Gord Breese of Katipult tells us about simplifying private placements with software designed to streamline the exchange of capital in equity & debt markets.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Katipult.
Gord Breese: I spent most of my career helping high-growth software businesses such as ServiceMax, SAP, Apple, and Oracle build value. I was part of the leadership team that took Pivotal Software public and was part of the team that expanded Business Objects’ global footprint prior to its acquisition by SAP.
Katipult approached me in late 2019 to help lead the next stage of the company’s development, and I joined in January 2020 as CEO. I’ve been involved with a number of successful companies in my career, but I am particularly excited by the potential of Katipult.
Digital transformation is going to significantly change the landscape in private capital markets in the next 5 years, and Katipult is well-positioned to capitalize on the market opportunity. Katipult has built an impressive foundation as a business with an incredible product, a great business model, a strong team, and attentive board of directors, and a global client base.
How does Katipult innovate?
Gord Breese: Private capital markets are plagued with regulatory landmines and operational inefficiencies such as manual systems, ad hoc processes, key person dependency, detailed compliance requirements, among others. Katipult’s goal is to help companies overcome these challenges with our proprietary software.
In terms of innovation, we’re always looking for ways to create the most streamlined, versatile solution and eliminate time-consuming processes that prevent business scaling. In the last 12 months, we have worked closely with our enterprise clients such as Canaccord Genuity, ATB FInancial, and more recently, Raymond James to bring innovation to their front-office and back-office processes, including investor onboarding, subscription document execution, and payments and settlement.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Gord Breese: Katipult was already operating as a fully distributed workforce when the pandemic hit, so we didn’t have to go through remote work adjustment as most companies did.
Our clients’ needs actually increased as our software became even more critical for their daily operational processes. In terms of negative impact on business development efforts, the uncertainty that came along with the pandemic slowed down buying decisions and lengthened the sales cycles.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Gord Breese: The pandemic pushed us to better understand what our target customer profiles are and the most vital aspects of our product that customers rely on. We became laser-focused on understanding the unique requirements of the capital markets firms we aim to serve and prioritized our development roadmap accordingly.
The key lessons we learned along the way have to do with attaining a business clarity level that sets us up for scaling. This clarity allowed us to identify and implement key improvements in our development roadmap and internal processes.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Gord Breese: Not much has changed for us since we were fully remote and distributed even before the pandemic, and our tools stayed the same. We’re using Slack for communication, Bamboo HR, Google Meet and Zoom conferencing, Trello, and Jira for managing the day-to-day, and HubSpot as our sales CRM.
The only thing that did change with Covid-19 is that we really learned we need to make the team’s well-being a number one priority. With many team members in locked-down cities, the outlets for our team away from the computer have been limited.
What are some of the competitive advantages of Katipult compared to other solutions?
Gord Breese: Katipult has worked in 20 unique regulatory environments around the world, and that has introduced fundamental flexibility in our software infrastructure. Most software products are highly static, but Katipult can be configured for investment products, regulations, investor onboarding processes, among others.
Having a best-in-class product ultimately leads to success against competitors, and our collaborative relationships with our clients ensure we continuously innovate.
Your final thoughts?
Gord Breese: Digital transformation is accelerating globally, but the inefficiency issues of private capital markets have yet to keep pace with other sectors such as travel, consumer banking, retail, or entertainment.
Our vision is to bring digital transformation to our industry and equip companies with technology and solutions that will allow them to eliminate inefficiencies, standardize compliance, optimize investor experiences and generate revenue growth.
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