan. Yeah. Order organically.


Yeah. How did life change until you are these you were this group of this this small tribe of thirty five people, all of a sudden overnight you acquired by Spotify. You have access to, you know, all of the Spotify resources, all of their, entities around the world. You can start to hire from anywhere. How did that kind of shape your thinking about people strategy?

So so, of course, first of all, we really got the best of both worlds. So we we still operate it very much as an with our own brand and our own own identity.

But, of course, we have access to to to, the amazing kind of people and HR system that that, Spotify. I have them with people's strategies with with, yeah, career frameworks and and other benchmarks and and benefit and and and all of that.


So certainly professionalize our our whole, yeah, HR strategy to to great to great degree.

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And then, last question that, of those thirty five or so people, how many of them then stayed kind of long term under thumb track within the spot number? Did you manage to hold on to most of the staff?

How did that how did that play out?

Yeah. Great. The I think we're still some twenty people left from that period. So so we have a lot of people that have been with us for for a very long time, and then with some some natural natural, churn, of course, but but we're still a very sort of, yeah, lots of people that are still still dire from before for the spot five days.

Yeah. Yeah. That's a pretty good retention rate given that it was, you know, seven odd years ago, and now there's still twenty of those thirty five still still work for the company. So, yeah, you did a good job there.

Okay. Great. So, what point did you start to realize that actually, you know, now might be the right time to to move away from and, yeah, could you tell us a bit a bit of tell me what happened what's happened in the last kind of year or two months or so?

Yeah. So that was a, yeah, decision discussion that happened last last, last, last, spring. And, yeah, kinda q two quite quite fast when when I mean, we we like to move fast, but we like to move faster when we started. Yeah. I mean, the right thing to do.

And and then, it was originally the conversation between between, yeah, beyond beyond the founders and And then then, then, Worldite Group that worked on for for for a while, and then it was what, communicated in in early early June two thousand twenty three.


And then, of course, we had had about three weeks to to set everything up with with the with the payroll and and the and employment for for.

And, of course, the very great, yeah, benefit being part of Spotify is that during that time, we we, of course, during COVID, as as as, also publicly communicated, Spotify launched launched, from anywhere strategy.

That that for us also worked fantastically because we it opened up very much recruitment to to we weren't no longer no longer, sort of obliged to just recruit in Stockholm, but could recruit anywhere in Europe and and and US as well. Want to keep people in the same time zone, team they are working on, but we could only recruit people everywhere, which which is, of course, fantastic. Everyone wants to move to to Stockholm.

And we are are also, of course, a niche where where good music musical background and and musical skills, but also, of course, we we need top talent in in in engineering and marketing. So so opening up up, the field to be able to recruit across, across Europe was, fantastic.


During so being part of Spotify and then then then with the spin off, of course, wanted to to take everyone with us and and offering everyone to to come with us, and we need solutions for for continuing employing everyone to the same same the same way that they've been been before. And also with also with, with, great benefit and and, health care and and all of that stuff that that, we all got used to during during Spotify.

Yeah. Absolutely. So back back in twenty seventeen, you'd gone from this team of thirty five, all office based in Stockholm. When the when the decision was made to to to spin off Spotify then, what did the team look like then? It sounds like there was a there was more of a, dispersed workforce book there.

Yeah. So I had, yeah, that north of of, a hundred people then. Then then, some some people, made it you know, probably, like, continue that.

Modify, but who are some some seventy five people who who, initially end up continuing with with, with, as a standalone company.

And those seventy five people were spread out across nine different countries, have, have, biggest hubs were in Stockholm and and London, and then, quite a few spread out across the the US.

And then then, the rest spread out across Europe.


So, yeah, then, of course, we had yeah. And and then, of course, Sunpropc didn't exist as as the legal entity. Well, it was just a tumor brand. So we, of course, need to set everything up from scratch within legal entities in in in in US, in the UK, in Sweden, and we need a way of of, yeah, best possible way of, employing everyone and make sure that their employment was was was transferred from from Spotify to Soundtrap in a in a in a good and secure way with with great benefits, intact and salary intact and as little destruction as possible despite, of course, setting up everything from from from scratch.

Got you. And at what point did you realize that that was gonna be kind of a a bit like an issue? You know, obviously, you've gone from having the spot for infrastructure, which allows you to hire in all these different countries, and then you realize, okay, we can spin off, but actually we have this this problem that's gonna that that means we need to pay all these people internationally.

Yeah. I think that was one of the, I mean, apparent problems from to solve.

All I'm here was to solve when when when doing this pin number. These are are were a bunch of steps, of course, and and and the people people part of it, probably the single most, important to get get, right from from the bats. And then there were other sports teams as well, like, technical and a lot of decoupling that we needed to get done. But but, yeah, that was was an apparent very important, and time sensitive work stream from from the start.

Yeah. Absolutely. And, Faye, you mentioned a few things.

So, you know, you've got to think about how do we make sure we maintain employee benefits and how do we make sure we're compliant with local labor law now that don't have kind of, like, the Spotify HR team on on speed dial for those kind of situations.

So, what, how do how do you approach the benefits? Did you try and harm as much as possible, or, like, did you try and increase or decrease, or what was your strategy around that?

So for the benefits part, of course, is yeah. Sport has them.

Fantastic benefits. So so it was was, a matter of getting as close as possible despite being a smaller independent. So who all better? Want to, of course, the best, possible, benefit there is. And and, and, of course, there we got, amazing help from from, from you at Omnipresent who who who, yeah, who have great work done and for our suppliers of benefit. So what we did for each market was to to to, try to get a quote from from Spotify providers.

How would it work if we we we buy the panel feed from you independently? And then then also the benchmark with with the with the your non present, recommended recommend buyers. And in audiences as we want with with the with the owner present recommended buyers because they were the best best, bang for the buck.

Yeah. Absolutely.

We all forget, yeah, best possible possible, benefits we could from there.

And and we got we got pretty close to to to the original original one.

Yeah. Because you've got a number of different things at play here. Right? You've got Spotify, which is gonna it's gonna be one of the companies with, like, the leading benefits provisioner of any multinational company in the world. And then you've got the local market dynamics to play with, and then more you can and can't offer for each employee, like, benefit in the UK and London being one of your hubs versus benefits in the states is completely completely there. We have different expectations from employees about what they should and shouldn't have. So navigating that must have been, must have been a bit of a challenge.

Yeah. Yeah. Certainly. And it's yeah. In particularly in the US, of course, which, yeah, of course, health care is very, very important. In some countries like France and Sweden, it's more of a nice to have, and it in the US, it's it's an absolute necessity to have.

And, of course, I'm I'm I was leading the the HR work stream from from a perspective, and I I I don't have a background in in Compound, and I I I have no no expertise in it whatsoever. So so being able to leaning on on omnipresent in your team for for that was what, yeah, just life say we couldn't couldn't have done it without you.

Thanks. Thanks for the kind word.

One of the other thing I'm curious about is, obviously, in some countries you did use omnipresent and other countries you decided to, to set up an entity. And I was curious to get your your take on that. What kind of drove some of those decisions, and what were you considering when you, when you're thinking about that?

Yes. So the key I mean, what we optimized for was was best possible set up for each each, each employee and also being able to do this thing in in three weeks.

So we're on a very tight schedule, but we then are are are kinda whole market them. We set up quite easily. Ourself, Braun has a bit of a special case that we need to handle, separately and and and and, and but maybe the three the three main or kind of four main solutions we went with was some, like, street phones. We just set up the companies ourselves and and and with local. And you see, and then with with the, like, for UK and and and, and US, we we have legal as well, but, you handle all all the payroll and our HR function there for for a compliment.

And then then, of course, we also have have, instances of, like, in Spain and Germany where we are employing people from the treaty's entity, but we have have registered as as a as a local local, employer. And then the fourth option is the is the the employer record, setup, which for us is, of course, the easiest one Yes. And which we had in the Netherlands, Italy, and and and, and, Denmark through through you at Omnipresent. And that that's, and that's working, of course, extremely easy and and and and well.

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, each of the countries you mentioned that all have their own different dynamics and and regulation. Like, you know, you can use EOR in Germany, but there's gonna be regulations around it, and you can only hire people for a for a certain period and things like that.

So actually the foreign direct, employment is is often lower resolution. We recommend set up people. Like, the US is very different again with their benefits and the payroll and setting a penalty is actually a bit easier than some other countries, and and it's me as a, you know, mindful when it comes to I very complicated when it comes to labor law and and things like that. So very interesting how you have all different countries are pretty slightly different way, but ultimately you want the same approach.

Right? You want to hire people. You want to be able to value and benefit. You want to create a great employee experience, and that's ultimately, what you're trying to achieve.

Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. I've done that, Yeah. I'm I'm, yeah, part of the learning, so I'm amazed with how how different the company work.

Despite it's all it's all, you know, again, might think of Europe as one one place, but it's really not really yeah. Every country have their own very specific ways of doing things and very specific label often. But we need to to just, comply with.

Yeah, absolutely. It's interesting when people, people say, you know, people come and talk to them, they are, well, they all use the euro, don't they? So they should operate in the same way. And it's completely all the all the label order for the different countries are completely different.



Great. Well, learning experience and, of course, great great, work to learn some of some of it being part of Spotify. There is also international, you know, coverage, but but, yeah, always great great, great sense of confidence and security having having you you, normal person helping us to to add that, of course, knows all the intricate all the markets in a way that we do not at all.

Yeah. No. Absolutely. I mean, that's, that's what we're here to do, but that's actually what I wanna touch on next. So you realize you had this problem. You realize you had employees in all these different countries. You realize there was complexity in each country, and each country has a unique unique set of requirement.

How did you go about sourcing a a supplier?

You know, what what made you choose omnipresent to to help you through this?

Yeah. So we looked at couple of different suppliers, and and, and what we all wanted to optimize for it was just best possible experience for our employees. That's sort of, yeah, the far most important one. And secondly, of course, we needed to get it done in time. And then the omnipresent you came highly recommended from folks that we yeah. Individuals in our network that we we knew and trusted, and you were best just the best quality. I think you were were were were the most expensive, but for highest quality, and that's what we needed and wanted.

That that good to hear. And then when it came to kind of the planning process and thinking about how do we then, you know, think about when are we gonna communicate all of these changes to employees? What are they gonna think? Like, how did you how did you think about that? Did you have, like, a robust app communication plan and then rollout plan for this? Or how did that come together towards the end?

Yeah. Absolutely. We had had, yeah, a very, very detailed communication plan, which, of course, started with with, yeah, Spotify announcing this in in their their channels and similar to that, we we know that to all our employees and described a bit what what, what to expect.

And it's, of course, it's it's, for some like myself, I I was there before Spotify, and I love Spotify. It's a fantastic company, but I'm not an entrepreneurial person, and I quite like a good good, thought up scale up. Environments of me was nice fun.

Whereas for us, maybe you're more on the the the, yeah, security seeking side, it, yeah, it felt more and more and more, like, a big big change. So we had all, yeah, of course, all all of of feelings and reactions to it. And and and, yeah, it was certainly a a, yeah, disruptive time for couple of weeks for everyone. And also designing, like, do I want to stay with Sunpro?

How how how yeah. What do I want?

Yeah. Exactly. So it's because as soon as that spotify announcement goes out, you know that everybody who's, everybody's probably gonna have questions. Then the victim, the people that are outside of Stockholm are gonna have are gonna have questions thinking, what does it mean for me?

Am I gonna be am I gonna be entertained? Or what does this this will mean? So I guess you then have to quickly get in, get in front of the employees and then reassure them. We're obviously, the plan is to retain as many of those as you as you can through that process.


Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. And and, there are details that are, of course, very important. Someone is on an extra tax regime somewhere, and someone is on a Visa somewhere. And and and the the details of the employment is, very, very important for everyone, for sure.


Yeah. And then you'd already done all the planning about the benefits, so you knew exactly how to communicate. You know, exactly what, you know, the contracts to share with people, the benefits offering, all of those kind of thing.

On reflection, kind of, how did that transition process go?

How did how did it all come together in the end?

So so we actually started to work with the benefit when once this was all communicated. We couldn't talk before. But we we set everything up.

And and, and, of course, we started in countries in in in order of priority, like US is the most important one for benefits, and then UK, and then then just ticked off, countries one by by one. So so, yeah, that was all set up in in in in those, during those three three week.

Actually, the lot of the Yeah. So so the basic structure of what type of of of, like, legal setup we would have for each country, what the what, kind of yeah. That was done in the most, but exactly, the benefit in details we complete that something we worked on on, during those week. Because at that time, we also didn't really we didn't know what countries we would have.

Because, we had had one employee in Finland that decided it was time to to to, you know, do something else and then or Finland wasn't the country that we needed. And we had another employee in Spain that kind of had decided to move to Netherlands. We needed that. Netherlands is new country.

So although even what countries we would have was sort of in in there moving material.

Yeah. Absolutely.

Reflecting on on that whole process, is there any are there any learnings you would share? What what would if you would do it all again tomorrow, is there anything you would've done differently?

Yeah. I think one is the I definitely underestimated the work involved with the benefit, and that would, now I I started to do do, myself with a great help of of of of you, but but, yeah, by luck of the break, we have had someone on our US team that worked with in benefit that could help me internally also. And and, I mean, just US took about a week, and then UK took another week. And and if I would would, again, I would just one person in each country because each country in itself.

And that's what I did after about two weeks. It just, yeah, a lot of work just getting quotes from from yeah. And as I said, in the beginning, we wanted to benchmark your your your, preferred providers with with, with another provider. And in any way, we need to get, you know, quotes from everyone, and that takes time and was also, yeah, yeah, a lot a lot of time sensitive for everyone involved. So I would definitely have started with benefits for all country day one rather than going in order of priority.

Yeah. And I believe that that's one one, one, learning for sure. Another one is that the complexity of benefit per country as as it's like a country and, and, yeah, had their own very special rules regulations.

And for example, we we we and we just continue with all the benefits and what there and or someone who then was food allowance, which we now discontinued, and and we swapped it for for just salary for everyone. It was a nice thing, and and and, of course, everyone had lunch cards. But now we were in situation where we have in Italy, we had one person, and France, we had two, and Denmark, we had two. There are a lot of countries with very more number of people, and it's just a lot of administration of having food calls for everyone and and and, and, and, doing that. So so, certainly, the the, yeah, each country benefits the lads as, complexity. So so, like, simplifying benefits and and rather putting the money in salary, another other, lesson learned, then something that will will will will will continue being bare mind when when thinking about new new new benefit.

We are not.

Really interesting you mentioned benefits because it comes up a lot a lot in in our in discussions we have with clients. Oftentimes, we we try and recommend to do more of that benefits planning upfront to get ahead of the game, and then we have team on standby. So even before you agree to work with the president, we'll often offer a deep dive and say, look, here are your country.

First of all, you've got the moment will tell you how our benefit compare, and then we can say there's a gap anywhere.

So, you know, upfront, but it's, it's often one of the things that does get kind of puts more side. People are thinking about, well, am I gonna what what do my legal contracts say? Are they gonna be quiet? Are they gonna appear to here's the things that I want to have my contracts.

How much is it gonna cost? How much is payroll in every single country? And all of those kind of cost analysis and then benefits becomes almost like the the second or third or third topic, which is often done afterwards. But you say it's it's complex and we have we have experts.

We have a team of experts for a reason.

And, yeah, the the more we can do upfront, I think, is I think it's also learning for us and, you know, maybe guiding a bit more on people to say, like, okay, I'll have this conversation sooner or later. But, yeah, it's, it's a really interesting, really interesting learning from that.

And then, of course, the third learning, if you say, yeah, is is is the after after starting with benefit early and then, of course, that they add complexity. I think the third learning is also how how well it works. I I'm I'm a firm believer in in in in, letting people choose their working form. Like, if you wanna work from home, home, you can do that, or if you work better in office, you can do that.

And and and and for us, it's it's so amazing to we've done some recruitment during this year and to be able to continue to recruit across Europe and and know that that, yeah, that people can join from German. Like, we hire a Heinrich Diner in Germany, and then they can join in Germany. They all need to move to Stockholm. And if we would have limits to Stockholm, we wouldn't have been able to find this amazing person if they were in in Germany.

So so being able to continue working in a distributed way and and and that people work well, whether they do their best work, I think that's such a huge advantage to being able to to do. And I think it core will be a core and is a core part of our our HR strategy and our recruitment strategy to to, you know, find the best people we can and and and retain them.

Yeah. Absolutely. Definitely any thoughts that we, we live by and present with my team alone, I've got people in Canada and South Africa and Bulgaria and Valencia and Spain, all in far more glamorous locations than I am, certainly, here in Surrey. Probably not to certainly said rather be in here. But, but, yeah, it allows you to to to hire anybody regardless of where they are, and you hire for the skills rather than location or ability to to commute to London. Right? So definitely, definitely hear you on that one.

Last question from me. What's next for Suntra? Where do you see, the world and what else would that interest them?

So, I mean, we'll continue to to, to improve our our our product and be the best easy to use collaborative music making tool there is.

And and, I think if we can.

Yeah, we I think we are good at it, but we want to continue to be be the best we ever can and feel about empowering a lot of kids. A lot of our our our users are between, you know, twelve and seventeen years old. That's the bulk.

Yeah. Yeah. A young person having an idea and wanting to be creative and just let them have it, but, possible experience expressing their selves that, in the middle that we're on and and, we'll continue to to far from, done.

So that's certainly what we we will continue continue doing and and, and, of course, also provide the best best possible product we can. And and on the HRR fund, of course, we will will continue to to be distributed and and then what kind of hybrid workplace? We do have of course, an office at dot com and for people who want to work with other people. No. They come into the office there, but but letting everyone do what's best for them and and and, work in the condition that they do the best work.

Sounds exciting.

Fantastic. Well, thanks so much. Ollie, what I'm gonna do now is shift to the q and a half. We've got a couple of questions, in the chat. One question that that brought to my mind was, back at the start, you said you had a passion for music. I'm curious about what your favorite instrument is and what kind of genres you're most, you're most interested in.

So my, my favorite instrument is guitar, but I started when I was kids, played piano. I played a lot of guitar, and I sing as well. I love singing.

Then I've I've, also taking the detour into doing music production, which I really like and I've learned the behind that. And right now, I'm actually playing quite a lot of piano, and I'm enjoying improving my my piano skill. So I I, yeah, I I like like, doing kind of different things. Also, my my oldest son is a great drummer, so I have drum kits. I'm I'm for fun as well, but, but, yeah, my instrument, hardest is the guitar for sure.

Yeah. Very cool. And is that something you look for when you're hiring people at Dantrop? Do you, do you, do you have asked questions about people's passion for music? Can you have to pay instruments themselves?

I think that depends. I mean, of course, one of one of one of our core values is you have to have a passion for for for music creation, and and and we're very sort of, mission based company. We we we empower kids to be creative, and it's about that thing. And, of course, that's what we all all, really care about. But then it depends on on on the job. Like, if you're a product product manager for our our like, one of our studio teams, of course, you need to know music creation and music production well.

If you're you're, a designer or product manager for for our growth team, not necessarily music that is core core skill. Or if, for example, our our our sales, staff in in in the US and a lot of them have have a teaching background, and their expertise is in the teaching domain. More about about how do you how do you use SoundCloud to to to, improve your your your sort of teaching. So, depends on on the domain. A lot of us are are are musician and but it's definitely not not pre prerequisite. Kind of depends on on the for certain roles, yes, and other roles and other domain expertise important, but it's not a not a prerequisite.

Yeah. K. Makes no sense.

Okay. So jumping into the chat, let me go from the bottom up. So there's one question in here, which would what was the hardest part of managing this process for Antrap? And is there anything you would have done different? We kind of asked a different lead question, but I wonder if you, wanted to touch on the hardest part of managing manage process. Would you tell that with the benefit, or is that, is there anything else you could call out?

Yeah. Nothing to think, the hardest part is is to, of course, I think it transitioned to to to, it was very, very sort of life changing feel for everyone. And and rather than me being part of the Sunflap leadership team to, of course, paint a realistic picture of where SunTrap will go. I'm I'm a hundred percent sure in our our our continued ability to conquer the world, and we're doing well. Of course, I, you know, I can't make any promises, and everyone needs to sort of, you know, make make the decision. And and it's certainly that sound a bit much smaller and and from an outside perspective, of course, a, more risky risky business to be in.

I think that that, yeah, managing expectations and and and and and, during the transition and be there for for for everyone. And and, yeah, I think that that would definitely big and important and and and, hard work.

Yeah. I bet. I bet. It must be it must be a big transition for a lot of people there, for emotional perspective.

Cool. So next question we have is, from the same, we're looking at acquiring organization. This is probably a question for me that I'll I'll try and tackle. We're looking at acquiring an organization in Poland that comes with a large sales team. Would input of record be a good fit for that UK?

So the answer to this question is, potentially, there's a few things to consider here, which are, one thing to think about is permanent establishment risk. If you are having a lot of people and senior people in a certain country, then you might be triggering, the, risk in that country where you need to set up your own legal entity or retrieve the lead entity that you already have.

But it really depends on the number of people, the activity people are doing. Can you already get those people well? I mean, Lewis McCon has responded to this question. So, we've shared that one offline, but there's a few different things to consider when it comes to, should I start an entity, should I return an entity? Should I use them for a record?

Alright. Next one is for you, Ollie. So this one is that, Ollie, you mentioned you weren't too experienced with HR. How do you build a great team for a divestiture like yours that brings together your internal staff and your external expertise like Omnipresent and he took to balancing both?

Yeah. I mean, the team was very much, and, of course, when I say HR in Spotify, I mean, it's fantastic.

And at the time, so many experts in different fields. And now now, of course, we were we're in a position of of being able to managing that ourselves. And when I say parents with HR, it's really that, yeah, nuts and bolts of it. How do we employ people?

How how does payroll work and and complement them? And and and, I mean, the great team was already there. It was was, you at Omnipresent and and, we we we were very unfortunate. No.

Very fortunate to be able to to to, tap into that and and and, to have you as part of your your, your team. Then also, outside of that, we we also have a great, great, legal team and an agency called Anton in in in, Sweden that is just just an amazing from from from the legal front and and, but it's very very, you know, the president and and our our our, legal agency and and, yeah, myself and and, and Jess who is, running operation for for us that it's it's a sort of and has been running a lot of complimentary, stuff. So so very small.

More than, small and outsourced team too between, yeah, me and Justin, you and and the and the and our legal team. I think it's been worked very, very, very well. And and in addition to to, yeah, our to to to, folks down in Cindy on our US team that that thought it was a great, great, yeah, invaluable help internally for for for the benefits, benefit, part in the US.


There's one final question here, which we we may have covered, but I'll I'll ask it anyway. So question for Ollie. At what point in the negotiation did you know you needed external support? How did you end up knowing a solution like EOR, or did you look at other solutions?

So I think that we we, yeah, we knew we needed a hand from from I mean, early on because we had, yeah, many employees in so many countries, and we knew that there were were, yeah, firms helping out with that. Then, of course, the solution per country, that was very much, in conversation with with, you at the present and and, what the best setup for for each country.

But we we we were aware of of, of that this is what, was an option and and that we could we could get help with it.


Perfect. Well, that is, that's the end of the q and a. We've, we've no more questions to ask you.

Ollie, any final remarks from you before we close-up?

No. Just that, yeah, thanks so much to to you and omnipresent, and, yeah, we couldn't have done it without you. And and, yeah, we we are are very, very thankful and huge fans of yours, and and, we could have been couldn't have been happier with the with the choice of going with you. I think it's been a very, very good partnership so far, and we look forward to to continue the journey with you.

That's great to hear. Is there anybody in particular, I mean, president, that you wanted to shout out?

Yeah. For sure. Linda Linda Linda Turkman been been amazing.

Of course, it the the platform and all is good, but but Linda really been our our our lifesaver, through and through in lots of different times. So so, yeah, Linda, it's amazing and and, yeah, been been been a big part of our our experience with with omnipresent is is to work with Linda and the rest of the team, of course, but but Linda in particular have helped us so much and gone, gone above and beyond so many times that I, yeah, can thank thank her enough.

Yeah. Linda's an absolute hero. We think every kind of transition like this needs a Linda, to to join all the dots. And, yeah, she's she's instrumental for us in in doing this.

So that's good to hear. Perfect. Well, look. Ollie, thank you so much. This has been, really insightful.

I've really enjoyed speaking with you today.

You know, it's, really excited to see you continue on and conquer the world as you say. And and, yeah, we'll be we'll be here to support you every step of the way.

Thanks so much, George. Thanks for having me.

Brilliant. Thanks.

Right. Thank you. Bye.

Thanks for joining us on another episode of the Global Workforce podcast brought to you by Omnipresent. Visit us at omnipresent dot com to find out more about how we can help you effortlessly employ global teams without an entity.

The show notes also include links to any resources mentioned in today's show. And if you're enjoying the podcast, please subscribe so you never miss an episode and leave us a five star review. Thanks very much, and see you next time.

George Britton
Director of Sales

George Britton is the Director of Sales at Omnipresent, known for his rapid career advancement and leadership in sales across tech companies and is praised for his sales acumen and team guidance.

Olle Råghall
Chief Operating Officer

Olle Råghall, COO at Soundtrap, is skilled in music, tech, and leadership, fluent in Swedish and English with an MSc from Stockholm School of Economics. With experience at Spotify and Nepa AB, he co-founded Reachr, showing entrepreneurial flair, and holds leadership certifications from the Swedish Defence University and Dale Carnegie Training.

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