It’s time for a personal update: November 2022 will be my last month at Weavr. After a bit more than two years I have decided to leave. In a way this was both - a very difficult and very easy decision at the same time. Even though I am leaving Weavr, I am not leaving the Embedded Finance space. In fact, I am doubling down on it. I will be working as an independent consultant to support different companies with their Embedded Finance projects.
The last two years
But first, let me recap the last two years. I am extremely grateful that Alex and Adrian gave me the opportunity to join in the early days of Weavr. I learned a lot in the last two years and am proud to have impacted the company. As some of you might know, I joined Weavr back in October 2020 when the team was around 10 people and had just closed their seed round of $4m. Back then, I had already spent quite some time focusing on Embedded Finance and wanted to dive deeper. Shortly after I joined Weavr, we went live with our initial customers and together with a small commercial team focused on GTM activities. In the months after that we were able to sign new clients with promising use-cases that allowed us to extend our seed funding round by another $9.7m in early 2021. Shortly after the seed extension I took over the role of Banking Lead to focus on working with our banking partners. In this time, we laid the groundwork for increasing the number of banking partnerships and expansion. After a bit more than one year in the banking role, I realised that for the next step the team needed a different type of person in this role, and additionally, I was missing being out in the market talking to (potential) customers. Therefore, I decided to shift roles in early 2022 and focused on our commercial activities in Germany & Austria. Around that time, we closed our Series A of $40m, announced our expansion plans to Singapore and the USA and the team had grown from around 10 to more than 100 team members.
Why I am leaving Weavr
It may seem odd to leave at such a time when the company is growing fast and many exciting projects are being kicked off. And these were the reasons why it was a hard decision to leave Weavr. However, there is always more than one side to a story. And in my case there are on a high level three reasons, why I decided to leave:
- Generalists vs Specialists: Most of my working experience has been in the early stages of a startup. Actually, Weavr in its current size is one of the biggest companies I have ever worked for. My personal unique skills are often adding value when things are unstructured and team members have to cover different activities that later will split into separate roles. It is normal that early employees (or generalists) get replaced with specialists at a certain point. In a way that happened to me. I don’t feel bad about it, in fact, I have supported and pushed for changes whenever it was necessary even if it impacted my own role.
- Consulting: Since the early days of Fintech, I have been spending a good amount of time understanding the bits and pieces of how Banking/Fintech works. And it’s not only acquiring knowledge but also sharing it with the relevant people. In fact, when talking to prospective clients I always spend time helping the other party to understand the space they are going to enter better. Thus, in a way I was able to make these activities part of my full time job, however, there are many limiting factors. Hence came to the conviction to find a role where I can do more of this.
- Embedded Finance: When I joined Weavr in 2020 Embedded Finance was already a common term at many Fintech Conferences, nevertheless, in the last two years the space has grown so much in terms of activities and companies (banks, brands and different types of infrastructure providers) entering the market. Embedded Finance has so many facets by now, and I didn’t have the capacity or opportunity to dive deeper into many of them.
Life at a startup can change quite quickly and I believe as an employee you have to do an honest reality check every now and then to see if you are still in the right place. Personally, I am aiming for the “perfect place” and not just good enough. And after realising the points mentioned above, I knew it was time for me to search for something that fits my skills and interests better.
All in on Embedded Finance
The search for what comes after Weavr was not that hard for me. I knew that I wanted: a) Stay in Embedded Finance; b) Build my personal brand and c) Be more entrepreneurial. Therefore, I decided to become an Embedded Finance consultant. What does that mean? I am planning to work with companies that are not from the financial service industry and support them on their journey to build financial products. You can find a bit more details about my activities on the “Hire Me” section on my blog. If your company is considering adding financial products to your offering, I would love to have a chat.
Due to the nature of an infrastructure company, I was only really involved in Embedded Finance projects when it came down to provider selection. Now, I am excited to be working with companies during their whole journey of Embedded Finance and support them with my knowledge, experience and network. Additionally, I’m also open to work with other Embedded Finance stakeholders such as banks.
Besides these consultant activities, I am planning to invest some time into a few side projects. I will be sharing updates about these projects in the next few weeks here on my blog, but all of them are aimed at helping and supporting the movement of Embedded Finance.