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Semafone Chairman David Sear

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 Ixaris, an online B2B and B2C payments provider and Bango, a LSE listed leader in app-store mobile payments. He is also a NED at FTSE 100 Provident Financial Services and private equity backed cross border tax and payments specialist Fintrax.


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Semafone Founder David Jackson

David Jackson – Founder

David is one of Semafone’s founders and supports the commercial and strategic development of the business.

He co-founded Careline Services in 1997 with Charles Cooper-Driver, having recognized an opportunity to create a quality call center business, and here identified the need for enhanced security in the processing of sensitive data, which led to the formation of Semafone.

Previously, David founded and sold a fresh food manufacturing and distribution business, following a graduate traineeship with Cadbury Schweppes which had led to various roles within the food sector.

David has a degree in management sciences from Manchester University.


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Semafone Non-Executive Director Mike Havard

Mike Havard – Non-Executive Director

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

In addition to his role as a Board Director for Semafone, Mike is founder and Chairman of Ember Group, works as a director and advisor for several other innovative firms in technology 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 is an Honorary Life Fellow of the IDM, is an international speaker of repute and is widely published on issues of customer management.


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Semafone CEO Tim Critchley

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 8 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 AXA, BT, Capita, Harley Davidson, Next, Rogers Communications Santander and Sky. Prior to joining Semafone, Tim 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.


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Semafone Non-Executive Director Simon Andrews

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


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Semafone Non-Executive Director Jane Vinson

Jane Vinson – Non-Executive Director

Jane is Portfolio Director at the British Growth Fund’s London office.

She has over twenty years’ experience in portfolio management, having worked in similar roles at Bridgepoint Capital and Octopus Ventures.  During this time she has worked across a wide range of sectors and on numerous transactions involving new funding, exits and restructurings.  Jane sits on a number of boards for BGF, including 3Sun, Camino, Flowline, Pureprint, Rethink, TCC, Recordsure and Sophia Webster.  Jane graduated from the University of Portsmouth and is ACMA qualified.

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