In preparation for IPO, Clio nabs Clearco CFO

Clearco also lost a co-founder as another becomes interim CFO.

Clio has secured a new CFO from a fellow Canadian unicorn, marking the second exec departure in recent weeks for Clearco.

Curt Sigfstead joined Clio as CFO at the beginning of this year as the legaltech company pulls together its shopping list for a potential public markets debut.

The addition of Sigfstead follows a major year for Clio, which started off 2022 with 750 employees and boasts more than $100 million USD in annual revenue.

“As we look ahead to 2022, you can expect to see more bold moves in our offerings.”
– Curt Sigfstead, Clio

Sigfstead brings more than 20 years of experience in the technology, finance, and investments space. Prior to joining Clearco as CFO in April 2020, Sigfstead (who hails from Canada) spent 22 years in Silicon Valley with J.P Morgan, in its technology investment banking team. Sigfstead has worked with both publicly traded companies and private companies that he has helped to take public.

​​Sigfstead is the latest addition to Clio’s rapidly growing executive team. The addition of Sigfstead follows Uber and Airbnb alum Ronnie Gurion joining as COO, with former Lightspeed and PointClickCare exec Sarah Bettencourt becoming Clio’s chief people officer. The startup also recently promoted Jonathan Watson and Reagan Attle to CTO and CMO, respectively.

Clio CEO and co-founder Jack Newton spoke to BetaKit about the importance of building out Clio’s executive team, and bringing on experienced leaders that understand later-stage growth and IPOs.

While Newton was not definitive about Clio’s IPO plans, or a timeline, he called the decision a possibility and noted Clio has “a lot of those ingredients already in place” to go public “on a moment’s notice.” And it’s common wisdom that you don’t buy the ingredients unless you are going to cook the meal.

Some of those ingredients include revenue scale, Clio’s board of directors composition, as well as the fact that the company has been spending time working towards the compliance and reporting needed for such an endeavour.

While Clio has the revenue and “ingredients” to take the leap, Newton noted that the company is currently well-financed after its $136 million round in April of last year, and would only go public when the time is right.

“I think the broader organization and holding yourself up to the accountability and performance expectations that a public company has, is a good exercise for any private company to undertake,” said Newton. “So that’s the mandate that Curt will be undertaking over the course of the next year and beyond, which is building those foundations for Clio becoming a 100-year company. But a lot of that has the same foundations and same components as a public company.”

Sigfstead replaces longtime Clio CFO Rob Froment, who is retiring after more than seven years with the Vancouver-based startup. Froment helped grow Clio to its $1.6 billion USD valuation through multiple raises, as well as lead its acquisitions, including Lawyaw and CalendarRules.

Newtown spent the past year looking for Froment’s replacement, speaking with what he called hundreds of candidates before settling on Sigfstead.

“Clio is truly building a generational company that will transform the legal experience for all well into the future,” Sigfstead told BetaKit. “As we look ahead to 2022, you can expect to see more bold moves in our offerings, how we operate, and how we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers.”

Sigfstead’s shift from Clearco to Clio comes as the former saw one of its five co-founders depart to start a new company. Charlie Feng helped create Clearco alongside CEO Michele Romanow, Andrew D’Souza, Ivan Gritsiniak, and Tanay Delima.

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​​”Charlie’s leadership at Clearco for the past six years has been instrumental in creating the thriving business that we have today,” Romanow told BetaKit. “We’re excited to see Charlie build his next startup.”

Gritsiniak, who had been serving as VP of finance for Clearco, has taken on the role of interim CFO as the company searches for a permanent replacement for Sigfstead.

“Curt was an invaluable member of our finance team, growing the department to more than 20+ members and helping us close two highly successful funding rounds,” noted Romanow. “His new role shows the great strength of the Canadian tech ecosystem.”

Like Clio, last year was also a major one for Clearco, which rebranded from Clearbanc and surpassed a $2 billion valuation after two major raises. The startup also broadened its portfolio, expanded into new product lines, verticals, and markets, in addition to adding new execs, including Ruma Bose as chief growth officer in June to lead its international growth strategy.

While not as large as Clio, Clearco’s employee count is close, sitting at more than 500 people. As of October, the company had invested more than $2.5 billion USD globally into over 5,500 startups across three continents.

Clio’s addition of Sigfstead comes shortly after the legaltech company expanded into the FinTech space with new payment products. At the time of the launch, Newton called Clio Payments “one of the most significant engineering and product investments” the startup has made to date.

Clio continues to hire, with plans to grow to 1,000 employees by the end of 2022. Newton told BetaKit the company is now focused on expanding its senior leadership team, and plans to hire 200 people across the board in the first quarter of this year alone.

The addition of Sigfstead to Clio’s team was also reported Thursday by The Globe and Mail.

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Senior Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.

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