Australian mobile payment startup Clipp has appointed former Microsoft executive Todd Forest as its new chief executive.
The startup, which describes itself as Uber for bar tabs, has experienced rapid growth this year and is now used in 270 venues across the country.
Clipp’s co-founder Greg Taylor told StartupSmart the decision to bring Forest on as chief executive came about after examining where the business was at and where it needed to be.
“The first step is sitting down and saying what do we do really well, what areas we are lacking in and where we need help,” he says. “Everyone should be doing what they do best. For some co-founders it can be difficult to let the reins go a little bit but that comes down to who the candidate is.”
Taylor says bringing onboard external, experienced talent can make a startup more rounded. For Clipp, the priorities are improving the point of sale as well as getting venues and consumers on board.
“As we head into that space, Todd’s experience fits really nicely and positions the business really well as we head into that second phase of growth,” Taylor says. “It’s an opportunity more than anything to work under and work with someone with that level of experience.”
Australia’s geographical distance from startup hubs like San Francisco has not stopped local startups from building strong relationships with international talent, according to Taylor. The most important thing is that the new team member fits with the startup’s culture. For example, earlier this year Guy Kawasaki joined Sydney design software startup Canva.
“Cream rises to the top and if there’s a good business and there’s a good business model there will be a natural attrition into that space,” Taylor says. “The world is flat in that regard.”
In a statement, Todd Forest said he was looking forward to cementing Clipp as Australia’s go-to mobile payment solution.
“I join Clipp at a time when the mobile payments space is beginning to heat up,” he said. “2014 has been an incredible year for Clipp and we’re looking to continue that momentum right through to next year with some product updates and other big news which I can’t wait to share with you all.”