Nanoglobals are essentially micro-multinationals; small to mid-size companies with workforces in the 50–1,000 range that operate across multiple countries, usually through a combination of remote workers or small branch offices. Thanks to the internet, nanoglobals can take advantage of global workforces and international markets in ways that were previously only accessible to enterprise-scale multinational corporations.
Examples of Nanoglobal Companies
Miro: Nanoglobal Operating in the US and Europe
Miro leverages both international workforces and international sales markets to maximize the global reach of their product. This model is increasingly common with mid-size SaaS (Software as a Servicce) companies, since they have a purely digital product and low marginal costs to expand.
Rootstrap: Nanoglobal Operating in the US and Latin America
Rootstrap is a nanoglobal company operating primarily in the US, with branch offices in Uruguay, and Argentina. Rootstrap’s LA headquarters has only a handful of employees, while the bulk of their 135-strong workforce and executive team is spread across the rest of the US and Latin America in Montevideo, NYC, and Buenos Aires branch offices. The company also leverages a small remote workforce of individual contractors spread across the globe, such as virtual assistants in the Philippines.
Rootstrap’s client base is primarily in the US, and includes big-name clients like Tony Robbins and Masterclass. While the sales and client-base is mostly in the US, Rootstrap’s use of international branch offices and distribution of executives across multiple countries makes them a nanoglobal company.
The Nanoglobal Trend
Nanoglobal companies are primarily made possible by three big trends:
- The internet.
- Low-cost legal compliance.
- Cultural globalization.
The internet (remote work)
Telecommuting makes it possible for companies to hire workers wherever they like, provided the employee function is “knowledge work” like programming, design, or copywriting.
Low-cost legal compliance (Global PEO services and software)
Multinationals have been able to take advantage of lower-cost remote workforces for decades thanks to their capacity for legal and administrative overhead.
These services make it cost-effective for small to mid-size companies to hire in lower-cost higher-skill labor markets based on talent rather than location, without worrying about being sued for everything they have if they miss a piece of paperwork.
Cultural globalization (similarity of international markets)
Finally, the biggest factor of all behind the nanoglobal trend: globalization itself. Software companies like Ahrefs can sell their product to the US, EU, AUS, and other large English-speaking markets with ease since the problems and goals of customers in each location are pretty similar — and their expectations of what the UI and UX of a digital product should be are quite similar as well.