It was near the end of her nine years with Intel Corp. that Yevgenia Fink received a bit of advice that today she credits with having helped her to blaze a path that would ultimately lead to the CFO office.
As Fink recalls, “Leave Intel before you forget how to open an Excel spreadsheet” was the brief but memorable comment that a respected manager opined.Read More
“I felt that I had a lot of influence at Intel, but most of my function became leading and managing people, and I still didn’t feel confident in my pure finance skill set,” says Fink, who at the time was a group controller for the chip maker’s mobile platform team.
Fink’s future finance career path would involve a string of start-ups where she got to demonstrate her FP&A skills and along the way acquire broader finance responsibilities that made her a candidate for VP of finance positions and eventually the CFO office at HOVER, an application that helps users to design and estimate home improvement projects.
“The experience gave me exposure to what it is like to be part of a public company on a much more intimate scale than what Intel could have ever given me,” observes Fink, who at the same time credits the giant chip maker with offering its finance professionals a wide berth of opportunities to pursue.
Comments Fink: “There was a realization at Intel that to be a strong finance professional, you needed to be well-rounded across all disciplines, so it wasn’t about hoarding employees and keeping them in a finance box but really about providing people with opportunities that an organization the size of Intel can offer.”
At HOVER, Fink’s attention these days is migrating from Excel spreadsheets back to people.
“When I joined, I built a financial model, and now, as the company is scaling, it’s about hiring people who can improve on what was built,” explains Fink, who says that the transition from “leader and doer” to “people leader” requires a sense of timing.
She adds: “If the transition feels a little premature, it’s probably the right time to do it.” –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about this company and its offerings …
Fink: HOVER is a technology platform. It sits at the intersection of the insurtech, construction tech, and home improvement industries. Our platform uses computer vision and machine learning technology to take photos of any structure that are captured via smartphone, which we then turn into a fully interactive 3-D model with accurate measurements.Read More
I used HOVER at my friend’s house this weekend. We walked around the house and took eight photos, and the HOVER platform returned a 3-D model that allowed us to see what the different roofing, siding, and windows components would look like on their home. It also gave us accurate measurements of all of the architectural segments that are on the home’s exterior.
There are two other major techniques in the market that we’re serving. One is aerial CAD, in which companies generate measurement data from aerial imagery. There are several disadvantages to aerial CAD, probably the most obvious one being the high capital cost. You need to fly a plane to capture the property. Another one is that even when you capture aerial imagery, you don’t always have a good line of sight to what we call “elevations”—walls, openings, windows, doors, and so on. You may not be able to capture these from a plane, so you don’t get the same level of data fidelity that you would get from ground imagery.
The second largest technique is measuring tape. This takes a lot of time, and time is money. While this can give all of the measurements, even if you climb on the roof—if you’re that adventurous—you still don’t know what the final product would look like. This is where the HOVER platform is really unique for the home owner, for whom the value proposition is being able to visualize what the final project is going to look like. We’ve just closed Series D. All closed during COVID remotely via Zoom.
This last Series D was led by top insurance carriers like Travelers, State Farm, and Nationwide, so this is truly demonstrating our growing foothold in the insurance industry.
Value Quote: “Building a strong, diverse, well-connected team is definitely a number one priority. Our next two pillars are essentially top-line growth and EBITDA. Whereas top-line growth means growing our business, EBITDA is about our ability to control our own destiny.” jb
HOVER | www.hover.to | HQ: San Francisco, CA