Voices.com’s Growth Journey

Winner, National Champion Award for Canada, Global Gold Award, and Canadian CMC Project of the Year (2018)

This mini case study is part of an ongoing series profiling Winners and Runners-up of the 2018 Canadian CMC Project of the Year Award, showcasing Canada’s best management consulting engagements. Winners have been nominated for an international Constantinus Award.

Project Leads, Ontario BDC Advisory Services:

Glenn Yonemitsu, FCMC, Senior Executive Advisor, High-Impact Firms
Pat De Meester, Executive Advisor, High-Impact Firms
David Schincariol, CMC, Executive Advisor, High-Impact Firms
Jeff Kilborn, Business Advisor and Manager Service Delivery, High-Impact Firms

Background – The Challenge

The Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) Growth Driver Program (GDP) was created to support high-potential and high-growth companies in increasing their success rates as they scale up. Founded in 2005 by David and Stephanie Ciccarelli, Voices.com is the largest online marketplace for voice over in the world. Comprised of half a million users in 160 countries, its website records about two million unique visitors annually and has enabled over 300,000 transactions to date.

Based in London, Canada, the company employs 100+ people. The delivery team identified a need for a more attractive growth plan to bring in investors, as the company explored the opportunity of additional funding rounds.

Engagement Review – The Solution

BDC’s delivery team assessed 3 key areas of focus to improve the company’s trajectory of growth and, by extension, its attractiveness to investors. These areas were profitability, leadership, and financing. The delivery team wanted to strengthen the company’s disruptive value proposition by re-examining the opportunities present in the industry. Working hand-in-hand with the leadership team, a number of changes were recommended, including (but not limited to):

  • Growth strategy: Significant market research, brainstorming, and a focus on an additional segment of the voice talent market that could be better serviced.
  • Professional Services: A full process review was conducted leading to important structural changes within the business unit.
  • Pricing: A re-examination of the opportunity to further disrupt the industry, as well as a review of the business model and the value chain.
  • Leadership: Changes included a broadening of the leadership team to include Human Resources.
The Results

With the changes implemented, Voices.com became even more interesting to the private equity market. This led to another successful round of financing that saw Voices.com’s enterprise value increase significantly within 13 months of being part of the GDP program, cementing Voices.com’s status as the largest and most comprehensive platform of its kind.

In November 2017, Voices.com was recognized as one of the fastest growing technology companies in North America by appearing on both the 2017 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500.

“The ability of a consultant to effect positive change is directly related to the openness, receptivity, and action orientation of the client,” Glenn Yonemitsu said. “The leadership team at Voices.com were ideal clients and we worked effectively together for an optimum solution.”

“We are honoured to be one of the Canadian nominations for the 2018 International Constantinus Awards,” said Voices.com CEO David Ciccarelli. “The team at BDC were early believers in us, forming a partnership more than 10 years ago. We are grateful for the work that they’ve done to help us achieve our long-term goals. Their knowledge and business expertise has added to Voices.com’s future, as we have grown from a small business to the leader in our global industry.”