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The Backbone explores the journey inside finance at high-growth technology startups. Our host Shubham Datta interviews finance leaders at various stages of emerging technology companies to find out their story, key financial and operating metrics they track, how they measure them and what their biggest challenges are. Hear directly from finance leaders at tech startups who are in there day in and day out, serving as the backbone of their company. For more information, check out the www.theba ...
 
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On Target

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On Target

Local Search Association

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“On Target” is a new podcast from the Local Search Association (LSA) that explores the intersection of technology, media and local commerce. Each episode offers informal discussions with interesting people about a wide range of topics of interest for the local media and marketing community.
 
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show series
 
Julian Rowlands, VP Finance at Spruce I chat with Julian about: His career journey from a History major before going to business school at uChicago to becoming the VP Finance at Spruce. Spruce — what the company does and what it’s all about. Structuring and growing the finance function for scale at growth stage company. When Julian joined Spruce, t…
 
Jeff Epstein, Operating Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners & Co-CEO and CFO at Apex Technology Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: APXT) I chat with Jeff about: His career journey from investment banking to operating, including stops at various technology and media companies to now serving as an operating partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. Apex Technol…
 
Ivan Makarov, VP Finance at Webflow Ivan is an experienced finance executive with over 15 years of professional experience in the internet industry building finance teams and functions inside global tech companies. He has served as a VP Finance for SmugMug and Flickr for a period of 8 years, prior to joining Webflow. At Webflow, Ivan leads all of t…
 
Sruthi Lanka, CFO at Public As CFO, Sruthi oversees finance, data, and people operations. Prior to Public, she served as VP and Head of Strategic Finance at MoneyLion, the fintech startup and challenger bank. She was MoneyLion’s first finance hire in 2017 following its Series A, and built the team that forecasts and monitors the firm’s financial pe…
 
Joining me on this episode of the Backbone is Blaine Fitzgerald, EVP Finance & Incoming CFO at Kinaxis (TSX:KXS), a company that revolutionizes planning by delivering the agility you need to make fast, confident decisions in an unpredictable world. I chat with Blaine about: His career journey having started his career in accounting with stints at C…
 
Joining me on this episode of the Backbone is Naeem Ishaq, CFO at Checkr, the leading technology company in the background check industry. At Checkr, Naeem leads finance, facilities, and data operations teams, responsible for financial strategy and planning, corporate development, and optimizing Checkr’s financial performance for long-term growth. …
 
Dennis Kavelman, Partner at Inovia Capital (Former CFO / COO at Blackberry) I chat with Dennis about: His 15 year run as the CFO and COO of Blackberry after joining the company when it was virtually unknown, with just 20 employees and roughly $2-million in revenue back in 1995. During this time Blackberry grew to more than 15,000 employees and sale…
 
Curt Sigfstead, CFO at Clearbanc I chat with Curt about: His career journey that led him to the CFO seat at Clearbanc. Prior to joining Clearbanc, Curt was the Head of Technology Investment Banking for the West Coast at JP Morgan. Over the last 22 years while he was there, Curt led over $200B of technology M&A transactions and over 80 technology IP…
 
Etienne St-Martin, Director of Finance at Roadmunk I chat with Etienne about: His career journey from Deloitte to Freshbooks to becoming the Director of Finance at Roadmunk. What Roadmunk does and what it’s all about. Building a finance function and deciding what aspects to do in-house vs outsource. How seasonality may affect pricing and packaging …
 
Brian Montminy, CFO at Lessonly I chat with Brian about: His career journey starting as a consultant with Accenture, followed by 5 years at JP Morgan Chase before taking the plunge into tech with Salesforce where he held various roles in the finance and strategy team. What Lessonly does and what it’s all about. Risk aversion and why finance leaders…
 
Tim Compton, SVP of Finance at ActiveCampaign I chat with Tim about: His career journey from EY to the transition into tech including stints at Google, Groupon and Geofeedia, before taking on his current role at ActiveCampaign. What ActiveCampaign does and what it’s all about. Comparing ActiveCampaign’s hyper-growth to Groupon and what it means for…
 
Aly Khan Musani, CFO at Symend I chat with Aly about: His career journey starting in the energy and natural resources sector with various progressive roles in finance including serving as the CFO of CleanTek Industries, prior to joining Symend. What Symend does and what it is all about. Aly’s perspective on “data is the new oil” having worked in th…
 
Rob Froment, CFO at Clio I chat with Rob about: His career journey starting in public practice at Grant Thornton before taking on various progressive finance leadership roles within tech companies and he ended up as the CFO at Clio. What Clio does and what it is all about. Clio’s fascinating pricing model which includes aspects of freemium, self-se…
 
Srikant Nayak, CFO at GroupBy I chat with Srikant about: His career journey starting in India and holding progressive roles in various companies in India and Dubai, before taking on his current gig at GroupBy. GroupBy —  what the company does and what is it all about? Since joining GroupBy, Srikant has helped the company raise over $15M in venture …
 
Darrell Cox, CFO at Vena I chat with Darrell about: His path to the CFO seat at Vena, with stops as the VP Finance at Freshbooks and various finance roles within telcos such as Rogers, Virgin Mobile and WIND. Vena Solutions  — what the company does and what its all about. As a company, Vena helps finance leaders in organizations plan for the future…
 
David Reid, CFO & COO of Boll & Branch It’s the first quarter of the new decade and as you know, we are in unprecedented times. The world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. We all have a part to play to flatten the curve and slow the spread of this virus. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate guest and company to feature during this time. J…
 
Karthik Srinivasan, Director of Finance at Chargebee I chat with Karthik about: His career journey starting at Tata Consultancy Services after getting your CA in India, to becoming the Director of Finance at Chargebee. Chargebee — what the company does and what its all about. The benefits and challenges to offering customers various local currencie…
 
Brice Scheschuk, Managing Partner at Globalive Capital I chat with Brice about: His career journey from PwC to entrepreneurship to being a part of the founding team at WIND Mobile, where he served as the CFO, and now Globalive. His focus area at Globalive. The biggest takeaways and learnings as a finance leader and entrepreneur that he’s now levera…
 
Johnathan Mirian, VP Finance at Justworks I chat with Johnathan about: His career journey from investment banking at Morgan Stanley to product management before taking on a finance operator role at Justworks when the company was just 20 people. JustWorks — what the company does and what is it all about. How he evolved as a finance leader from the f…
 
Khoi Le, VP Finance at Hopper I chat with Khoi about: His journey from RSM Richter in Montreal to progressive finance and operating roles at real estate and distribution companies, before making the plunge into tech at Hopper. Hopper — what company does and what its all about. His transition into his first finance operating role at a tech company a…
 
Saeideh Fard, Chief Financial Officer at Tulip I chat with Saei about: Her journey into tech starting at PwC with stops at Sysomos, MarketWired, and Travel Edge prior to joining Tulip. Tulip — what the company does and what it’s all about. Tulip’s sales process the most indicative KPIs and metrics of the business. Best practises from a systems inte…
 
Trevor Young, Chief Financial Officer at Steam Whistle Brewing I chat with Trevor about: His journey from competing for a spot on the National rowing team for the Beijing Olympics to the Canadian Armed Forces to Management Consulting at McKinsey before making the jump into the CFO seat at Steam Whistle. Steam Whistle Brewing — what the company does…
 
Michelle Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer at Saje Natural Wellness I chat with Michelle about: Her journey from PwC to 10+ years at Lululemon in FP&A and merchandising roles prior to becoming the COO at Saje Natural Wellness. Saje — what the company does and what its all about. How she made the transition from a finance operating role to now bein…
 
Jessica Katz, Director of Finance at Format I chat with Jessica about: Her journey into tech and finance from EY to Wave and DHX Media before taking on her current role at Format as the Director of Finance. Format — what the company does and what is it all about. The challenges and opportunities faced as a finance leader in a 100% bootstrapped comp…
 
Mustafa Nafar, VP Finance at Modsy I chat with Mustafa about: His journey into tech and finance from the start of Mustafa’s career with Deloitte in India to progressive finance roles with Best Buy to Zynga, Sunrun and most recently Doordash before joining as the VP of Finance at Modsy. Modsy — what the company does and what it’s all about. His tran…
 
Amy Wu, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners I chat with Amy about: Her journey into tech starting as Associate at Insight Venture Partners, and then operating as the SVP of Finance and Operations at NewsCred to the CFO seat at Discovery Inc, where she spent the last 2 years prior to making the jump back to the venture side as a Partner at Lights…
 
Amar Shrivastava, VP Finance at Clubhouse I chat with Amar about: His 15+ year journey within tech and finance. Clubhouse Software — what the company does and what is it all about. The key metrics and differences between a sales-driven SaaS company vs a marketing-driven SaaS company from a finance leader’s perspective. The biggest learnings from sc…
 
Katie Sellers, Director of Finance at Mejuri I chat with Katie about: Her journey into tech after starting her career at EY and then you working on HP’s separation into 2 public companies in the Bay Area. From there Katie’s move back to Toronto to join Coinsquare as the Director of FP&A, before taking on her current role as the finance leader at Me…
 
Shouvik Roy, Chief Financial Officer at Versapay (TSXV: VPY)On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Shouvik about: His journey into tech after starting his career at EY. From there, Shouvik held various finance roles within retailers including Home Depot and Nike to automative companies like Linamar before taking the plunge into tech as the Di…
 
Alok Pandey, VP Finance & Corporate Development at AnchorFree On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Alok about: His journey into tech after starting his career at JP Morgan as an Investment Banker, and then moving into growth stage investing at TCV to private equity firm Vector Capital. About AnchorFree — what company does and what is it all…
 
Oliver Bell, CFO at Springbot On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Oliver about: His your journey into tech and finance over 15 years ago, with stints in companies like Google to Buddy Media, (acquired by Salesforce) to the SVP of Finance and Operations at Braze, prior to Oliver’s current gig as the CFO at SpringBot. SpringBot — what the co…
 
Corey Noyek, Finance Manager at Platterz On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Corey about: His transition into tech and what made him decide to join the Platterz, from Deloitte. Platterz — what the company does and what is it all about. What metrics and KPIs are most important to running a localized marketplace across 10 different cities in…
 
Tom Finn, VP Finance at Solstice On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Tom about: His 20+ year journey within tech and finance from Ireland. Solstice — what the company does and what is it all about. What it means for an operator to get dirt underneath their fingers. The contrasting priorities of your first 100 days as a finance leader varie…
 
Brandon Nussey, Chief Financial Officer at Lightspeed POS At Lightspeed, Brandon oversees Finance, Legal, HR, IT and Payment Operations. He recently led Lightspeed’s $240M (CDN) IPO on the TSX, one of the largest in last 10 years on the TSX. Prior to Lightspeed, Brandon has held many senior finance positions, serving as the CFO of Desire2Learn, Tsa…
 
Ankur Bansal, Head of Finance and Business Development at SnapTravel On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Ankur about: His journey into tech after completing the trifecta of management consulting, investment banking and private equity, as well as being a co-founder with an exit to Groupon. SnapTravel — what the company does and what is it a…
 
Sujeet Kini, CFO at Solium Capital On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Sujeet about: His 20+ years of experience in finance within tech serving as the Chief Accounting Officer at OpenText and the Chief Financial Officer at Hootsuite, prior to his current role. Solium Capital — what the company does and what is it all about. Changes in tech…
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Steve about: His journey into tech with stints in investment banking at Lazard, TD and Jeffries, buyside at North Bridge Growth Equity prior to making the jump to the operating side. Flywheel and what it’s all about. Transitioning between a sell side investment banker, to the buyside investing in growth …
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Cory about: His journey into tech from audit at Deloitte to a Controller at Optelian, before making the switch to his current role at Solink. Solink and what its all about. Thinking through both revenue and customer churn at a company that generates revenue based on the number of locations; and if servic…
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Bryn about: His journey into tech including stints at Walt Disney Studios, Century Fox and Wave Financial, prior to his current role at BenchSci. Benchsci and what is it all about. His first 100 days and what he prioritized as a set up the finance function as the first finance hire at BenchSci, after the…
 
featuring Tiffany Hsiao, VP Finance at Rubikloud. On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Tiffany about: Her time with PwC Vancouver and Melbourne where she worked on mining, real estate, infrastructure and manufacturing clients, prior to taking the plunge into tech at Rubikloud and what that transition was like for her. Rubikloud and what it’…
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Dave about: His journey into technology with stints at Miovision, Fibernetrics and Kitchener-Waterloo based accelerator, Communitech, prior to joining Axonify. Axonify and what its all about. Serving the enterprise market and what that means what considerations the finance leader has to make, including t…
 
Joining me on this special episode of the Backbone is Austen Allred, Co-Founder and CEO of Lambda School - a training program specializing in coding, computer science, and web development, with a revolutionary tuition model that asks graduates to pay once they land a successful job.I chat with Austen about:1. His journey so far and how it was instr…
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Samiksha about:- Her path into technology and comparing working in large companies with fast-growing tech companies. We also chat about her international experiences in Melbourne and Auckland.- Uberflip and what it's all about.- Lessons learned from Uberflip's $32M growth financing round led by Updata Pa…
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Trisha about:- Her path into health and technology after starting her career at PwC, and moving to CAMH - the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health before jumping into tech and at her current role as Finance Manager at Figure1.- Figure1 and what it's all about.- The most important metrics to track for t…
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Mark about:His journey into tech after being an auditor and investment banker at EY, then moving leading finance at Shomi, prior to joining Drop;What Drop is all about;Balancing Drop's various stakeholders including consumers and brands and how Mark thinks about those that generate revenue for Drop (bran…
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with David about:What he attributes to being a part of many technology success stories and the advice he'd impart on finance leaders.The biggest difference between software and hardware technology companies and how it effects the capital raise or acquisition process? What Ecobee is all about, and how it becam…
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Danielle about:Her progression within finance at tech companies such as: BluePrint Software Systems, Goldmoney and others, before joining League;League and what its all about;Raising from a $47M USD financing round from a strategic VC firm vs a traditional venture capital fund; Dealing with the challenge…
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Emma about:Her journey into tech with stints at eBay, Kaboose, and Ariad Communications prior to her gig at Canopy Labs;What Canopy Labs is all about;Taking advantage of analytics and predictive models to improve the budgeting process;The role of attribution in assessing digital marketing ROI;The evolvin…
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Matt about:His move into tech after stints in PwC Nova Scotia and Australia;What Celtx is all about;The biggest challenge for you moving from a professional services firm to a growing technology company like Celtx;How to think about customer acquisition and churn at a company with a self service pricing …
 
On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Brandon about:His move into tech from PwC to joining Kik when it was only 40 employees;What Kik is all about;The process of raising $100M through a Token Distribution Event or Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and launching your own cryptocurrency;What its like to scale the finance function as a company grows …
 
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