Oyster: how to land Emergence in 10 moves

Posted: 2 Feb 2021

Opinionated Product + Hell of an Execution

Less than 1 year ago, Connect led the Seed round of Oyster and backed Tony’s mission to empower companies to hire anyone anywhere, at scale. In this post, I had explained my “SaaS” thesis in the Work-Tech space, how Oyster is creating a new category, and the importance of purpose and impact.


Today we are thrilled to announce Oyster Series A led by Emergence and Jason Green.

What a journey! From zero to $20m from the backers of Salesforce and Zoom in just 10 months. How did Tony do it? Below are the 10 moves Tony made to nail it!

1) Deep and opinionated product thinking. A 20-years product vision layered up in an actionable sequence of building blocks.

2) Extremely focused product strategy. Deciding what few things were essential, and therefore all the things that were not.

3) Hired fast, hired senior, hired on impact fit.

4) Built an empowered product team. Tony lets the product team solve problems in ways that customers love, yet work for the business.

5) Decision-making agility. A fantastic combo of investing for the long term while delivering customer value in a short time (e.g. opting for a hybrid local infrastructure).

6) Embraced Category thinking. Different over better. New category creation over competing with the old rules.

7) Adaptability. Covid accelerated the customer demand 10x and the company had to shift to racing mode.

8) Courage. to go all-in, to increase the burn and to follow the market pull.

9) Fundraising timing (preempted, thesis + momentum) and process (large pipeline, rigorous deck, relentless focus).

10) An aligned seed lead. Connect: product-centric and impact-minded.

Onwards! 🚀