Robert Mitchell had been sizing up new venture opportunities for PayPal for roughly 3 years when the door to an operations role swung open.
Impressed by his financial modeling know-how, Mitchell tells us, PayPal’s credit bosses “handpicked” him to create a framework for launching and monitoring new credit offerings.
For Mitchell, there was no turning back.
“They just told me that I was a smart guy and that I could figure things out,” recalls Mitchell, who adds that the fact that the new position was in Brussels didn’t even give him pause.Read More
From the start, Mitchell viewed the position as a critical career rung that would allow him to climb above his financial modeling stints.
“I was the guy who could whiteboard an idea or financial model, present it, size it, and do anything that you wanted to it,” continues Mitchell, who observes that prior to the Brussels post he had mostly been an “individual contributor” and not someone who empowered teams.
“The role really taught me how to think through processes end-to-end and how to launch a program while working with and leading different operational teams,” explains Mitchell, who credits his previous experience with having helped to put in motion a critical career pivot.
“When I came back, I was able to serve in a controllership role that would have typically gone to someone with more of a traditional auditing background,” comments Mitchell, who notes that he had “raised his hand” and begun speaking with PayPal’s chief accounting officer about potential positions before arriving back in the States.
Moreover, Mitchell tells us that it was roughly at about this time that he began to think about different experience gaps on his CFO resume and the types of roles that could help him to fill them.
Says Mitchell: “I had some work ahead of me, but there was a path forward.” –Jack Sweeney
Made Possible By
CFOTL: Tell us about Zepz … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Mitchell: Zepz is a global cross-border payments company. We operate two brands in the market, WorldRemit and Sendwave. Our mission is to promote “a world that celebrates migrants’ impact on prosperity, at home and abroad.” We pursue this by offering a digital remittance service. If you’re a migrant worker in, say, the U.S., the UK, Canada, or Australia, you’re able to send money back home to markets where we typically operate on the receive side, such as Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Nigeria, or the Philippines.Read More
We do some business in Latin America as well. Just as with a Western Union, almost, you’re able to send money back home. WorldRemit runs through our Web or mobile experience—some way that’s just mobile. Our pricing point is very competitive and typically lower than at Western Union. We’re easy to use, and people are able to have full transparency around the fees and pricing that they are paying.
Zepz was founded as WorldRemit some 12 or 13 years ago. It’s grown quite a bit, mainly in its UK base. We became a worldwide brand when we acquired the Sendwave in early 2021. We are still a privately held, VC-backed company—what you would probably call a late-stage fintech firm. We had tried to start an IPO process back in early 2022, but, as you know, the market conditions really started pulling back, so the management team at the time decided not to go through with it. The company was still probably somewhat too immature at the time, from an operational standpoint, to become a publicly traded company anyway. We’re still private today, but we’re well capitalized as well as profitable.
Zepz | www.zepzpay.com | London, UK