Life in a startup is like a roller-coaster. You move at light speed, upside down, through loops – shaken by adrenaline, fear and excitement. The only way a company can make it through this journey is with a shared vision and ambition.
When we started Spendesk, almost four years ago, we had a very clear vision of what we wanted to achieve together. We - Rod, Guilhem and Jordane - have always had two goals:
- To help businesses everywhere spend smarter; and
- To build a global company where people genuinely love to work.
Although our vision has never changed, Spendesk is a very different company now than the one the three of us started together. Spendesk has entered an entirely new stage as we look to double the team yet again, 3x our growth, and open even more offices abroad. The challenges we’re facing now are mostly new and require different skills and motivations.
As we started talking to our investors about our Series B fundraising 12 months ago, we met regularly for lunch to talk about what was next to come for the company and for us personally. Are we suited for the challenges to come? Which skill sets do we need to help the company take the next step? Did we personally envision ourselves in a larger company?
During one of these lunches, Jordane shared that he no longer projected himself at Spendesk in the long-term. This came as a surprise. But after many open and honest discussions, we understood the courageous decision and were aligned to work together to help Jordane depart in a way that was best for the team and for him. Ultimately, Jordane didn't see himself building the fast-scaling company that Spendesk was on the trajectory to become, and had other passions he wanted to explore.
Although we were very sad to lose a fellow founder, we were excited to support our friend as well. Thus, we agreed on the next steps to build a strong foundation that would support the departure of a founder and leader.
This meant a 12-month plan that included the hiring of an experienced product leader from Criteo, Elisabeth Rotrou, to take full ownership of our product strategy. We also brought aboard Axel Cateland as our new Head of Banking, who has more than 10 years of expertise including 6 years at Mastercard. With our product and banking teams in the best hands and our team culture stronger than ever, we can now complete this transition in the best way possible.
At the end of March, Jordane will officially leave Spendesk, but he’ll always be a founder. From drafting the first product specs to building our banking infrastructure, Jordane played a vital part in establishing Spendesk’s foundations, and his impact will continue to build as we grow. Together, we’ve hired 189 amazing Spendeskers, opened two new offices abroad, raised €45M, and built a powerful product that already serves more than 1,500 happy SMBs today.
It’s been a wonderful four years together on the roller coaster, and we’ve enjoyed every loop along the way. To our customers and fellow Spendeskers, thank you for your continued support.
Rodolphe, Guilhem & Jordane