55 episodes

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.thebackbone.co Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support

The Backbone: a journey inside finance at a startup Shubham Datta

    • Careers
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

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.thebackbone.co Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/backbone/support

    Ep. 53: Every finance leader must become a great storyteller with Darrell Cox, CFO at Vena

    Ep. 53: Every finance leader must become a great storyteller with Darrell Cox, CFO at Vena

    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 through its FP&A software. To that end, Darrell shares how finance leaders can be ready to capitalize on opportunities navigating through a time of crisis and be ready to come back stronger post-crisis.
    The importance of the finance leader to be a storyteller and look beyond the numbers.
    The biggest misconception about the finance function within growth stage software companies like Vena.


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    • 40 min
    Ep. 52: Why the tradeoff of balancing profitability and sustainability is a false dichotomy with David Reid, CFO & COO of Boll & Branch

    Ep. 52: Why the tradeoff of balancing profitability and sustainability is a false dichotomy with David Reid, CFO & COO of Boll & Branch

    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. 

    Joining me on this episode of the Backbone is David Reid, Chief Operating and Financial Officer at Boll & Branch, a direct-to-consumer brand that offers industry-leading luxury bedding and goods.

    My conversation with David was recorded a few months ago, prior to COVID-19. As you will hear David talk about in the show, Boll & Branch’s decisions boil down to one choice: to do what’s right.

    That’s why its no surprise, that starting last week Boll & Branch began donating mattresses and pillows to emergency medical operations in the fight against COVID-19. This keeps workers in their partner factories employed, and helps medical and government agencies prepare for the crisis.
    They’ve already provided New York State with 1,000 mattresses and 5,000 pillows for emergency facilities in places such as the Javits Center and they hope to fund more production in the days and weeks ahead as we face the uncertain future of this crisis.
    As a listener, you can join in this effort and in spreading the word. Visit www.bollandbranch.com and use the promo code “GOODNESS” to get 10% off and 10% of the proceeds funding this effort.
    Or you can donate directly. Each mattress costs $100 to make and deliver, but even $5 helps.
    As for David himself, he oversees Boll & Branch’s Finance, Operations, Technology, Customer Experience, and Business Intelligence functions. David started his career with Deutsche Bank working in both London and New York City. He subsequently moved to the corporate world taking leadership roles as CFO at Dylan’s Candy Bar and VP Business Development at Suite Retail.

    David is a Chartered Accountant (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland) and holds Bachelor’s and Masters degrees from the University of St. Andrews and Edinburgh respectively.


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    • 32 min
    Ep. 51: The art of value-based pricing models with Karthik Srinivasan, Director of Finance at Chargebee

    Ep. 51: The art of value-based pricing models with Karthik Srinivasan, Director of Finance at Chargebee

    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 currencies pricing options, in addition to monthly and annual plans and how do to take into account fluctuating foreign exchange risk from a cash flow perspective.
    The concept of value based pricing models and why Chargebee charges an overage fee.
    The importance of the finance function at a company like Chargebee.

    At Chargebee, Karthik is responsible for managing the company’s financial operations, FP&A, tax management and legal. 

     Prior to Chargebee, he served as the Head of Finance at Olam Information Services managing the finance for their global IT/ITES function from scratch. Having started off his career at Tata Consultancy Services, and a brief stint in Singapore managing the subsidiary finance for the APAC region, he has played a pivotal role in cost consulting as part of the CFO’s office and also laying the foundation for cross-border finance within a fintech company.

    He has over 15+ years of experience in Tech finance embracing various roles across different streams including financial consolidation, pricing, cost management, consulting, international finance and taxation.

    He holds a Chartered accountant degree from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Besides his work, he is actively committed to working as a volunteer in a nonprofit organization in the field of culture, arts, and religion.


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    • 19 min
    Ep. 50: Behind the 7-year journey of scaling WIND Mobile to $500M in revenue and $1.6B sale w/ Brice Scheschuk, Managing Partner at Globalive Capital

    Ep. 50: Behind the 7-year journey of scaling WIND Mobile to $500M in revenue and $1.6B sale w/ Brice Scheschuk, Managing Partner at Globalive Capital

    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 leveraging as an investor, including things that he wishes he knew as a finance leader / entrepreneur.
    An inside look at WIND Mobile’s sale process to Shaw and his biggest takeaways from the multi-billion dollar exit. WIND was truly an amazing scaleup story. The company had over 1,200 employees, 900,000 subscribers and generated approximately $500 million in revenue and $80 million in EBITDA in 2015, prior to selling to Shaw Communications for approximately $1.6 billion in December 2015.
    The best practices for setting up an investment platform and the most important consideration entrepreneurs should make when raising capital.


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    • 41 min
    Ep. 49: Fiscally responsible growth vs growth at all costs with Johnathan Mirian, VP Finance at Justworks

    Ep. 49: Fiscally responsible growth vs growth at all costs with Johnathan Mirian, VP Finance at Justworks

    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 first finance hire of a 20 person team to today where Justworks has grown to over 600 people, and raised more than $90M in venture capital from the likes of Redpoint, Index, Bain Capital Venture amongst others.
    What it means for a company to  grow in a fiscally responsible manner and the finance leader’s role in ensuring a business is fiscally responsible.
    The importance of the finance function at a company like JustWorks.


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    • 24 min
    Ep. 48: Setting the right foundation in the first 100 days to scale the finance function for hyper growth with Khoi Le, VP Finance at Hopper

    Ep. 48: Setting the right foundation in the first 100 days to scale the finance function for hyper growth with Khoi Le, VP Finance at Hopper

    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 and how it compares to other non-tech companies, including the challenges and opportunities specific to tech that he faces now.
    Going from his first 100 days as the first finance hire at a 90 person high growth tech company to raising $100M+ in venture capital funding from the likes of Omers, Caisse, Accomplice, BDC and others and scaling the team to 330+ people.
    The biggest misconception about the finance function within a technology company.


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    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

avganesh ,

Great Career Advice from Impressive Finance Professionals

I love listening to this podcast on my morning commute. Shubham interviews finance professionals with some very impressive experience, and asks the right questions to elicit real answers. Hearing their advice and about the journey through their careers always gets me excited to start my day at my desk job, which is no easy feat! I recommend this podcast to anyone, and especially to those with a career in finance wanting advice from seasoned vets and wanting to learn more about what potentially lies ahead (joining startups, entrepreneurship, seeking promotions, making a career switch, etc).

former finance guy ,

Psyched for this one!

Awesome to see a podcast focused on startup finance, an underappreciated part of growing a business. Why should sales and marketing get all the glory? Looking forward to future episodes!

danialshaikh ,

Shubham knows his stuff

Shubham really knows what he's talking about and is great at getting interesting answers out of his guests. The interviews are really insightful and I'm glad to see someone really give the finance function the respect it deserves. Keep up the amazing work!

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