The GrowCFO Show
The GrowCFO Show is the podcast produced for finance leaders by finance leaders
Aneal Vallurupalli is a young CFO making a big impact. His career progression is remarkable, moving from investment banking to CFO roles at various companies, including his current role as CFO at Airbase. Aneal joins Kevin Appleby on the GrowCFO Show to talk about the state of Fintech in 2024.
Airbase is revolutionizing finance by streamlining company spending processes through a platform that handles payroll, accounts payable, expenses, and physical/virtual cards. Aneal discussed how Airbase’s finance team works closely with product and engineering to develop the platform while also assisting sales and customers. He outlined the importance of the platform’s breadth, depth, and consumer-grade user experience for mid-market companies.
Aneal Vallurupalli provided some insights into FinTech growth and competition:
- Aneal believes what matters most is having a strong product and target market that highly values that product. Airbase has found product-market fit and a retaining customer base.
- He predicted 2024 could be a tough fundraising year for companies without those key strengths, as many 2021 FinTech startups may need to raise funds but lack traction.
- Aneal noted Airbase had avoided frequent fundraising rounds by controlling its own destiny through a strong business model and multi-year runway from its last raise over 2 years ago.
- He acknowledged the FinTech funding environment has been volatile, with openings and closings in the IPO, M&A and private placement markets every few weeks.
- As a CFO, Aneal’s focus is assuming the worst and planning accordingly to position Airbase well if market conditions turn.
Aneal discussed Airbase’s strategy around AI, which is focused on using AI to drive down friction and time for finance professionals within their customer base and employees using the product. For example, developing expense management capabilities allows expense reports to be submitted with no touch by the employee.
He also said AI will impact finance teams’ day-to-day tasks, such as making expense report submission more seamless. However, he noted AI is not the central theme at Airbase – it is woven throughout the platform to enhance the user experience.
Aneal and Kevin agreed that AI tools will be more useful as companies improve their data strategies and ability to analyze clean, homogenized data from various systems. Kevin highlighted the importance of data quality for AI to produce accurate results.
Revolutionizing finance with a young CFO. (0:11)
Career progression from investment banking to CFO roles. (1:07)
Streamlining company spending processes. (5:39)
FinTech growth, market competition, and recession predictions. (11:24)
AI adoption in finance and its impact on teams. (17:15)
AI, data strategy, and giving back in the finance industry. (20:03)
Remote-first business model and its pros and cons. (25:42)
Remote work challenges and self-starter hiring in fast-growing companies. (30:43)
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