Finance and its role in scaling a startup

Company Nov 13, 2019

In the latest edition of our Jampper Stories series, we turn our attention to our Finance Team. Romina Aramburu tells us about her journey developing her career with Jampp over the last four years! From helping with Jampp’s funding round to building a kickass team and expanding our global presence, Romi has seen the challenges of growing from startup to key industry player firsthand.

You’ve been at Jampp for over 4 years, tell us a little bit about how you got started.

I joined the team in January 2015, a really exciting moment for the company from a finance perspective. We were in the middle of closing our first venture capital financing round which meant going through a complex due diligence process carried out by some of the top law and accounting firms globally, including KPMG. Our efforts paid off: we complied with all the due diligence queries, and a few months later, we announced a $7M Series A round. I loved that I got to jump right in, there was so much to do!

That must have been exciting. Do you remember your first few days at Jampp? What was that like?

At the time, we were only around 30 jamppers, and the onboarding process was not as structured as it is now. I always say I would like to be hired again just to do our current onboarding 😂. But this is just one of the great aspects of seeing Jampp grow over the years.

It’s really well-organized and comprehensive. The 101 sessions are a great example of this. Every new jampper has a 101 presentation with a manager from each area to ensure that you understand how each team contributes to the company’s business and mission, as well as its needs, roadblocks, priorities, etc. Even the founders participate in the process, as one of them personally spends about an hour with each new hire to go over the company’s history and culture .

You actually do the Finance 101 in onboardings, right? What do you tell new jamppers about your team? What are the key aspects you like to highlight?

Our team manages the administrative part of the hiring process, so new jamppers will have typically interacted with a few of us before their Finance 101. I like to start by presenting the Finance Team and each person’s main responsibilities.

The Finance Team at their team offsite

I also focus on how the company (and our financial structure) has evolved over the last few years. When I started, we only had financial entities in the UK and Argentina. I actually joined as we were setting up the Brazil office, so I got to be part of that project (speaking Portuguese came in really handy! 🇧🇷) Since then, we’ve opened offices (and legal entities) in the US, Germany, and most recently Singapore, where the time difference added a new challenge — a 12-hour difference!

Each region has its own requirements and challenges, and a lot of work goes into setting up the financial structure and finding local accountants and lawyers that fit into the global setup.

Aside from the financial structure you mentioned, can you name a few more things that have changed in the last few years?

My role, for starters 😊 When I joined the team there were only 4 of us (and two were actually working part time back then). Since then, the team has evolved into a more specialized unit, now formed by 8 jamppers 🙌.

I currently work as Financial Controller, managing a team of 4, and we’re also looking to add a Deputy Controller and a Sr Accountant.

Naturally, as the team grows you start to take on different responsibilities. I think another big difference is that in the beginning we were defining many procedures for the first time, now we get to build on that. We’ve been steadily implementing many internal and external procedures and controls to ensure the company’s financial health, from expense policies for the rest of the team to late payment delinquency policies, and everything in between.

What are some of the tasks and projects you work on?

Sure, it varies according to the moment of the month…

  • At the beginning of the month, I oversee the monthly financial reporting to our investors, where we need to control that all transactions are aligned with international accounting standards, and analyzing variations between forecasts and financial accounting.
  • Cash flow management, as well as, analyzing delinquent accounts and working capital fluctuations is done on a weekly basis.
  • I also manage the relationship with external advisors, such as accountants and lawyers for each region and assist them on annual audits.

What challenges do you face in this role?

We face a lot of challenges as a team every day. As you can imagine, we’re dealing with sensitive activities and deadlines all the time, e.g. monthly due date for preparing financial statements of seven entities around the world 😱, filing taxes, ensuring legal compliance, and effectively managing cash flow.

It’s important to be organized and clearly understand the risk of each activity. This helps us set priorities and focus on what matters. All this is possible if you have a great team with aligned mindsets.

Finance Team working on their OKRs

How do you keep growing and learning?

Bringing the outside inside Jampp is my favorite part of the job. There are different sources of knowledge:

  • I frequently connect with other financial controllers or heads of finance from other companies and startups. This “mutual exchange” is really productive, and we learn a lot by analyzing problems together (sometimes the challenges we face are really similar!).
  • On a more technical level, I often turn to conferences and webinars. Jampp also works with consulting accounting firms and lawyers from a variety of countries where we operate, and they send us material on new policies and tax reforms to make sure we are up to date with the latest changes 🔄.
  • There’s a lot of things you learn “on-the-go”, like what to look for when hiring for your team for the first time, giving feedback, what to delegate and how, setting up smooth team processes… It also has to do with being a part of a great team. You learn a lot from the people you work with 🤓.

How do you think people can make the most of their growth opportunities?

I think it’s important to have a curious personality and to be passionate, not just about what you do, but also passionate about understanding the company’s needs.

Another thing to consider is that there are a lot of opportunities to learn and grow when things don’t actually work out. When challenging situations arise, they can make for very stressful situations, but they can also be seen as opportunities to change the way you were doing things, to try something different, to look for alternative solutions…

What made Jampp the right fit for you?

The environment, for sure. There’s room for everyone to propose new things. And that means everyone, even if you’re a junior, just-graduated, brand new jampper that only started working yesterday.

“We want people that bring new ideas, not only support the existing ones.”

I think it’s really inspiring and motivating to work closely with such capable people, it raises the bar and it motivates everyone to be a better version of themselves. That’s why I love how meticulous we are with the hiring process. Investing time in finding the right people for each team is really important, especially for companies experiencing growth at a fast pace.

Romi receiving the Jamppion of the World Award! 🏆
“There are no excuses here. There is no limit to how far you can grow and develop your career. The limit is only determined by yourself.”

When I interview candidates, I always ask: “what brings you here, to this interview?” About 80% reply that they find no motivation in their current jobs since they don’t have the possibility of implementing new things, generating a key impact on the business, or simply because they are tired of doing the same activity everyday.

I assure you that it doesn’t happen here 🤹‍♀️

Visiting Jampp’s office in Sao Paulo

You’ve mentioned our hiring process a couple of times, so I have to ask: what’s your advice for somebody applying to work at jampp?:

I think there are two things everyone should keep in mind when applying:

  1. Please take the time to learn a little about the company beforehand 🙏🏻. Show us that you know about Jampp (there’s a lot of information online and in our blog 😉). It’s not necessary to know everything or to be able to explain our business perfectly, but you should have a general idea of what we do, who our customers are, what markets we work with…. This goes a long way to show you’re interested. As we prepare ourselves to understand the profile of each candidate in advance, we expect the same commitment from the other side.
  2. Be yourself! If you’re in the interview process, that means we’re interested in you! But it has to be a match for both so be genuine. What are you really interested in? What kind of workplace are you looking for? What kind of challenges are you hoping to take on? It’s really important to find people that match with our culture and values. We hire great people, not great CVs. So, be sure you check our values, ask us questions, and see whether you can imagine yourself working here.

(This by the way is applicable to any interview, not just for Jampp!)

Great advice, so tell us a little more about you! What hobbies or activities do you look forward to after work and on weekends?

I love sports. My favorite one is swimming, but now I’m trying to improve myself on other activities, like running and cycling. I would like to participate in a Triathlon someday.

I’ve started to compete in open water swimming races. I recently participated in a 6-day competition in the Brazilian sea 🇧🇷.

Open water is definitely a new challenge… (just think: if you get tired half-way there’s nothing to hold on to!) whatever happens, you have to keep swimming. But it’s the most amazing feeling!

To make it more exciting (?) some of the competitions include night races… so you’re basically swimming in the sea under the moon, how awesome is that?! I participated in a night competition earlier this year, there were around 250 people swimming around 2 km at night, it was amazing!

Wrapping up, you’ve been at Jampp for almost 5 years… which means… you must have A LOT of Jampp T-shirts! Do you have a favorite?

Oh yes, jamppers love swag! We have T-shirts from EOY events, offsites, product launches… My favorite T-shirt is the one from Jampp Camp 2018. I’ve actually had people come and ask me where I bought it! 😎

Gotta love those retro vibes!!

About Jampper Stories

We believe our team is our greatest asset and we are happy to share its stories. If you want to learn more about what it’s like to work at Jampp, follow us on Instagram at @gojampp or visit to find the right opportunity and see for yourself 😉

Florencia Vago

Marketing Manager at Jampp. Loves long walks in the city, traveling and learning new languages.
When she’s not reading up on industry news or creating content, she’s usually talking about books...