The Backbone — Episode 54: Getting the most out of a finance function

Srikant Nayak, CFO at GroupBy

Shubham Datta
Sep 30 · 7 min read
Image for post
Image for post

Joining me on this episode of the Backbone is Srikant Nayak, CFO at GroupBy, a data driven ecommerce solution provider designed to transform the online experience for medium to large sized ecommerce sites.

Srikant joined GroupBy as Senior Director Finance in 2015 and over the last five years has played a major role in GroupBy’s growth. Taking full charge of GroupBy accounting and finance function from the get go, he has navigated the cash flow of a boot strapped growing Saas Enterprise through acquisition and PE rounds. Recognising his contribution, he was elevated to the CFO role in June 2018.

Srikant has more than 20 years of progressive and senior leadership experience in operational finance, gained through working in diverse sectors such as technology, healthcare, construction and real estate in Canada, India, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. Srikant is a CPA, CA from Ontario and a Chartered Accountant from India.

I chat with Srikant about:

  1. His career journey starting in India and holding progressive roles in various companies in India and Dubai, before taking on his current gig at GroupBy.
  2. GroupBy — what the company does and what is it all about?
  3. Since joining GroupBy, Srikant has helped the company raise over $15M in venture capital and complete an acquisition. He shares his biggest learnings from raising venture capital and completing an acquisition.
  4. What factors he considers when building out a finance function in order to keep it lean.
  5. The biggest misconception about the finance function within a growth stage software company like GroupBy.

We close things off with a quickfire round.

Be sure to check out The Backbone on the web:

iTunes | Google Play | Facebook | Twitter |Website

Subscribe to our mailing list to get future episodes and content delivered right to your inbox.

If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a rating and review on iTunes / Google Play!

Check out previous episodes of The Backbone

Episode 53: Every finance leader must become a great storyteller w/
Darrell Cox, CFO at Vena

Episode 52: Why the tradeoff of balancing profitability and sustainability is a false dichotomy w/ David Reid, CFO & COO of Boll & Branch

Episode 51: The art of value-based pricing models w/ Karthik Srinivasan, Director of Finance at Chargebee

Episode 50: Behind the 7-year journey of scaling WIND Mobile to $500M in revenue and $1.6B sale w/ Brice Scheschuk, Managing Partner at Globalive Capital

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

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

The Backbone

A journey inside finance at a startup

Sign up for Backbone Podcast

By The Backbone

Exploring the journey inside finance and operations within a startup Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Shubham Datta

Written by

Coprorate Develpment @goClio (ex-@Shopify) + Host @BackbonePodcast | write about #tech, #investing, #finance, #SaaS | more:

The Backbone

A journey inside finance at a startup

Shubham Datta

Written by

Coprorate Develpment @goClio (ex-@Shopify) + Host @BackbonePodcast | write about #tech, #investing, #finance, #SaaS | more:

The Backbone

A journey inside finance at a startup

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store