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Chief Financial Officers are a major investment in the future of your company. Facing never-ending pressure to cut costs, grow revenue, and ensure control, they are trusted with one of the most important aspects of your company – the finances. 

Across the board from solar cars to SaaS digital security, these European startups may vary in size and solutions but all have one thing in common, strong financial leadership. From courting potential investors to advising strategic direction, these CFOs are ones to watch across European finance. 

Shortlisted based on their accomplishments, impact on company goals and vision for the future, these 10 CFOs are on the money.

1. Dr. Jan Kemper

N26, Berlin

With two decades of experience in dynamic, high-growth environments, Jan Kemper joined N26, the Berlin-based neobank, as COO and CFO in 2021. Always on the hunt for inspiring new business models, technologies and talents, now Kemper supports N26 on its mission to build the first mobile bank the world loves to use.

And he has the credentials to back up his ambition. His previous experience at travel scale-up Omio Corp, saw him build out the company’s governance model and its operational backbone, complete the acquisition of Rome2Rio, and organise a US$100M funding round in the midst of a global pandemic.

2. Charles Mander

felyx, Amsterdam

Trained at PwC and McKinsey in strategy and finance, Charles Mander learnt the corporate ropes at AEGON and NS. With 8 years experience as an independent consultant, CFO and investor, Mander joined the team at felyx, the e-scooter sharing company, in 2020.

Responsible for financing and further expansion, Mander’s CFO dream is to have a felyx in every European city he visits. Currently the company holds the number 1 spot in electric shared scooters in both the Netherlands and Belgium and number 2 in Germany. With Mander seeing through negotiations, Rabobank bought out all investors and financed the entire Dutch fleet of shared scooters through a unique lease construction and are now helping felyx expand into Europe. 

3. Laurens Weers

Lightyear, Amsterdam

Working as a chartered accountant for over 13 years, Laurens Weers has spent the past 9 in various CFO roles across the Netherlands. At the heart of his work is leading change in dynamic environments, scaling startups to mature autonomous companies, as well as leading restructuring phases. 

Now CFO at Lightyear since 2020, the “world’s first production ready solar car”, his expertise in strategy deployment and execution is clear in the company’s success. Recent negotiations have seen the signing of an agreement with LeasePlan, one of the world’s leading Car-As-A-Service companies, reserving 5,000 cars of Lightyear’s second model, which is scheduled to go into production by 2024/2025. 

4. Maurice Clin

Hadrian, Amsterdam

Co-founder and CFO of B2B SaaS digital security startup Hadrian, Maurice Clin has spent the last 7 years in finance, investing in entrepreneurial businesses. Working directly within the portfolio companies to support aggressive growth strategies, Clin’s long-term goal for Hadrian is to be a top-50 security company in the next five years. Founded in the summer of 2021, Hadrian just raised a €10M seed round led by HV capital to develop their product further.

5. Michiel Roodenburg

Crisp, Amsterdam

Michiel Roodenburg is both a co-founder and current CFO of Crisp, an app-only supermarket helping to revolutionise online grocery shopping in the Netherlands. Operating from a non-Dutch and non-continental approach to their funding strategy, Crisp started with a large seed funding round, securing that seed without having any sales. Since 2018 it has gone on to become one of Europe’s fastest-growing online-only supermarket apps

6. Veronika von Heise-Rotenburg

everphone, Berlin

A renowned expert in digital finance and asset-based financing, Veronika von Heise-Rotenburg brings many years of experience to her new position as CFO and co-managing director of everphone, the telecommunications equipment supplier. Joining the team earlier this year, Veronika’s role sees her responsible for everphone’s global finances, securing necessary investments with a focus on both new equity and debt capital within the framework of asset-based deals. 

7. Ina Wetzel

Urban Sports Club, Berlin

With experience managing financial strategies and business processes for high-growth tech and e-commerce companies, Ina Wetzel joined Urban Sports Club, a flexible sports and gym membership, from Babbel in 2020. Since then, her focus has been on scaling the financial system and ensuring secure and controlled growth. 

In 2021 the company successfully closed a financing round of more than €80 million, the first deal from the new ProSiebenSat.1 investment vehicle SevenGrowth, as well as Claret Capital Partners and existing investors HV Capital, Partech, RTP Global, Rocket Internet and INKEF Capital, to be invested in strategic development of the product. 

8. Chris Olds

Ultraleap, Bristol

Chris Olds joined Ultraleap as CFO in 2018. The world leader in interface technologies completed a £60 million Series D round of investment in late 2021, with investors including Tencent, British Patient Capital, CMB International, and IP Group plc, amongst others. The investment will enable Ultraleap to further develop and commercialise its revolutionary technologies to become the primary interface for the Metaverse.

During his previous eight years at IP Group, Chris led the technology focused corporate finance advisory team and was responsible for UK portfolio investor targeting and relations. 

9. Laura Brown

Five AI, Bristol

Laura Brown holds the financial reins as CFO at Five AI, the autonomous driving start-up. Formerly Financial Controller at Icera Inc. (acquired by NVIDIA) and chartered accountant trained at KPMG, she rose to the position in early 2020, with the Bristol-based startup raising nearly £35 million Series B funding from Trustbridge Partners, Direct Line Group and Sistema VC.


10. Oliver Rigby

TPXimpact, Bristol

Qualifying as an accountant in 2006 before spending six years as an advisor in corporate finance with Daniel Stewart and Deloitte and one of the youngest Qualified Executives to the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange, Oliver Rigby co-founded TPXimpact in 2016. 

Transforming the technology, organisations and services people rely on with sustainable digital outcomes, Rigby’s financial vision is to grow 10-15% organically and add £35m of revenue through acquisition by March 2023 to create a £100m revenue business that generates £12m-£14m EBITDA.

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