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Founder in Five: Q&A with GoCardless CEO Hiroki Takeuchi

GoCardless founder and CEO Hiroki Takeuchi

Hiroki Takeuchi is the co-founder and CEO of GoCardless, a payments company that manages direct debit collections on behalf of merchants.

The London-based company processes more than $30bn in transactions per year for over 70,000 businesses. It counts the likes of DocuSign, Plum and Epson among its customers.

Takeuchi co-founded GoCardless in 2011 at age 23 alongside Tom Blomfield and Matt Robinson. In February, GoCardless became the latest UK fintech unicorn with a £230m raise giving it a valuation of £1.55bn.

In the latest Founder in Five Q&A, Takeuchi describes how building a startup is like riding a wave on a surfboard, shares an early innovation mistake and explains why GoCardless is excited about variable recurring payments.

1. What funding advice would you give to a first-time founder?

When we were going through Y Combinator, Sam Altman described building a startup as riding a wave on a surfboard. If you stay on that board, you will end up being successful. Once you fall, you can decide to get back on again. That’s something that has stuck with me – the resilience you need to get through the journey....