UK/EU   |   23rd January 2020

2019 Enterprise Technology Practice Review

2019 proved to be a remarkable year for Renaissance and our Enterprise Practice. Having started in January with limited visibility on market conditions coupled with tumultuous political background on both sides of the Atlantic, it was unclear as to how the year would unfold.

As it happens, we continually broke quarterly records and 2019 ended as the most successful year within our 16 year history. This has resulted in us investing heavily in people and systems, and we enter the new decade well positioned to continue servicing the investor community and their portfolio companies.

In EMEA, 2019 continued to be dominated by scale-ups and we found it particularly interesting that although once again the UK lead the EMEA market by funds deployed, we saw a significant investment in the B2B segment in other European countries. In particular, the continuing maturation of France's innovation economy where we have been lucky enough to work with some incredible businesses, such as Mirakl, Spendesk and Alan.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those Investors, organisations and candidates that have worked with us over the years and to wish you all a prosperous and successful 2020.


Below is both a sample of clients, and a brief selection of notable projects that kept us busy in 2019:





Brendan Walsh




Luca Cassina

EVP Customer Success EMEA

Mirakl is one of the leading lights from France's ever expanding technology scale-up community. Co-headquartered in Paris and Boston and founded in 2012, Mirakl has become the leading provider of marketplace on-demand technology on a global basis. As a result, and to continue their impressive growth rate, the company has raised three rounds of funding including in February 2019, their Series C of $70m led by Bain Capital Ventures.

We initially undertook a pan-European search to strengthen their EMEA commercial team. This resulted in the appointment of Brendan Walsh as EVP Sales EMEA. Brendan is Irish by birth, lives in Milan and operates across all of Mirakl's European locations. He joined Mirakl having spent the previous 7 years with Zuora (NYSE:ZUO), where he held the position of VP EMEA. Brendan had been instrumental in driving the subscription model revolution that now powers the SaaS industry through Zuora's leading subscription billing platform. He has a long track record of success, having previously worked in the recurring revenue business at Oracle as well as Microsoft and HP.

Subsequently we were asked to look for an executive to lead the EMEA customer success organisation. The customer success group at Mirakl is responsible for more than onboarding, support and renewal. This organisation contains some of the most experienced marketplace experts operating today. It was therefore imperative that we found a leader that had both the capability and also credibility to lead this group. We hired Luca Cassina who has over 20 years' experience in retail, ecommerce and digital payments. Prior to Mirakl he ran Amazon Europe's fashion marketplace as well as their launchpad activities in the region. Prior to Amazon Luca held a variety of senior leadership roles at PayPal, including Managing Director for Western Europe and GM for Northern, Central and Eastern Europe.

It is testament to the quality of Mirakl, its product and backers, that we managed to attract two such high profile leaders into the organisation.

For more information, please visit:





Ozgur Tohumcu


Oxbotica is one of the world's foremost software developers leading the revolution in autonomous vehicles. Formed in 2014 by Professor Paul Newman and Professor Ingmar Posner of the University of Oxford, Oxbotica has created a modular based software stack enabling true mobile autonomy not beholden to GPS or mapping technologies. Professor Paul Newman, the Founder and CTO, also holds the position of Faculty Lead for Robotics at Oxford University. Oxford University is the pre-eminent University for robotics globally. As a result of his industry and academic standing, Professor Newman has created a phenomenal organisation employing over 80 world-class software developers and leaders.

Oxbotica has a massive opportunity in multiple markets, driven by demand from a wide range of major global organisations. At this stage the decision was taken to hire an experienced CEO to take responsibility for selecting the commercial priorities and partners, balancing the core technical endeavour, building a world class team and ensuring the right capital was available during this period of rapid growth.

Having conducted an extensive search, alongside the Board, we selected Ozgur Tohumcu to become CEO. Ozgur had spent the previous two years as CEO at Tantalum Corporation. Tantalum had a digital B2B and B2C car platform and service offering enabling automotive data monetisation. As a result of these activities, Ozgur came with a strong market view and impressive connections throughout the vehicle manufacturers and their tier one OEM suppliers. Previous to this Ozgur held a variety of senior positions at Ericsson, including SVP of Digital, IT and Cloud where he led a solution sales and delivery team of over 2,500 people in 16 countries.

Ozgur joined Oxbotica in May 2019 and has enjoyed an exceptional start to his journey with them. Highlights have included significant global customer engagements and moving into new and larger corporate headquarters. Under his stewardship and with the quality of Paul Newman's technical team, we firmly believe Oxbotica have the opportunity to carve out a key leadership position in the global autonomous vehicle segment.

For more information, please visit:





Thorsten Bachmann

Vice President, Finance & Operations



Marcus Mueller

VP Sales International (EMEA & APAC)

Onapsis is a global leader in cyber security and compliance solutions for on-premise and particularly cloud ERP and business critical applications. SAP, the world's leading ERP provider recently announced that from 2025 they will no longer support on-premise clients and all deployments will be in the cloud. This change in strategy fundamentally alters the way major enterprise will need to secure their financial, supply chain and employee information in the future. It is also worth noting that 77% of the world's revenue touches SAP and the Oracle E-Business Suite, yet the security of these systems remains an afterthought for a majority of the Global 2,000.

Headquartered in Boston, Onapsis has been specifically addressing this gap in the market and whilst they have enjoyed significant success in North America, limited focus has been placed on EMEA. This changed in June 2019 when Onapsis acquired Virtual Forge, a 100 person provider of cyber security solutions to the SAP ecosystem, based in Heidelberg, Germany.

Virtual Forge was Founder run and whilst they were remaining in the newly merged organisation, the Board decided to strengthen Finance, Operations and Sales in EMEA. As a result we hired Thorsten Bachmann as Vice President, Finance and Operations. He is specifically tasked with unifying the systems and operational processes with Onapsis in the US. We are particularly proud of the hire as a key requirement was the ability to work in Heidelberg five days a week, combined with domain knowledge. Thorsten came out of E2open, a supply chain operating software company and he lived within 20 minutes of Onapsis' offices.

For the commercial operations we also felt it imperative to hire a German national, however location was less critical. We managed to attract Marcus Mueller, based in northern Germany, who had spent the previous four years running EMEA and Enterprise Sales for OneLogin. Marcus has an outstanding 20 year track record in sales, sales management and partner management and has joined as VP Sales International (EMEA and APAC).

For more information, please visit:




Rob Bolton

Senior Director, EMEA & APJ – Insider Threat Management

68% of all organisations feel vulnerable to insider threats both deliberate and accidental. Headquartered in Boston, ObserveIT is an insider threat and monitoring solution that empowers security teams to detect insider threats, streamline the investigation processes and prevent data exfiltration. They have more than 1,700 customers in 87 countries and have raised nearly $60m predominantly from Bain Capital Ventures.

Having run an extensive pan-European search, we agreed to focus on Rob Bolton, who at the time was the General Manager, North and West Europe for Infoblox. We reached an agreement with Rob in November 2019 but the close of the search was complicated by the announcement that Proofpoint has reached an agreement to buy ObserveIT. Fortunately we have an existing relationship with Proofpoint's European leadership and working closely with Mike McKee - ObserveIT's CEO and Martin Mackay - Proofpoint's SVP EMEA, we managed to keep the search on track and Rob joined Proofpoint as Senior Director, EMEA and APJ – Insider Threat Management.

For more information, please visit:


About Renaissance

Renaissance is a leading Executive Search and Leadership firm based in London and Silicon Valley, specialising in the Digital and Enterprise Technology sectors.

For over a decade we have been building Board and Leadership teams for some of the most exciting start-ups and fast growth companies, often VC or Private Equity backed. We also work with leading corporate organisations in the technology sector, and those undergoing rapid technology or digital transformation.


Keep up-to-date

Sign up to receive our regular updates and newsletters, and see more of what we've been working on.