Today in hires: TextNow, d1g1t, Volta

Three Canadian tech companies have brought on new team members to add to their leadership. Here’s a breakdown of who is joining, and what they bring to the table.

TextNow taps former Pandora, Etsy executive as VP of product

Waterloo-based TextNow, a free text and phone service startup, has hired Mike Grishaver, a former executive at Pandora and Etsy, as the company’s vice-president of product.

Grishaver, who will report to TextNow’s founder and CEO Derek Ting, will be responsible for leading product development and strategy to support TextNow’s app. Additionally, Grishaver will be in charge of developing the company’s internal product team, as well as designing the company’s long-term global strategy.

Grishaver previously served as senior vice president of product at Etsy, helping the company grow its mobile gross merchandise sales by 47 percent. He also served as vice president of product management at Pandora. Prior to that, Grishaver worked at LinkedIn as the head of its product management and monetization.

“TextNow’s team is smart, agile, and creative. I’m excited to join them in building a product that brings affordable connectivity to users around the world,” said Grishaver.

d1g1t hires two new executives to help with US expansion

Wealth management startup d1g1t has hired two new executives to its team as it expands its platform in the US market. The startup has appointed Andrew Aziz as executive vice president of business development, and Kian Rafia as managing director and head of US distribution.

Aziz previously worked as senior vice president, global head of financial risk analytics of IHS Markit, where he led the company’s financial risk analytics line. He also worked at IBM’s risk analytics division, as well as BuySide’s business unit at algorithms as managing director.

Rafia previously served as Morningstar’s executive vice president and head of advisor solutions, where he oversaw the company’s offerings and distribution enterprises, as well as its financial advisors in North America.

“We’re excited that Kian and Andy are coming on board to strengthen the leadership team and help us build upon the phenomenal momentum and success we’ve had,” said d1g1t CEO and co-founder Dan Rosen. “They’re both truly rock stars in this industry, and our clients and team will benefit greatly from their proven experience.”

D1g1t’s enterprise wealth management platform is powered by analytics and risk management tools that allow firms to improve the quality of their advice to clients. Based in Toronto, the company said it has developed enterprise portfolio systems for banks, institutional asset managers, hedge funds, and regulators.

Volta appoints four new board members

Halifax-based innovation hub Volta has appointed four new members to its board of directors, including former venture fund executives and founders.

Among the new board members is the former CEO and president of Emera, Chris Huskilson. Huskilson is also a founding partner of the Atlantic location of Creative Destruction Lab.

Volta also appointed Rhiannon Davies, the former COO of GrandVision Nova Scotia and co-founding partner of Atlantic Women’s Venture Fund.

Eva Lau, Two Small Fish Ventures’ founding partner, will also be joining Volta along with Communitech’s chief strategy officer, Avvey Peters.

Volta houses over 48 tech ventures, four innovation outposts, and six community partners. It employs more than 400 people and connects Atlantic Canadian startups through its co-working space and programs.


Denise Paglinawan

Denise is a writer for BetaKit. She spends most of her free time with her pug, Timbit.

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