Byron Bay fintech attracts top talent, hiring former Aussie GoCardless head Carolyn Breeze

Zepto Carolyn Breeze

New Zepto chief commercial office Carolyn Breeze. Source: supplied.

Byron Bay fintech Zepto — formerly known as Split Payments — has not only undergone a rebrand, it’s also been on a hiring spree, bringing a fintech heavyweight and startup stalwart into its C-suite.

Carolyn Breeze, previously ANZ managing director of GoCardless, who spearheaded the payment unicorn’s launch in Australia, is joining the startup as chief commercial officer.

At the same time, Zepto has onboarded Matthew O’Leary, who has recently returned to Australia from the US, where he held leadership roles at the likes of Spotify, Livestream and online shopping platform Honey.

Founded as Split Payments in 2018 and only recently rebranded, Zepto allows businesses to receive and issue payments, identify parties and establish payment consent, and create virtual accounts, while also offering automatic reconciliation.

Having previously run a successful skydiving business, founders Matt Cheers, Trover Wistaff, Ian Lennie and Adrian Kennedy set out to address their biggest business bugbear — the clunky payments experience.

Breeze said it is “refreshing” to join a business founded by people who don’t have tech or finance backgrounds. Rather, they were merchants themselves, looking to solve a pain point.

“Consumer-led changes in the way we engage with brands have allowed me to work for some fantastic payment companies that democratise the payments landscape,” she explained.

“My obsession with fintech technology that reduces friction, adds convenience, resolves pain points, and creates great consumer experiences is what has drawn me to Zepto,” she added.

Why Zepto?

According to Zepto chief executive Chris Jewell, the rebrand represents the next evolution of the business, as the team gears up to completely reshape the Aussie payments landscape.

“Zepto — being the prefix of a zeptosecond — represents the shortest unit of time ever measured,” Jewell said in a statement.

“However, this reference extends beyond an instant payment and embodies the speed at which innovation drives change, at which merchants expect to be integrated and operational, at which strategy can be informed and – ultimately – the velocity at which value transcends through a global digital economy.”

The change, and the new hires, come at a time when Aussie fintech is attracting attention — and funding — both locally and globally.

Earlier this month, Airwallex secured $276 million, boosting its valuation to more than $5 billion, and BNPL player Scalapay raised $210 million at a valuation of more than $1 billion.

Elsewhere, Zip Co launched its Zip Business ‘tap-to-pay’ offering, allowing businesses to pay suppliers in installments through a one-tap transaction.

We’re also seeing newcomers start to emerge. Azupay raised $10 million for its tech helping businesses secure invoice payments sooner, and Refundid raised $3 million for its ‘BNPL for refunds’ tech.


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