In-Focus with Philip Eide

Philip Eide, Chief Commercial Officer at Greenely, is no stranger to driving consumer demand using data driven marketing and innovative strategies (think pink). Having led Foodora on a 20x growth journey, building one of the dominant Nordic players in the delivery space through a global pandemic as CMO, his move to Greenely was motivated in their belief in a fairer, greener energy market. Our Principal Anya Breen  spoke with him about his journey so far and what advice he can offer commercial leaders in the consumer space given current market conditions.

Anya: Can you tell us about the journey that brought you to the CCO position at Greenely?

Philip: After university I started my career at Dell, I built myself from sales into marketing, and into the position of Marketing Manager for the Nordics. It was a fantastic opportunity to grow and understand different parts of the business, and how the corporate world works. 

I then got the opportunity to become Marketing Manager for the Nordics at Mastercard. After that I felt like I wanted to test my own strength to see if I could grow a business from a marketing and brand side outside of the corporate world with full ownership. I got the opportunity with Delivery Hero to be responsible for the brands in the Nordics which we then consolidated to Foodora. That was a fantastic trip, we achieved 20x growth for the brand while I was there, both in Sweden and across the Nordics. I went from, I would say, a totally corporate world to a scale-up world where we had this support from Delivery Hero to build the brand locally. We then went from a scale up to becoming a really visible Nordic brand, growing from 40 employees to 600 employees in Sweden. 

After more than 5 years with foodora/Delivery Hero I wanted to test something new. I started to feel that I wanted to go back to that scale-up journey again, but without the pressure to move it needed to be somewhere that I truly believed in, working with interesting people. That opportunity came with Greenely, the vision and mission was spot on and the people are fantastic.

Anya: What is Greenely’s vision? Where do you see the business going over the coming years?  

Philip: We want to be a platform that can help the customer in this very complex electricity market, where electricity in the home has a lot of moving parts with EV, solar panels, smart charging, how you work with your heating pump and all of those types of things, and how you can optimise that for the best usage so you have the lowest price in the market. The vision is to build a platform where you have one app to automate and make all of those decisions for you. We can already see now that our customers, by using our app, have 20% lower electricity costs than customers who are not using our functions on average. 

If you have an EV we’re now looking at how we can charge that during the night when energy is the cheapest, and how we can use that car battery when energy is the most expensive, either through selling back onto the grid or using that energy within the home. The interesting thing is when you have about 50,000 EVs connected, what we call a ‘virtual power plant’, that’s when it becomes really effective because we can use all of the consumers' individual consumption, optimise it together and then use that for society. The customer saves money and society becomes more stable within the electricity domain.

Right now we are in Sweden, but I'm really looking forward to doing the international journey with the Greenely family. 

Anya: Jumping back to your time at Foodora, there are currently challenges being faced by commercial leaders within some similarly cash hungry D2C businesses due to market conditions. During your time at Foodora was there ever a time when budgets were more challenging - and what advice would you give to commercial leaders who are in that position today? 

Philip: If you look from a marketing perspective, marketing's always about alternative costs. You will never have enough budget and you will never have enough people to do all the things that you actually want to do. Based on that you need to set a North Star for the organisation, one example could be cost per acquisition, and all the actions that you put forward in the organisation need to be optimised towards that. You may need to say no to things, that is the most challenging thing, it’s all about prioritisation. How can I optimise marketing investments for the best possible ROI?

You also need to set expectations with the organisation. If people want to decrease investments  by 30%, you need to tell them what the consequences of that are both short term and long term, and showcase from a numbers driven perspective why that is the case.

Anya: Do you see any positive changes happening across the startup space more broadly? 

Philip: I think the biggest thing is that data has never been this available before within growth and marketing. You just need to understand the data, and understand what to prioritise for growth. What you can then do to steer towards that growth has never been so exciting.

Anya: Would you be able to share some consumer businesses who's commercial strategies you really admire?  

Philip: I’ve always liked Klarna’s marketing, despite what could be seen as a boring product they’re really creative and embrace impactful marketing to build a brand around it. I also really like Spotify’s marketing where they do a lot of data driven, consumer-centric marketing. I also think Polestar is doing some really interesting things as well. I recognise that I’m very Nordics focused here!

Anya: Finally, if you were to share one piece of advice to your former self as you were making that transition from the likes of Dell and Mastercard to the world of scale-ups what would that be?  

Philip: I think you need to enjoy taking full responsibility for the growth of the company and being a part of that journey. 

In the corporate world everything has processes and everything has a structure. Everything is almost already created within that space you just need to manage it. Going into a scale-up business it’s so much fun, but it’s also a lot of work in terms of the amount of things that aren’t set up yet. I really enjoyed all the learnings I got from the corporate world, structure and processes etc, and bringing the good side of that to the scale-up world, but you need to understand you need to build those things yourself. 

You shouldn’t care so much about the destination, it really is about the journey, being a part of that and loving the challenge. Enjoy it, because life itself is about that, it’s not the destination.

The In-Focus interview series is a collection of articles commissioned by Atara Partners with some of the world's fastest-moving technology businesses and their leaders.

​Find out more about Atara Partners by here.