Last week, I spoke with Mike Asher, CFO of HackerRank about the challenges he faces as CFO of a startup. In many ways, startups arechanging the rules of business, and there’s been a lot writtenrecently about when a startup should hire a CFO. After speaking with Mike, I also connected with HackerRank’s CEO Vivek Ravisankar to learn more about how he came to this decision, and his expectations for the CFO and finance department.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Jeff Thomson: Many startups have a difficult time determining when to hire a CFO. As cofounder and CEO of HackerRank, when and why did you decide it was time to add a CFO to your leadership team?
Vivek Ravisankar: In Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses, you can increase the odds of success by ensuring you have strong unit economics in the business to scale. We’ve been gaining traction and building a solid market presence by expanding from niche technology companies to more mainstream industries, like finance, healthcare and travel. We have a huge opportunity in front of us and great momentum. A CFO like Mike Asher, who comes with significant experience in strategizing for long-term sustainability, can really help us scale.