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Currencycloud founder: ‘Hire smart, passionate people and get out of their way’ – Fi5

Richard Arundel is the co-founder of Currencycloud, a payments infrastructure company that was acquired by Visa for £700m in 2021.

Arundel, who has over 15 years of experience in foreign exchange markets, founded the B2B cross-border payments company in 2012.

The London-headquartered company has developed payment APIs that are used by the likes of Revolut, Starling and Monese.

Currencycloud raised more than $160m in funding before it was acquired by Visa, where Arundel now sits as chief evangelist and chief of staff at the payments giant’s Treasury as a Service divison.

In this week’s Founder in Five Q&A, Arundel shares a common mistake that founders make, talks about having imposter syndrome and reveals the fintech leaders he admires.

1. Which company’s growth story are you most impressed with?

Richard Arundel: It’s hard not to be impressed with Revolut. We’ve known them since the start, and it’s been an incredible journey to watch. The trajectory of Wise has been equally impressive. I’ve also really loved seeing some of the ‘alumni’ of the early challenger banks doing well.

For instance, in the US, Deel (which solves challenges around building a global workforce) has Dan Westgarth as COO, who was one of the early Revolut team; and the founding team at Lightyear (a digital investment app or ‘wealthtech’ platform) are ex-Wise.

2. Who’s a leader you admire in your industry?

RA: Fintech has been blessed with some inspirational leaders who have built some amazing teams which have delivered some incredible innovation. Marta Krupinska was one of the founding team at Azimo and has gone on to do remarkable things – she’s super smart, down to earth and was great to work with.

Wade Arnold is building something really exciting at Moov Financial in the US and has great engagement, not only across his team and partners but across the wider ecosystem. Also, a shout-out to some of our incredible leaders at Currencycloud! Our very own Fiona Tee is not only our rockstar CFO but also a great leader, mentor and friend.

3. What’s a common mistake that you see founders make?

RA: Being overly attached to ego. It’s the collective efforts of the team that will lead to a successful business, not just the founder’s individual vision. Hire smart, passionate people and get out of their way!

4. What’s a fact about yourself that people might find surprising?

RA: Those who know me best wouldn’t really find this surprising, but I think I do have slight imposter syndrome. I am often surrounded by people who are far smarter than I am and regularly have “Homer Simpson talking to his brain” moments, but that’s the great thing about my job – I get to learn from these people every day.

I also get sarcastic nods and comments of “yeah, sure you did” when I tell people I once climbed the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, although granted, it was 26 years and about 60 lbs ago!

5. Excluding your sector, which nascent technology holds the most promise?

RA: Honestly, it’s hard to put your finger on just one! There are so many fascinating developments in AI, cognitive computing technologies and 3D printing, but what I’m really interested in is the practical use of technologies to solve real-world problems.

I think we’re just scratching the surface so far with some of these and there are some industries that really need technology to help them evolve.

In the short term, however, my wife and I are about to jump on a 10-hour flight with our three kids – so any technology that can help keep them quiet would be incredibly promising!

Founder in Five – a UKTN Q&A series with the entrepreneurs behind the UK’s innovative tech startups, scaleups and unicorns – is published every Friday.

The post Currencycloud founder: ‘Hire smart, passionate people and get out of their way’ – Fi5 appeared first on UKTN | UK Tech News.

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