Brandon Brunet, Controller at Kik

Shubham Datta
Jun 27, 2018 · 4 min read

On this episode of The Backbone I chat with Brandon Brunet, Controller at Kik.

Joining me on this episode is Brandon Brunet, Controller at Kik. Kik is an anonymous mobile messaging application that allows users to create an account without the requirement of a cell phone number on both Android and iOS. Kik has received wide-scale adoption, with its largest core user base being US teenagers. Most recently, Kik performed a Token Distribution Event with the issuance of “Kin” — a cryptocurrency based on the Etherium blockchain. Kik’s vision is for Kin to become to most used cryptocurrency in the world!

Brandon has been a key member of Kik’s finance team since 2015, supporting senior leadership and the board. Brandon has a passion for start-ups, innovation and disruptive technologies. Since joining Kik in 2015, Brandon has been involved in a $50M USD series D financing, which cemented Kik’s unicorn status — having achieved a $1B valuation. Additionally, he was a key contributor to the September 2017 Token Distribution Event, which resulted in the sale of $98M worth of Kin.

On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Brandon about:

  1. His move into tech from PwC to joining Kik when it was only 40 employees;
  2. What Kik is all about;
  3. The process of raising $100M through a Token Distribution Event or Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and launching your own cryptocurrency;
  4. What its like to scale the finance function as a company grows from 40 people to 160
  5. The importance of the finance function at a technology company

We close things off with a quickfire round:

  • Your go to online resource for all things startup finance related
  • Your favourite productivity hack
  • Tech jargon that makes you cringe
  • The best advise you’ve received
  • One thing you don’t leave the office before finishing

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Check out previous episodes of The Backbone

Episode 18: Bootstrapped to $12M Series A & What it Means for the Finance Function w/ Jennifer Pollock, Director of Finance & Operations at RateHub

Episode 17: The Added Complexities of Hardware Tech Companies & How to Price a New Medical Device w/ Travis Phung, Director of Finance & Administration at Exact Imaging

Episode 16: Monetizing a Free Product & Navigating Complexities of the Financial Services Space w/ Brian Wu, Finance Lead at Borrowell

Episode 15: Serving the Restaurant Industry & Breaking Into Tech in a Finance Capacity w/ Rob Curcio, Director of Finance at TouchBistro

Episode 14: Scaling the Finance Function, Fundraising, Making Acquisitions & Operationalizing Metrics w/ Ryan Magee, Chief Financial Officer at Cority

Episode 13: Serving the SMB Market at a Publicly Traded Software Company vs a High-Growth Startup w/ Darren Wood, Director of Finance & Operations at Jobber

Episode 12: Leading Finance at NPOs to High Growth Tech & Bootstrapping vs Raising Venture Capital w/ Anthony Scolaro, VP Finance & Operations at Lucova

Episode 11: Raising $17M Series A Round & What it Means to be ‘Venture-Backed w/ Frank Jessop, Director of Finance, Sensibill

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 Startupw/ 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

The Backbone

A journey inside finance at a startup

Shubham Datta

Written by

Coprorate Develpment @shopify + Host @BackbonePodcast | write about #tech, #investing, #finance, #SaaS | opinions are my own | more: www.shubhamdatta.com

The Backbone

A journey inside finance at a startup

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