The Backbone — Episode 50: Behind the 7-year journey of scaling WIND Mobile to $500M in revenue and $1.6B sale
Brice Scheschuk, Managing Partner at Globalive Capital
On the show today, I’m thrilled to welcome Brice Scheschuk, Managing Partner of Globalive Capital and previously a co-founder and CFO of WIND Mobile in Canada. Globalive Capital is a multi-asset investment company with a strong focus on the innovation economy.
WIND Mobile was one of the fastest growing companies in Canada. It launched a national wireless service in 2009 and grew its revenue over six years from zero to approximately $500 million. On all metrics, it was one of the biggest scale ups in Canada over the past fifteen years. WIND Mobile was sold to Shaw Communications in early 2016 for $1.6 billion. Brice had a front row seat as the CFO of this fascinating story — from scaling the company to its eventual exit.
In case this wasn’t impressive enough, Brice obtained his CPA, CA designation out of university and co-founded his first company in 1998. He operated a number of companies, primarily in telecom, through exit in 2016. After selling WIND Mobile to Shaw in 2016, he moved to the investing side of the table and is very active in advising and mentoring founding teams as they scale and also look at non-organic growth.
I chat with Brice about:
- His career journey from PwC to entrepreneurship to being a part of the founding team at WIND Mobile, where he served as the CFO, and now Globalive.
- His focus area at Globalive.
- The biggest takeaways and learnings as a finance leader and entrepreneur that he’s now leveraging as an investor, including things that he wishes he knew as a finance leader / entrepreneur.
- An inside look at WIND Mobile’s sale process to Shaw and his biggest takeaways from the multi-billion dollar exit. WIND was truly an amazing scaleup story. The company had over 1,200 employees, 900,000 subscribers and generated approximately $500 million in revenue and $80 million in EBITDA in 2015, prior to selling to Shaw Communications for approximately $1.6 billion in December 2015.
- The best practices for setting up an investment platform and the most important consideration entrepreneurs should make when raising capital.
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 advice 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 49: Fiscally responsible growth vs growth at all costs w/ Johnathan Mirian, VP Finance at Justworks
Episode 48: Setting the right foundation in the first 100 days to scale the finance function for hyper growth w/ Khoi Le, VP Finance at Hopper
Episode 47: A framework for managing M&A as a CFO w/ Saeideh Fard, Chief Financial Officer at Tulip
Episode 46: Pushing company-wide transformation of a craft brewer through technology w/ Trevor Young, Chief Financial Officer at Steam Whistle Brewing
Episode 45: Driving growth through an omnichannel approach at an established wellness brand w/ Michelle Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer at Saje Natural Wellness
Episode 44: Striking the balance of growth and profitability as a bootstrapped company w/ Jessica Katz, Director of Finance at Format
Episode 43: A framework for growing and scaling finance functions w/ Mustafa Nafar, VP Finance at Modsy
Episode 42: What investors really care about from a CFO turned VC & the top metrics for direct-to-consumer businesses w/ Amy Wu, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners
Episode 41: The key differences between marketing-driven SaaS companies to sales-driven ones w/ Amar Shrivastava, VP Finance at Clubhouse
Episode 40: Mejuri’s data-driven approach to managing inventory as an omnichannel, emerging direct-to-consumer brand w/ Katie Sellers, Director of Finance at Mejuri
Episode 39: Balancing short term expectations of investors with longer term strategic roadmap decisions as a public company tech CFO w/ Shouvik Roy, Chief Financial Officer at Versapay (TSXV: VPY)
Episode 38: The Consumerization of the Enterprise & Key Differences Between a Strategic and Financial Acquirer w/ Alok Pandey, VP Finance & Corporate Development at AnchorFree
Episode 37: An Inside Look at Salesforce’s $689M Acquisition of Buddy Media & Lessons Learned from Raising $150M+ w/ Oliver Bell, CFO at Springbot
Episode 36: Key Considerations + Metrics for Expanding a Localized Marketplace w/ Corey Noyek, Finance Manager at Platterz
Episode 35: Getting Dirt Underneath Your Fingers as an Operator w/ Tom Finn, VP Finance at Solstice
Episode 34: An Inside Look into Lightspeed’s $275M+ IPO & Scaling a Global Organization w/ Brandon Nussey, CFO at Lightspeed POS
Episode 33: Behind the Scenes of SnapTravel’s $21m Slam Dunk Series A from Steph Curry w/ Ankur Bansal, Head of Finance and Business Development at SnapTravel
Episode 32: A CFO Must Master Being a Capital Allocator w/ Sujeet Kini, CFO at Solium Capital
Episode 31: A Former Banker + Growth Investor Turned Operator on the Consequences of Raising Too Much Capital w/ Steve Isom, VP Finance at Flywheel
Episode 30: Customer + Revenue Churn at a SaaS Company with Recurring + Services Revenue w/ Cory Michalyshyn, CFO / COO at Solink
Episode 29: The First 100 Days as a Finance Leader of a Venture-Backed Startup w/ Bryn Knox, Head of Finance at BenchSci
Episode 28: Scaling a Finance Function of a High Growth Company with Strategic & Institutional Investors w/ Tiffany Hsiao, VP Finance at Rubikloud
Episode 27: Raising a $27M Financing Round & Managing the Ever-Changing Priorities as CFO w/ Dave Pooley, Chief Financial Officer at Axonify
Special Feature: Exploring a New & Revolutionary Revenue Model for Education w/ Austen Allred, Co-Founder and CEO of Lambda School
Episode 26: Lessons Learned from Raising $32M Growth Round + the Symbiotic Relationship Between Finance & Operations w/ Samiksha Khanna, VP Finance and Operations at Uberflip
Episode 25: Correlating Non-Financial Metrics into Financial Outcomes + Balancing Ad-load & Revenue Generated Through Sponsored Contentw/ Trisha Egberts, Finance Manager at Figure1
Episode 24: Learnings from Starting and Shutting Down a Startup + Balancing Multiple Product Stakeholders w/ Mark Jarvie, VP Finance at Drop
Episode 23: Learnings from Raising/Exiting $700M+ in Deal Value for Software + Hardware and the Importance of a People-First Approach in Finance w/ David Brennan, Chief Financial Officer at Ecobee
Episode 22: Raising $47M from Strategic vs Traditional VC & the Level of Finance Leader to Hire at Each Stage of a Company’s Evolution w/ Danielle Cerisano, VP Finance at League
Episode 21: Using Analytics and Predictive Models to Improve Budgeting + the Role of Attribution in Assessing Digital Marketing ROI w/ Emma Lyndon, CFO at Canopy Labs
Episode 20: Considerations for CAC and Churn in a Self-Serve Pricing Model w/ Matt Dove, VP Finance at Celtx
Episode 19: The Journey of Raising $100M ICO (Initial Coin Offering) as a Venture-Backed Unicorn w/ Brandon Brunet, Controller at Kik
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
- 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