Fintech startup and Y-Combinator alum GoCardless, which offers a simple way for online businesses to set up and accept direct debit payments (that is, money that comes straight out of your bank account), has lost another of its three original co-founders.
TechCrunch has learned that Matt Robinson is leaving the London-based company with plans to start a new venture of his own. It follows the earlier departure of Tom Blomfield in late 2013 (more on that below), and leaves only one of GoCardless’ founders, CEO Hiroki Takeuchi, at the startup.
Despite Robinson’s departure, however, it’s my understanding that GoCardless remains in fine health and that he left with the blessing of the company’s Board.
In January last year, the startup picked up $7 million in Series B funding led by Balderton Capital, bringing total raised since being founded in 2012 to just under $12 million. The company is also now doing around £500 million in transaction volume per year.
Asked to comment on his departure, Robinson told TechCrunch in an email: “I’m staying involved (on the board etc.) but want to start another company. Made possible by the fact that the business is in great shape and blessed with deep pool of senior management, especially Hiroki (co-founder and CEO).”
In other words, this isn’t a case of ‘when it’s time to scale it’s time to bail’. Both Robinson and Blomfield remain shareholders.
Meanwhile, Blomfield’s post-GoCardless ventures are curious. He first left the fintech startup in late 2013 to join another YC startup, the dating app Grouper, as VP of Growth. Then last year he joined the founding team of yet-to-launch ‘mobile-first’ bank, Bank Possible (now called Starling), as CTO.
However, according to the FT, Blomfield left Starling in February, along with three other members of the senior management team, to start up a similar and rival venture after a falling out with the CEO.
Furthermore, I’ve learned that Blomfield’s ‘NewCo’ has recently signed a term sheet “in the millions” and is currently based at White Bear Yard, the co-working space of London-based VC Passion Capital (which also invested in GoCardless). Make of that what you will, but it seems likely Passion is a backer. I’ve pinged Blomfield for comment but have yet to hear back.