The Backbone — Episode 11: Raising $17M Series A Round & What it Means to be ‘Venture-Backed’

Frank Jessop, Director of Finance, Sensibill

Welcome back to The Backbone: a journey inside finance at a startup. On this episode, I chat with Frank Jessop, Director of Finance, Sensibill.

For more background on the launch of this podcast, check out Introducing The Backbone!


Joining me on this episode is Frank Jessop, Director of Finance, Sensibill, a company that powers banks with best-in-class receipt management solutions.

Frank joined the company in March 2016. Prior to joining Sensibill, Frank managed the Emerging Company Services practice at PwC, providing financial consulting services to high growth start-ups in Toronto. Frank also sits on the Board of Maple Leaf Angels, a not-for-profit angel group connecting experienced investors with great entrepreneurs.

Frank holds a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from University of Waterloo, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst and Charted Accountant.


On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Frank about:
  1. His path to Sensibill;
  2. What Sensibill does;
  3. What it takes to put together a large $17M Series A round for a FinTech startup;
  4. The meaning of being ‘venture-backed’ beyond having money in the bank; and
  5. The importance of the finance function at an early stage technology company

We close things off with a quickfire round:

  • Go to online resource for all things startup finance related
  • Favourite productivity hack
  • One thing you don’t leave the office before finishing
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Check out previous episodes of The Backbone

Episode 10: Vendor Selection Considerations & Viewing the Finance Function from an Engineering Perspective w/ Gerti Dervishi, VP Finance at Flybits

Episode 9: The Process of Acquiring Companies as a Startup & Best Practices for Investor Relations w/ Ryan Levenberg, VP Finance at Q4 Systems Inc.

Episode 8: Raising VC Funding to Executing an $110M Acquisition + Demystifying the Progressive Roles of the Finance Leader within a Startup w/ Dwayne Walker, CFO at LookbookHQ

Episode 7: Going Through an Acquisition of an eCommerce Company & Keeping Both Sides of a Marketplace Happy w/ Elena Armstrong, Co-Founder & VP Finance at Exact Media

Episode 6: From Finance to Founding an IoT Startup & Bootstrapping vs. Raising Venture Capital w/ Sacha Sawaya, Co-Founder and CFO at Litmus Automation

Episode 5: Difference Between Being an Advisor vs Finance Leader for Tech Startups & When to Raise Capital w/ Eugene Bomba, CFO & VP Operations at ThoughtWire

Episode 4: Transitioning from Professional Services to Finance Leader of Pre-Revenue Tech Startup w/ Chris Parkes, CFO at NuraLogix

Episode 3: Why Finance & Operations go Together & Dealing with the Highly Regulated Financial Services Industry w/ Leen Li, Head of Finance at Wealthsimple

Episode 2: How Finance Scales Growing from 25 to 200+ Employees & Transfer Pricing w/ Les Cullen, Director Finance & Operations at TopHat

Episode 1: Managing Churn & Being Private Equity Backed w/ Daniel Israelsohn, VP Finance & Operations at Firmex


The Backbone is a podcast hosted by Shubham Datta, that explores the journey inside finance at a startup. Each episode features a finance leader (Director/VP, Finance or CFO) that:

  • shares their story of how they entered the world of startups,
  • explains what their company does
  • describes unique challenges he/she faces in their role
  • shares expertise relating to specific topics on the mind of finance leaders