Michele Romano

Michele Romano resigns as CEO of Clearco as the financier prepares to lay off 25% of staff

Michele Romano will step down as CEO of Clearco as the e-commerce financier prepares to cut its workforce for the third time in six months.

Clearco, formally known as CFT Clear Finance Technology Corp., will lay off 50 employees, about 25 percent of its workforce, on Monday, bringing its headcount to 140, a source familiar with the situation told The New York Times. Mail. It had 500 employees last July.
The source also said that the company is hiring Andrew Curtis, CEO of US Financial Industry, as CEO. He acted as advisor to Clearco for the last 6 months. Mr. Curtis Takes Over As Dragon’s Den TV Star And Serial Entrepreneur, Made Decision To Step Down 11 Months Into Replacing Co-Founder Andrew D’Souza As CEO. You will become co-CEO with Mr. D’Souza.

The Globe and Mail did not identify the source because they are not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Mr. Curtis worked in mergers and acquisitions with Merrill Lynch & Co. and Lazard Freer as a portfolio manager with the hedge fund Sandelman and was a director of credit with the private equity firm Z Capital Group.
The moves come on the heels of a difficult year for the tech sector, as once high-flying and heavily funded tech companies abandoned the “grow at any cost” mentality of 2021 in favor of cost reduction efforts. costs to achieve profitability.

Clearco was one of a host of Canadian tech companies to achieve “unicorn” status in 2021 by achieving a paper valuation of more than $1 billion in the first of two major company financings that year, the last directed by Japanese giant Vision 2 Fund Softbank Group Corp.
Clerco has been in crisis since early 2022, beginning with the departure of a large number of seniors. Last July, Clearco, which offers cash advances to e-commerce merchants, halted the creation of advances for a week to increase prices and adjust the subscription. In light of the deteriorating economic and credit environment. like that Lay off 125 people a quarter of their ranks. In August, Clerco pulled from the markets Unlike Canada, the United States will lay off more employees.

The company has retained US fintech investment bank Financial Technology Partners to explore strategic options. It raised $60 million last year and is now raising another $30 million.
Clearco launched in 2015, marketing itself as a friendly financing provider for e-commerce merchants, cheaper than private equity and less expensive than loans that require personal collateral. Clearco offered payment advances primarily for digital channel marketing. In return, They got a daily reduction of thier clients’ income until the advance plus any additional fees were paid.

Most of its off-balance sheet credit lines were backed by specialized or alternative asset managers. Potential customers did not have to provide personal guarantees, relinquish property rights or submit to credit checks, but they did have to give Clearco access to their business accounts. Clearco assessed the economics of the business and submitted automated financing offers within hours.
Last fall, Clearco increasingly simplified and automated its product; Now finance specific expenses based on invoices uploaded by customers, which adhere to specific pay periods.

A Clerco spokeswoman declined to comment.

Online technology publication The Information first broke the news of the impending layoffs and chief executive change on Sunday night.

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