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9th January 2019
Vic Darvey appointed as COO at Purplebricks

Vic Darvey has joined AIM listed Purplebricks as Chief Operating Officer, starting in January 2019.  Purplebricks announced that “Vic brings a proven record of technology delivery and leadership of cutting-edge data-led, customer-focused, commercial innovation”.

Before arriving at Purplebricks, Darvey has spent 20 years’ as a digital leader specialising in consumer brands.  His most recent role has been a five year stint at price comparison giant MoneySupermarket Group where he was Managing Director of its three key businesses MoneySuperMarket, TravelSupermarket and MoneySavingExpert, which Martin Lewis sold to the company for £87 million during Darvey’s time there.

Before that he held senior roles at online travel company LastMinute.com, starting out his career building a tech firm that is the power behind the websites of many leading travel firms including Expedia, Opodo, Thomas Cook, TUI and Kuoni.

About Purplebricks:

Purple Bricks is an online real estate agent that helps its clients to sell, buy, and let their properties.  Their mission is to be the world’s most innovative, caring and modern real estate agency that has their people and customers at the very heart of everything they do.

Founded in 2014 by two highly experienced industry professionals, Michael and Kenny Bruce, Purple Bricks has since seen phenomenal growth.  The Bruce brothers invested all of their money into building technology, employing an infrastructure, creating TV adverts and a brand in addition to the recruitment and training of Local Property Experts for launch. They then attracted further outside investment to scale quickly post launch. The company now operates in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

Purple Bricks successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange in December 2015.  Since then the Company has expanded its market share considerably, launched into the £3.3bn Australian estate agent market in September 2016 and more recently into the US in September 2017 and Canada in 2018.

For further details: www.purplebricks.co.uk

This search was conducted by Tony Willis and Claire May.

VP and GM Europe


21st September 2018
Olivier Van Calster joins StockX as VP & GM Europe

Experienced Digital Executive Olivier Van Calster is joining the fast-growing StockX to lead its European expansion. StockX, one of the fastest growing online marketplaces in the world, was founded in 2015, and launched in February 2016 out of Detroit in the U.S.

Olivier joins after a successful three-year stint with talent management platform Talmix, where he served as CEO.

His early career encompassed senior Marketing and Commercial leadership roles with FT.com and eBay before moving to Ancestry.com, where he spent five years building its international business across Europe, Australia and Canada as SVP, International. Ancestry is the world’s largest Family History Platform.  Olivier is an INSEAD MBA.

About StockX

Co-founded in February 2016 by CEO Josh Luber, StockX COO Greg Schwartz, and Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans and chairman of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit-based StockX launched in February 2016. Known as the world’s first “Stock Market of Things,” StockX enables the buying and selling of high-demand consumer products, including sneakers, watches, handbags and streetwear. StockX connects buyers and sellers by the same methods as the world’s stock markets – using anonymity and standardization to provide real-time market pricing and complete transparency. All products are physically inspected and authenticated by StockX. The platform also supplies in-depth market analysis, individual portfolio tracking, historical sales and volume metrics.

Operating in a market where the sneaker resale market alone is estimated at $1bn and growing, StockX averages more than 8M unique visitors per month, more than $2M per day in total marketplace sales (GMV), and is nearing a $1bn annual GMV run rate in just over two years of operation.

StockX is backed by leading Silicon Valley-based VCs including GV and Battery Ventures, as well as noted celebrity investors such as Eminem, Mark Wahlberg, famed DJ Steve Aoki, model and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss, streetwear designer Don C, Salesforce Founder Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff, Ted Leonsis, AOL’s Tim Armstrong, Scooter Braun and Ron Conway.

For more information visit: www.stockx.com

This search was conducted by Tony Willis and Claire May.



20th September 2018
Mal Minhas leaves Amazon to join computer code kit company Kano as VP Engineering

Renaissance led the search for a VP Engineering to join this highly regarded build-your-own computer success story. Key to the search was to find a tech leader with experience spanning hardware and software as well as a background in growth stage businesses.

Mal Minhas joins from Amazon where he led the Amazon Video Distribution Software Engineering team. Mal has also held technology leadership roles at Vertu, Adobe and Apple, he has an MSc in Computer Science from Imperial College London.  Founded in 2013, Learn-to-code start-up Kano, whose products aim to turn kids into digital makers is a new kind of computer company. Their mission is to make it simple and fun for anyone, anywhere to make and play with technology. Their first kit, which broke records on Kickstarter, gives young people the chance to build and code their own computer, with simple steps, powerful projects and creative tools.

Kano closed a $28M Series B last year — and has raised some $44.5M in total. Investors include Index Ventures and Breyer Capital.

For further information visit www.kano.me

This search was conducted by Tony Willis and Hannah Hill.



18th September 2018
Peter Anderson joins The Office Group (TOG) as CTO in the run-up to international business expansion

Peter has a distinguished career in technology leadership in the hospitality sector and has won several awards whilst building out the technology capability at Soho House during its international expansion. Peter is ideally suited to lead all things technology related at TOG as they embark on their own international growth journey following investment from Blackstone.

TOG is home to one of the most creative, exciting and forward-thinking working communities in the UK. They have pioneered the concept of the shared workspace in Britain. In June 2017 Blackstone (a global leader in Real Estate investing) acquired a majority interest in the business, beginning a new era for TOG. As a result there is a huge amount of excitement about what the future holds in terms of opening new locations and defining innovative ways of addressing how people wish to work.

For further information visit www.theofficegroup.co.uk

This search was conducted by Graeme Bilsland and Hannah Hill.



10th September 2018
Eve Sleep appoint James Sturrock as their new CEO

Eve Sleep has announced the appointment of James Sturrock as its new Chief Executive, replacing Co-Founder and Chief Executive Jas Bagniewski, who resigned two months ago.  Eve Sleep is a pioneer of luxury sleep solutions, promising the perfect start to every day thanks to a guaranteed great night’s sleep.  They starting trading in 2015 and have since grown the team to over 100, with offices across Europe and North America.

Sturrock, who was previously Managing Director of online gifts and card retailer Moonpig, steps into his new role at the online bedding this September. During his leadership at Moonpig, he delivered four consecutive years of double-digit revenue and EBITDA growth, expanded the product offering and led the successful rebranding of the business in 2017.  Prior to Moonpig, Sturrock was part of Direct Line Group and formerly Direct Line Insurance where he held a number of senior divisional and marketing roles across the company before becoming General Manager of the Commercial Direct Division within the Direct Line Group in 2012.

Alongside Sturrock’s appointment, Nikki Crumpton has independently been appointed to Eve Sleep’s Board as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director with immediate effect, replacing Peter Hepworth who has decided to step down from his role.

Today’s appointments are a major coup for Eve and a strong endorsement of our business and its growth potential,” Chairman Paul Pindar said. “I am delighted that such a high calibre Chief Executive in James is joining the business. His proven experience in leading and developing online companies will be essential in driving Eve forward to seize the substantial market opportunity ahead.”

Sturrock added: “I am excited to be joining the business at this point in its journey. Eve is a brand-leader with an outstanding product range, operating within an exciting and developing market place with a real opportunity ahead. I look forward to building on the strong foundations in place and taking the business on to achieve its potential.”

For more information visit: www.evemattress.co.uk

This search was conducted by Tony Willis and Claire May.



20th August 2018
Jonathan Chong takes on CTO role at Victor following recent investment from BP Aviation

Jonathan is tasked with leading the development of innovative and customer led digital products and services to a fast expanding international customer base.

Victor (www.flyvictor.com) is a rapidly growing online marketplace for private jet charter. The innovative online portal and mobile app enable transparent online bookings of private jets backed by experienced Customer Support, Sales, Commercial and Operations teams. Following its launch in August 2011, Victor has grown to over 14,000 members and as an internet-based company sees no barriers to growth. Victor has built Europe’s leading charter brand and is now growing its presence in the US.  The company was voted 1st in the Deloitte Fast 50 internet firms in 2016 and came in at number 33 in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 in 2017.

For further information see www.flyvictor.com

This search was conducted by Tony Willis and Hannah Hill.



20th July 2018
Renaissance announce the appointment of Mark Ash as CEO

Mark Ash joins Pure360 having held a number of senior leadership roles, most recently as Global VP of services at conversion platform Yieldify. Prior to this, he was UK General Manager and SVP Digital Marketing Services at Mapp Digital (formerly Teradata Marketing Applications) and as Managing Director of Teradata Interactive (formerly eCircle Media). Ash started his career at DoubleClick during the early days of digital advertising and has also led the growth of a number of digital marketing business units, as Commercial Director at TMN Media & Affiliate Future and Head of Digital at media agency Tri Direct.  With 20 years’ experience in digital marketing technology, Ash will use his passion for data driven marketing to build on the business’ strong heritage of marketing solution development. His appointment will play a pivotal role in the development of Pure360’s core platform as well as helping clients reach new levels of marketing performance.

Mark Ash, CEO, Pure360 commented, “I am incredibly excited to be leading Pure360 at such an important time in the company’s history. I share, alongside the fantastic Pure360 team, a commitment to help clients succeed in the rapidly evolving digital marketing landscape. My goal is to put our customers in the position to be the best they can be, by harnessing our innovative technology solutions and services, enabling them to exceed their marketing goals.”

David Kelly, Chairman, Pure360 added, “There couldn’t be a better time for Pure360 to hire someone like Mark and I’m excited we were able to attract such impressive talent. Mark has a vast experience in the digital marketing space and this will be invaluable as we deepen the relationships with our existing customers and further develop the platform and services offering. Helping clients achieve marketing results has been central to the DNA of Pure360 and Mark has a proven track record in achieving this throughout his career.”

Combining best of breed technology with strategic services and step by step guidance on how to better deliver email and web personalisation, Pure360 recently audited the performance it was delivering for its clients.  Customers achieve an average of 1000% return on investment (ROI) and experience a 22% average uplift in revenue having used Pure360’s behavioural marketing and personalisation tools. Half of Pure360’s eCommerce clients achieve ROI after just 33 days. Pure360 is the only UK marketing automation business to hold the Customer Service Excellence Award.

For more information visit: www.pure360.com

This search was conducted by Tony Willis and Holly Welstead.



16th July 2018
Badrudin Khan steps up into the CTO role at Auction Technology Group

Badr brings a wealth of experience in leading high performance technology and engineering teams in established as well as early stage businesses.

The Auction Technology Group is leading the transformation of two of the world’s last remaining industries not to have moved meaningfully online.  Annually, £40-50 billion of Arts & Antiques are traded globally.   For Industrial & Consumer items the number surpasses £200 billion traded annually.  With less than 10% of auctions closed online today but with the online portion growing at 15-20% annually, ATG is in an excellent position to acquire majority market share in a growing sector.

For further information visit www.auctiontechnologygroup.com/

This search was conducted by Graeme Bilsland and Hannah Hill.



20th June 2018
John Sotiropoulos joins one of the hottest start-ups in InsureTech as CTO

Renaissance are pleased to announce the recent appointment of John Sotiropoulos who joins Buzzmove as CTO.

John brings extensive experience in leading technology functions through rapid growth and his experience also includes tech leadership roles in fintech as well as enterprise software/SaaS.

Buzzmove is a fast-growing company that spans proptech and insuretech with the impending launch of its latest business venture, Buzzvault. Operating under the Buzzmove umbrella organisation, both businesses can rightfully claim to be truly disruptive in their field. The business is built around functional and technology experts as well as customer service specialists with one goal: to make moving house easier.

For further information visit www.buzzmove.com

This project was conducted by Graeme Bilsland and Hannah Hill.




24th May 2018
Victor Appoint Marketplace & eCommerce Leader Joe Cohen as new CEO

Leading private jet charter marketplace Victor officially announces the appointment of consumer tech leader Joe Cohen as CEO. Cohen is tasked with accelerating Victor’s impressive growth to date and realising its ambition to scale globally, by building upon its track record for innovation and superior customer experience.

Prior to Victor Cohen co-founded Property.Works, a commercial property marketplace providing transparency and convenience for SME businesses seeking new work space. Before that he was founder CEO of online ticket marketplace Seatwave, establishing a popular, mainstream model for the buying and selling of tickets to sports, music and cultural events prior to acquisition by Live Nation Entertainment-owned Ticketmaster in 2014. Cohen was also Global COO of Match.com, responsible for the operation and successful technology-driven expansion of several online dating businesses (under the Match.com umbrella) across 43 countries and 18 languages.

A passion for delivering world-class customer experiences through technology has propelled Victor’s success to date and now, buoyed by recent investment, the company has the means to match its ambitions” Cohen says. “I’m looking forward to elevating product development, and developing a dynamic, values-led culture within the team that, ultimately, allows us to serve the highly fragmented jet charter market with its most seamless and pivotal customer proposition ever.”

Cohen replaces Victor founder Clive Jackson, who launched the business in 2011 and was appointed founder-CEO of investment vehicle Alyssum Group this January. Alyssum Group, whose subsidiary businesses include Victor and aviation flight-planning and services provider RocketRoute, is pursuing a long-term acquisitive strategy as it seeks to create a connected ecosystem for major stakeholders within private aviation.

Joe is the ideal candidate to lead the next stage of Victor’s journey,” Jackson says. “He has over 20 years’ experience of creating compelling customer offerings in fragmented industries – of growing big tech brands that put customers first and, by making accessibility and acceptability part of their DNA to generate real customer love. Joe also brings great passion and energy to what he does. I’m really looking forward to working alongside another highly-experienced founder-CEO within Alyssum Group.”

Cohen leads an expanding global team of over 115 Victor staff across offices in London, New York, Santa Barbara and mainland Europe. Whilst based at Victor’s HQ in London, the Cleveland, Ohio-born CEO will actively operate on both sides of the Atlantic; particularly focused on developing Victor’s presence in North America, where the business opened new Manhattan headquarters last year. Victor, which made the FT1000 list of Europe’s fastest growing companies for its second consecutive year last month, has seen revenue growth of 726% over a four-year period (to 2016) and 95% year-on-year (Q1 2018 vs 2017).

Victor, part of the Alyssum Group, is a leading on-demand jet charter platform. Launched in 2011, the company has rewritten the jet charter rulebook with a fully-transparent, subscription-free, globally ‘on demand’ marketplace allowing members to swiftly check pricing options and aircraft specifics before booking the flights they need. Victor’s unique combination of smart technology and exceptional ‘high touch’ customer service, means that its B2C and B2B customers – with access to thousands of aircraft via a global network of over 200 partner operators – are always connected and in control.

Raising $38m in Series B funding over the past six months – including key institutional investments from BP Ventures and BBA Aviation – Victor continues to expand rapidly. The company has made the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 for the last three years, and both the Deloitte UK Tech Fast 50 and Financial Times FT1000 for the past two.

For more information visit www.flyvictor.com

This search was conducted by Tony Willis and Holly Welstead.