I’m hearing that ex PayPal UK Managing Director, Carl-Olav Scheible, has joined the board at iwoca as a Non-Executive Director.
Carl joined PayPal in 2004 and rose rapidly to move from being head of UK merchant services for PayPal Europe to lead PayPal in the UK. He left PayPal to become Executive Vice President at MoneyGram effective 16th April 2012. He is not stranger to finance having held positions with Venture Capitalists and American Express in the past and took over the reins at PayPal just in time to oversee all EU accounts moved to PayPal Luxembourg where PayPal became incorporated as a bank.
The main role of a non-exec director is to the development of strategy for the company, as well as to oversee the performance of the company’s management and financials. Carl undoubtedly has the credentials to advise iwoca as well as the connections from his time at PayPal in the UK to open doors at eBay.
Short term finance for online retailers pretty much didn’t exist a year ago. Since iwoca launched earlier this year, ezbob debuted in the UK and US lender Kabbage are preparing to expand into the UK. Amazon have started to offer finance in the US for Amazon third party sellers and PayPal ran a pilot offering finance. Whilst the government are encouraging traditional banks to extend finance to small businesses, it appears to be the online specialists who are actually making funds available on terms attractive to the businesses that need them.
The fact that so many companies are starting to offer finance to online retailers bodes well for iwoca, the amount of competition in this space indicates there’s demand for their services. Where the banks refuse to go, finance professionals (the iwoca founders are ex Vice Presidents from Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank) are fueling online retailers growth with loans based on annual sales and customer feedback scores. That’s something that with eight years at PayPal under his belt Carl-Olav Scheible understands well – he’s well positioned to help iwoca succeed.