OakNorth Bank has just added some flavour to the fintech firm’s leadership by appointing food box startup Gousto’s founder as its latest non-executive director. The news comes as the fintech industry faces hard times ahead.

This means that Timo Boldt can add another non-executive director role to a resume that already spans similar roles at Flagstone and Comparethemarket.com, according to his LinkedIn. He is also the chair of Gousto spinout Bento Tech.

The Gousto CEO is now joining OakNorth, enabling the challenger bank to tap into his tech know-how and expertise in order to scale even more.

“Having started and scaled my own business, I’m acutely aware of the challenges business owners face when it comes to their banking and finances,” Boldt said. “This is one of the primary reasons that OakNorth’s mission and unique approach really resonates with me. I’ve been following the bank’s incredible growth story since its launch in 2015, and am excited to now be a part of it.”

Rishi Khosla, CEO and co-founder of OakNorth Bank, added: “Timo brings deep experience in data, technology, automation, and marketing – all of which will prove invaluable as we continue to expand our offering and digital capabilities.

“Crucially, he also brings further entrepreneurial experience to our board – having started and scaled an incredibly successful business in Gousto. This means he has his finger on the pulse in terms of what entrepreneurs are looking for and how to create a delightful experience for them.”

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Gousto secured $150m in a SoftBank-led funding round in January at a $1.7bn valuation.

OakNorth tapping the Gousto CEO for support comes as fintech industry faces slowdown

OakNorth may lack the showmanship of neobank peers like Revolut and Monzo, but the challenger bank can boast about having been profitable for years.

The news about OakNorth adding the Gousto founder to its board comes after a time of explosive growth for the fintech industry. Investment into the sector has ballooned over the past five years.

Venture capital (VC) deals have jumped from injecting north of $16bn across 1,470 deals in 2016 to investing $84bn 2,358 deals in 2021, according to data extracted from research firm GlobalData on August 4.

The industry has topped up its coffers to the tune of $30bn across 938 VC deals so far this year. While that is markedly below the levels seen in 2021, it suggests that the sector is still on track to beat the previous record year of 2018. That year, backers splurged over $47bn onto new fintech companies across 1,812 deals.

Despite these stellar results, the fintech industry has reason to be worried. Headlines about investment cooldowns, mass layoffs and plummeting stock valuations have slammed the entrepreneurs of this space in the face over the course of the first eight months of the year.

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.