Polarsteps is reinventing the way people travel by bringing the inspiration, planning, tracking, and reliving of trips together in one app. The scale-up wants to accelerate its growth while protecting its inspiring company culture. The CEO will turn the growth strategy into reality, expand the team, and raise financing to make that happen.
By enabling travelers to plan, track, share, and relive their trips, Polarsteps ignites the spirit of adventure. The all-in-one app encompasses the complete travel experience: from an easy-to-use travel tracker and tip-filled guides to expertly crafted, hardcover travel books that can be made with the push of a button. Whether it is a six-month backpacking adventure in South America or a weekend-long canoe trip, with Polarsteps, travelers can share routes, updates, notes, real-time locations, and photos with everyone at home. Routes are tracked by the app automatically, allowing travelers to keep their phones in their pockets and their eyes on the world.
Polarsteps is founded and managed by a team of four passionate travelers. They are explorers at heart and the company culture still reflects their sense of adventure. The forty-five-person team consists of fifteen nationalities and is highly dedicated, down-to-earth, quality-driven, and authentic. It is this collective mindset that forms the foundation for Polarsteps’ international success. In the Netherlands, its early market, Polarsteps is already the most downloaded travel app, whilst in markets like France, Germany, and most other Western countries, it is climbing towards the top.
“Polarsteps was born not behind a desk but on a catamaran halfway across the Atlantic. As we expanded, we managed to keep that adventurous, open, and curious spirit alive. That has resulted in an amazing employee NPS – over 81 – and a record-low attrition.” – Max Neustadt, co-founder
Polarsteps is backed by some of the most successful tech entrepreneurs in the Netherlands, as well as the reputable VC-fund INKEF. With their support, Polarsteps has been tripling in size each year while relying entirely on organic growth, so without any marketing spend or customer acquisition costs. The company has about forty-five employees, has a community of over five million users and believes its already strong growth can be accelerated even more by scaling up marketing and expanding its product and tech teams. By 2025, Polarsteps aims to grow the team to over 150 people and be in the top three most downloaded travel apps worldwide.
The new CEO (Chief Executive Officer) will accelerate Polarsteps’ growth sustainably and realize the ambitious targets the company has set for itself regarding revenue, global presence, user base, and team development. They will strengthen the leadership team, structure the organization, and work closely with the co-founders to help them take Polarsteps to the next level: from an inspiring product that shows impressive organic growth to a world-leading app-based travel company. This asks for a CEO who has experience scaling a company in a leadership position (e.g., CEO, COO, or CFO) in the 50 to 150 FTE stage. In all their efforts, the CEO will adopt a long-term focus, as is expressed by their eligibility for equity-based remuneration.
“We are looking for someone to help us take the next step. Someone who knows first-hand how to scale a company, raise capital, and advance the organization from an early-stage scale-up into a mature company. Someone who can propel us forward to rival the Airbnbs and Bookings in terms of brand name and user base.” – Koen Droste, co-founder
To help Polarsteps take the next step in its development, the CEO will develop the strategy, together with the co-founders, and drive its execution. They will lead the organization and implement a scalable org structure, including lean, efficient processes and optimal corporate governance. While the main goal for the CEO is to stimulate growth, they will need to balance that with maintaining an open, low ego, and adventurous culture while the company expands. It is not just about growing fast. It is about growing fast in a way that is healthy and sustainable for its employees, its community, and the planet.
People management is another essential component of the position. The CEO will build the team by hiring the right (senior) people and coaching, developing, and retaining Polarsteps’ talent. They will also rally the organization behind their strategic vision and inspire them to get the most out of themselves and each other. Additionally, the CEO will protect the company culture, strengthening the already very strong employee engagement and team spirit. That is why they should be a people-oriented and charismatic leader whose mindset and values match Polarsteps’ culture.
The ideal candidate is an experienced entrepreneur with a background in consumer tech who knows what it is to scale a company and work with VCs. The new CEO should recognize the long-term potential of Polarsteps and get excited by the opportunity to build a committed team and take the lead in creating a globally leading travel business.
Polarsteps is working with Top of Minds to fill this vacancy.
To express your interest, please contact Marlies Hoogvliet at email@example.com.