Fintech business MarketInvoice has headhunted chief technical officer Rija Javed from Silicon Valley money manager Wealthfront

Javed will manage MarketInvoice’s engineering, data science, product and design teams as it plans an aggressive expansion. As Marketinvoice hit a £2.5 billion lending milestone it plans to double its technical team. It is also planning to ramp up its  artificial intelligence and machine learning capacity. In her previous roles Javed has successfully built system that allowed her employers to expand into new markets.

Javed becomes the first female CTO in the UK fintec sector.

Though a US national, MarketInvoice won an employment VISA for Javed through Tech Nation’s Exceptional Talent Visa, which is designed to get high quality talent into the UK tech sector.

Under the terms of the scheme, individuals need to demonstrate that they are a recognised leader with exceptional talent in the fields of science, humanities, engineering, medicine, digital technology or the arts.

The two-stage application process can take up to three months, but MarketInvoice CEO Anil Stocker said it was worth the effort to get the right person.

“This [appointment] will ensure the UK continues to attract exceptional foreign individuals who want to build their careers in the UK,” said Stocker.

Javed began as an engineer at IBM, then graduated to Research in Motion and gaming company Zynga, where she created mobile apps. At automated financial adviser Wealthfront, she scaled the business and built a new brokerage and banking platform.

Javid’s breakthrough appointment will hopefully inspire more technical talent to the UK, said Eileen Burbidge, Chair of Tech Nation

“It’s brilliant to see talented individuals like Rija take advantage of a Tech Nation talent visa,” said Burbidge, “I hope many more exceptional women and men use this scheme to take up tech careers here in the UK.”

To date, MarketInvoice has funded business loans and over 90,000 invoices worth more than £2.5b since launching in 2011. It currently employs 80 people and is recruiting.

Javed said that the tech scene needs more diversity, not just in gender but in a range of social groups, in order to be able to approach problems from different perspectives.

 “Being a software engineer is more than just coding – it 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,” said Javed.


by Bill Boyle
IBS Intelligence Senior Editor