Bold Commerce swaps CEOs, bringing on PayPal, Intuit alum Peter Karpas

Karpas took the reins from Bold co-founder Yvan Boisjoli last month.

Winnipeg-based checkout software company Bold Commerce has made a key leadership change, hiring Peter Karpas as CEO.

Karpas replaced Bold co-founder and longtime CEO Yvan Boisjoli in late October.

“I thought it was an opportunity to bring in somebody with a lot of enterprise and payments experience to really help guide the ship.”
-Yvan Boisjoli, Bold Commerce

The new CEO previously spent time helping grow e-commerce and payments products at PayPal and Intuit. Karpas brings this experience to Bold as it looks to scale its composable checkout suite and increase its enterprise and mid-market presence amid uncertain macroeconomic and e-commerce market conditions.

“One of the things that I have built my career on is taking products that really serve a customer well, which is what Bold has with checkout, and then helping that explode,” Karpas told BetaKit in an interview.

With Karpas now at the helm, Boisjoli is sticking with Bold full-time, where he told BetaKit he will now focus on sales and business development, building relationships, and strategic partnerships.

Asked whether the transition was a personal or board-driven move, Boisjoli said it was a collective decision. According to Boisjoli, Bold had been looking for the right CEO to lead the headless commerce company “for a long time now,” adding, “our company has evolved.”

“Bold has been going through a transformation from an app development company to a leader in the checkout space, and with that, we’ve just got to make sure that we’ve got the best people in the right roles,” said Boisjoli. “I thought it was an opportunity to bring in somebody with a lot of enterprise and payments experience to really help guide the ship.”

Founded in 2012 and once known only as Shopify’s largest app developer, Bold saw an opportunity to expand beyond just building for Shopify into composable commerce. Unlike traditional e-commerce, which is typically monolithic, composable commerce offers a more modular, customizable approach to selling that enables brands to mix, match, and combine whatever components work best for their specific needs. To do just that, the company closed $35 million CAD in Series B funding from OMERS Ventures, Whitecap Venture Partners, and Round13 Capital early last year.

Today, Bold offers a composable checkout offering that enables clients to convert customers in a variety of different places. The company’s customizable headless checkout is used by omnichannel retailers like Vera Bradley, Harry Rosen, and Staples.

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Though it has now been about 22 months since the company’s last funding round, Karpas said Bold remains “well-capitalized and is not currently looking to raise funds.”

Prior to joining Bold, Karpas served as senior vice-president and global head of small and medium business (SMB) products at Fiserv (formerly First Data), vice-president and general manager of North America SMB at PayPal, and held various leadership positions at Intuit.

For his part, Karpas said that he joined Bold because he believes it has “tremendous opportunity” within the composable commerce space, and thought his strengths and experience working in e-commerce and payments matched up well with Bold’s needs.

When asked whether Bold has needed to slow or freeze hiring or lay off staff recently during this tough economic climate, Boisjoli said Bold has gone through “some transitions” during its shift to focusing on checkout.

Boisjoli said Bold “reset” its organizational structure in January 2022 and laid off 45 employees in service of its transition into checkout and up-market expansion plans.

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“It is always smart to control costs, especially in times like today where consumer spending is slowing,” said Boisjoli. “That said, Bold has made changes, but they’re more due to focusing and honing our investment in the checkout space.”

Today, the CEO says Bold is hiring for new sales, product, and engineering roles.

Boisjoli sees potential for Bold to grow amid the downturn, despite the recent slowdown in e-commerce demand, looming recession, and associated headwinds. “Half of me wants to say it’s going to open up opportunities,” said Boisjoli, arguing that with its composable approach to commerce, Bold offers a faster and possibly more attractive alternative to full e-commerce migrations.

Full e-commerce migrations involve fully moving the front or back-end of an online store from one platform to another, and typically require more time and money to execute than composable commerce, which enables brands to transition to new solutions in a more piecemeal fashion.

“When the markets get tougher, this is actually an interesting play where [brands] can actually reduce risk [with] less of an upfront investment, but still allow [them] to innovate and to keep up with market trends, so we’ll see how that all plays out,” said Boisjoli.

Feature image courtesy Bold Commerce.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache. He was also the winner of SABEW Canada’s 2023 Jeff Sanford Best Young Journalist award.

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