Sophie Flynn is the co-founder and CFO of Transact365, a global payments company supporting fintech, retail and digital entertainment businesses.
Launched in 2017, Transact365’s services include bank accounts, open banking and card payments.
The London-headquartered company has expanded to Asia with offices in Singapore and is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.
Flynn, a former professional footballer, is also the co-founder of Transact365’s sister company, Nucleus365.
In this week’s Founder in Five Q&A, Flynn explains how mentorship can play an important role in improving tech diversity, shares advice for first-time founders and explains why she believes AI is “incredibly misunderstood”.
1. What advice would you give to a first-time founder?
Sophie Flynn: Try not to always follow the status quo. By doing this, you actively challenge and change the industries you enter.
Network and don’t be afraid to seek help or guidance when needed. You can easily find people or networks willing to impart knowledge, provide support, or support you on the path to new opportunities.
Be hard-working and passionate and it can lead to success in any sector. You need discipline, dedication, passion, and a hunger to always be the best. These are all character traits I have and have found to be beneficial for me in my career.
2. What’s the best way to promote diversity in the workplace?
SF: My experience and advice come from being a woman in fintech, but it can also be applied in other sectors of technology.
Firstly, awareness is so important to any sector striving for increased inclusivity.
Secondly, companies should provide practical opportunities and mentorship for anyone to enter the field, such as skill-elevating classes, placement programs, mentorship, and digital events. Alongside this should also be fundamentally promoting diversity from within.
Thirdly, promoting an inclusive working environment from within will lead to better performance, opportunities, and more diverse ideas and decision-making; a dynamic that can only benefit our evolving sector.
3. Which role was the most important early hire you made?
SF: To slightly go against the question, for me, every hire is important.
This goes back to my previous answer – while my co-founders are critical to our growth and business success, having a diverse team and individuals with different life experiences is invaluable to our success and will be as we continue to grow.
That’s why I’m proud to say over 50% of our current workforce are women and I can’t wait to see us continue to build on our diversity and inclusivity as we expand and grow.
4. In another life you’d be?
SF: I would be a professional football player.
Before I founded Transact365 and Nucleus365, I was pursuing football professionally. I started playing for Blackburn Rovers Football Club when I was ten years old and played until I was 24.
However, at the time, women’s football wasn’t as popular and didn’t have the same level of funding as it does today. Although it was my passion, with the limitations for women in sports at the time, I fell back on my passion for business instead and resumed my desire to begin a new professional endeavour in the fintech arena.
5. What’s the most misunderstood technology?
SF: Although there’s a lot of hype around it at the moment, I believe AI is still incredibly misunderstood. AI has been used for a number of applications across a number of industries for some time now.
As it evolves, I hope that the education and training around the fintech space will take place for individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds and will aid with their understanding. My hope is it will continue to be used for better business efficiencies including the likes of payments and have a wider, positive impact.
Founder in Five – a UKTN Q&A series with the entrepreneurs behind the UK’s innovative tech startups, scaleups and unicorns – is published every Friday.