So today, I’m breaking some CFO news.
Jonathan Simkins has joined cashless payment technology company Tappit as its new CFO. You heard it here first.
The company provides global payment and data ecosystems for sports, events, stadiums and venues. If you plan on going to an NBA, MLB or NFL game in the near future, there’s a good possibility you’ll be using Tappit’s platform to buy a hot dog in the stadium. The privately held company has under 20 U.S. employees; it declines to disclose revenue.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Tappit has formed several multi-year partnerships to provide cashless payment technology at the stadiums of major sports teams. Tappit’s roster includes football’s Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars, the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, and the San Diego Padres baseball team. The company most recently partnered with the Cincinnati Reds in March, ahead of the 2021 baseball season. Tappit provides the technology for Reds Pay, a white-label mobile payment solution. Reds fans attending games at Great American Ball Park can make purchases using their cellphones.
The technology “helps solve a lot of reopening requirements that sports teams and concerts and other similar events need [to solve] to comply with state regulations,” Simkins tells Fortune. “In Texas and Florida it’s a little bit easier, [compared to] California and New York, where it’s a little bit harder than average, but most states are still requiring some sort of contactless-type payment to allow higher capacities.”
Simkins was most recently president and CFO of Appgate, a cybersecurity company; he led its spin-out from Cyxtera Technologies as a standalone company in January 2020.
In his new role, Simkins will help Tappit, which was founded in the U.K., firmly plant its roots here in the U.S. One of his first priorities is to hire more people. “I don’t feel right now we have enough employees to handle the interest we’re getting, and the demand for the product, which means we’re leaving out future revenue,” he says.
In the current heated war for talent in the tech realm, finding the right candidates to handle the software and data is a challenge. “It’s a tough market to hire, especially for the type of roles we need,” Simkins says. He’s hopeful, though, that as the economy rebounds, tech talent currently tied up at major companies like Amazon and Google will feel comfortable enough to leave jobs and “take a risk with a startup,” he says.
Tappit competes with some big players, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay, but Simkins says Tappit is ahead of those firms in its access to data on consumer habits and spending.
“I’ll put it this way, I took this job when I saw the data product, it blew me away,” Simkins says. “Our data piece is incredible. And we’ve seen evidence with our customers that it makes a meaningful contribution to revenue growth.”
See you tomorrow.
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