Fintech start-up MarketInvoice has appointed Rija Javed as its Chief Technology Officer (CTO) as the company looks to invest heavily into its technology. Rija Javed joins from Wealthfront, a leading Silicon Valley based start-up. She becomes one of the first female CTOs at a fintech in the UK, breaking another glass ceiling for women in finance. In the role, Rija will be responsible for the engineering, data science, product and design teams.
On becoming one of the first female CTOs in the UK, Rija, pictured above, said:“I’m very excited to help bring more diversity to the UK tech scene. Diversity for me isn’t just about gender, although we certainly need more women in tech, but ensuring we have diversity in all areas like race, culture, religious/spiritual beliefs, and socio-economic background. There tend to be many misconceptions about what it’s like being a software engineer. It’s more than just coding. Being an engineer involves problem solving, critical thinking, making decisions and collaboration with people across the board. Bringing more diversity to that role will not only enhance the engineering group but also the overall business. I want to dispel the notion that being an engineer means you sit alone in front of a computer screen coding away.”
Rija began her engineering career in Canada with roles at IBM and Research in Motion before moving to Silicon Valley in 2012. After working at gaming company Zynga she joined automated financial adviser Wealthfront Inc. in 2013. Within her first few months, she built Wealthfront’s first mobile app before moving onto its investment products platform. Over a period of four years, she helped scale the business as well as lead their biggest initiative to build a new brokerage and banking platform. This allowed them to expand into financial services and improve client experience.
Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder at MarketInvoice said: “Having Rija on board underlines our focus on hiring the best talent and building innovative technology to deliver business finance solutions – it’s the foundation we’ll use to help thousands of business access funding quickly and easily. As we scale our technology and team, Rija’s experience and insights from Silicon Valley will be instrumental. We have ambitious growth plans for the years ahead and Rija will play a significant role in making it happen.”
To date, MarketInvoice has funded business loans and over 90,000 invoices worth more than £2.5b since launching in 2011. It has provided business finance solutions to thousands of businesses across the UK who employ more than 19,000 people. The company currently employs 80 people and is looking to hire across the business to invest in high quality talent and technology.
Anil added: “The Exceptional Talent Visa, endorsed by Tech Nation, made Rija’s move to the UK very straight forward. Such schemes will ensure the UK continues to attract exceptional foreign individuals who want to build their careers in the UK. If London is to continue being the European hub for tech, and if it is to grow to rival other internationally significant tech centres, we must ensure the UK retains a welcoming eco-system for EU and non-EU nationals alike.”
Eileen Burbidge, Chair of Tech Nation, said: “The UK’s tech sector is driving change and impacting every aspect of our daily lives and the nation’s economy. It’s brilliant to see talented individuals like Rija take advantage of a Tech Nation talent visa and I hope that many more exceptional women and men with talent and promise will use this scheme to take up tech careers here in the UK.
“The UK tech sector is one of the UK’s fastest-growing industries, boosting productivity and creating hundreds of thousands of quality, high-skilled jobs. Initiatives like the Tech Nation Exceptional Talent & Promise Visa ensure that we have the best people from around the world as part of and adding to this flourishing tech sector.”