What Do You Need to Be a Successful CFO in a Software Growth Business?
By Alex Kronenberg on August 27, 2021
Since Viking Venture acquired FotoWare in 2020, the company has accelerated ahead on its exciting growth journey. The size of the team has more than doubled in that time and recent acquisitions have seen FotoWare’s footprint strengthened in the Nordics and the UK.
This international growth is essential in enabling FotoWare to reach the target of becoming Europe’s largest Digital Asset Management vendor and hiring the best talent to join the team will also play a key role in getting there. As FotoWare seeks a new CFO, we caught up with Jostein Vik - Partner and Co-founder of Viking Venture and Chairman of the Board in FotoWare - to learn more about the role in today’s landscape, what it means to be CFO within the Viking Venture community, and how the role plays an important part in successfully building growth businesses.
How do you think the CFO role has evolved in recent years?
The CFO role has evolved from being focused on the past to being more focused on the future. Better systems for accounting and reporting have made the processes more efficient and the CFO has the opportunity to focus on forecasts. In addition, the CFO now has access to more data for analytics and early signals for the development of the business.
"The CFO in a software company needs to combine financial skills, analytical capability, and business acumen"
Why does Viking Venture consider the CFO as an important role in an organization?
CFO is an integral role in the leadership team, as a partner with all the members of a management team. The CFO has access to underlying data and analytics and is supporting all the functional areas in a business. Viking Venture is a software growth investor and the CFO plays an important role in building growth businesses. In Viking Venture, we build three growth engines in the businesses; new sales, upsales, and acquisitions. The CFO supports all these three areas - both with analysis and support.
What are the most essential characteristics necessary for the CFO in a company like FotoWare?
The CFO in a software company needs to combine financial skills, analytical capability, and business acumen. Working with owners, board members, employees, and customers the CFO also needs to have good communication skills and be comfortable in an international environment.
What is expected of the CFO in a company within the Viking Venture community?
The CFO in a Viking Venture portfolio company is joining both a software growth company, but also becoming a part of a larger CFO community within Viking Venture. In this community you will collaborate with your peers in how to build a best practice finance department in a software company. It is not expected that the CFO has in depth knowledge of software metrics and vertical experience, although it is expected that there is a willingness to learn and adapt best practice from your peers in the community.
Why is the CFO position in FotoWare such an exciting opportunity?
FotoWare is a growth company with high ambitions in both organic and inorganic growth, in an international market. The CFO joining this journey will be exposed to an international culture in a high performing team.
About Jostein Vik Jostein Vik is Partner and co-founder of Viking Venture - the Nordic software investor and owner of FotoWare. Since the acquisition of FotoWare in 2020, Jostein has been Chairman of the Board in FotoWare, overseeing the strategy to support the company’s long-term growth plans of becoming Europe’s largest Digital Asset Management vendor. He is passionate about technology, with expertise in business strategy and commercialization, and is experienced in driving results for fast-growing software scale-ups.