Funding is always about more than financials. Investment in its truest sense is about network, nurturing and knowledge sharing. As CTO, our recent investment from GV is particularly exciting, bringing access to a tremendous pool of expertise and vast experience. We are enormously proud that GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) has bought into what we do and the vision that we have – it absolutely underscores that tech is at the heart of our growing business.
GV’s input and engagement comes not just from a tech perspective, but also with the product in mind. This approach aligns fully with my belief that for any company to be successful, product and tech must be treated as two sides of the same coin and fuel each other. The technology is the enabler – the cogs. The product angle asks, ‘how do I want users to take advantage of my service?’ ‘How can I simplify the process so that my user community experiences the least possible friction?’
At its simplest level, this must start by breaking down stereotypes of ‘tech people’ and ‘product people’. Of course, we have reporting lines (you need to get your expenses paid!) but that’s about as far as org charts are laid out at Currencycloud. It’s no good just talking about our APIs being ‘developer friendly’ if our external pitch is not reflected in the reality of our internal behaviour. Our tech team is also a stakeholder in the decision-making process for elements that go far beyond the platform, our API and the next release. All our developers understand the wider vision for the business, and feed into what our marketing position should be, and what type of services we want to offer.
Needless to say, Google has vast experience in scaling systems, and baking the necessary resilience into applications to allow them to process billions of transactions per day. This experience is important for us as we look to scale our own offering. Over the next few years, we want to go from processing 200k payments per month to 200K payments per day. The good news is that our systems are already firmly based on cloud principles, with built in scalability and no single points of failure. There’s no need to refactor half the system for us to grow – which makes my life easier!
The team’s appetite to learn from this direct experience is clear. I’m currently scheduling a knowledge sharing session between the Currencycloud team and engineers that sat behind the success of Google Mail. I’ve never seen so many meeting acceptances come in so quickly!
This leads into another fantastic part of working with GV – the opportunity to learn from their family of portfolio companies. Although these businesses all have technology at their core, they’re not all software based, which brings a diverse pool of different businesses to learn from. Across these different industries, many will be facing similar challenges – just with different colours. The opportunity for cross pollination of ideas, approaches and solutions is clear for us.
Every time we talk about our technology and our roadmap, we understand and recognise that everything we have done so far led us to where we are today. Thousands of developers have tried our API, but we are working to make that a million. Our tech and infrastructure sits on solid foundations – and we’re thinking big.
Our ambitious, restless team is fired up, inspired, and ready for new business opportunities.