Meet The Semafone Board Members

Board Members

David Sear - Chairman

David has been an entrepreneur and investor in FinTech companies for the last two decades.

David’s career involves many notable successes with financial technology firms. In 1999 he was a founder of WorldPay, today’s FTSE 100 global payments powerhouse. At Travelex he spearheaded the global roll out of the CASH PASSPORT travel card business which was sold to MasterCard in 2011 for $500m, along with Travelex Global Business Payments, which was sold to Western Union in 2012 for $1bn. He was recently Group Chief Executive of Skrill, which was sold to Optimal Payments (now FTSE 250 PAYSAFE) for €1.1bn in 2015. In addition to his current role at Semafone, David is Chairman of Bango, a LSE listed leader in app-store mobile payments.

David Jackson - Founder

Having gained a degree in Management Sciences from Manchester University, David secured a graduate traineeship with Cadbury Schweppes and went on to work in various roles within the food sector.

In 1989, he then founded a fresh food manufacturing and distribution business and sold it in 1996. Subsequently, he met Charles Cooper-Driver and, realising an opportunity to create a quality call centre business, they founded Careline Services.

Whilst working with Careline David saw the need for enhanced security in the processing of sensitive data in the call centre environment and this led to the formation of Semafone. As founder of Semafone, David supports the commercial and strategic development of the business.

Mike Havard - Non-Executive Director

Mike Havard has been an advisor to many organisations and industry bodies within the customer management arena globally.

Besides his role as a Board Director for Semafone, Mike works as a non-exec director for several other innovative firms in technology, outsourcing and consultancy, and continues to act as an advisor to major brands, industry and government bodies on their customer management strategies and operations.

In 1998 he founded and led CM Insight, a leading advisory and analytics firm, working with many of the world’s champion brands on transforming their customer management capability. This business was acquired by Verint Systems in 2006 and Mike completed his tenure there in 2008. Prior to founding CM Insight, Mike worked in senior roles in BT and The Decisions Group, as well as being a Director for Sitel Corp. in Europe. He sits on the Standards Council of the CCA and is widely published on issues of customer management.

Tim Critchley - CEO

Tim is an experienced director of technology start-ups in both product and service focused sectors.

Tim has been the CEO of Semafone for over 6 years and has led the company from a UK start up to an international business that spans five continents. He has helped secure Series A and Series B rounds of funding from various investor groups including the BGF and Octopus. Under his leadership, the company has secured global partnerships and won clients that span a range of industry sectors including major brands such as Aviva Canada, BT, Rogers Communications and Sky. Prior to joining Semafone, he was COO at KnowledgePool Group, the UK’s leading provider of managed learning services where he helped complete a successful turnaround in 3 years. Tim graduated from the London School of Economics and has an MBA from Manchester Business School.

Katherine Grover – Chief Financial Officer

Katherine is a chartered accountant with 20 years’ experience of working with fast-growing companies.

She has worked with businesses in a range of sectors including biotechnology, healthcare, outsourcing and information technology. Katherine joined Semafone from KnowledgePool Group Limited, where she was Group Finance Director, having previously held the post of Finance Director of interactive systems integrator Rubus.  Katherine has considerable experience of raising and managing venture capital funding, as well as floating companies on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Katherine began her financial career at PriceWaterhouse Coopers and holds a chemistry degree from the University of Southampton.

Simon Andrews - Non-Executive Director

Simon is responsible for the portfolio management of Octopus’s early stage investments.

He has a particular expertise in software and service companies having spent ten years covering the sector as a research analyst at Jefferies, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and BNP Paribas.

He joined Octopus in 2010 having spent four years working at Silicon Valley Bank where he worked with a number of venture backed companies across a wide range of sectors providing debt and equity funding solutions to them. He also worked on a number of M&A transactions during his time at the Bank.

Simon currently sits on the board of a number of the Titan VCT portfolio companies, including: Semafone; Michelson Diagnostics; and The Faction Collective. He has also led a number of financing rounds into the portfolio companies including: Bowman Power, Evi, Semafone, Michelson Diagnostics, Prismastar and The Faction Collective.

Simon graduated from the University of Southampton and Grenoble University and is a fluent French speaker.

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