Welcome to the very first Meet the CEO series, where we profile the CEO’s behind the most innovative companies in the tech space.
Today we kick things off with Jude Greer, CEO and Co-Founder of Reposit, a startup aiming to transform the way consumers rent without the fuss of securing large deposits.
Find out more about Greer’s journey to becoming CEO, the challenges he faced along the way and the advice he has for other startup CEOs.
Can you tell me about yourself and your business background?
I was born in Northern Ireland and moved to London when I was 19. I began working in a number of charitable organisations before realising that I wanted to make my own mark. When brainstorming business ideas, I wanted to create something that provides value but at the same time create a business which places an equal amount of importance on both its customers/clients and team members.
Tell me about your journey to becoming CEO of Reposit.
When I moved to London I struggled to find a rental property because I needed to find £3,000 to cover the moving costs and tenancy deposit.
It got me thinking about how I could solve this problem and make renting easier for other tenants, which led me to the early idea of Reposit. I spent months researching and learning as much as I could about the insurance and property industry.
In January 2016, along with my Co-Founder, we took the leap and joined the Ignite Accelerator leaving our jobs and starting the journey to where we are now.
“I think it’s an ongoing process as a CEO to remove your ego”
What’s Reposit’s USP?
Reposit was essentially founded by tenants – the whole idea stemmed from the fact that we couldn’t afford the deposit payment in London which made us question the entire system.
Everything is from the tenants’ point of view – we want to ease the burden of renting and moving. It is however extremely important to us to provide a product that works for all stakeholders, including landlords.
Research shows that more and more people are on course to become life-long renters, particularly the younger generations. Private rental prices have been increasing since 2015 yet wages have stagnated.
There is currently an industry standard where taking or paying a deposit is not questioned, it is an appropriate thing to do and if you can’t afford the sum, you automatically can’t afford the rent.
Our greater mission is to make renting not just more affordable but to give tenants freedom of movement that allows them to move faster between properties and avoid being out of pocket for another month while waiting for their previous security deposit.
How do you see the technology industry evolving, and how do you think it will influence your business?
We’re seeing tech being used to improve processes in industries that perhaps need a little push into the 21st century. Above all, I think more companies are using tech to become more accessible to a broader population and offer a wider choice of services to be used.
What’s the biggest challenge about being a CEO?
Something I care about the most is providing a working environment for my team that I had always wanted in my previous jobs.
Ultimately, there is no Reposit without a fulfilled and inspired team who have the freedom to do their best work. I think it is an ongoing process as a CEO to remove your ego and be open to feedback from your team and board.
And if you could give advice to another tech startup CEO, what would it be?
Become comfortable with constant failure and there being a sharp focus on your inadequacies. When you’re starting a business (especially within an industry where you’re not an expert), it is crucial to learn fast and adapt quickly.
You don’t do this without making mistakes all the time, particularly in the early days. Embrace it and realise that without that you will never learn and never grow. Discomfort is a sign that you are doing something outside your comfort zone, and that’s a good thing.
What’s an accomplishment that has shaped your career?
Raising £1.4 million in equity investment as a first time Co-Founder and creating a working environment that my team values is an accomplishment that has been born from many mistakes along the way.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Aim for the stars and you might hit the ceiling.
Time for a few quick fire questions… Favourite app on your phone?
Professionally: Slack and Google Suite. Personally: Candy Crush, Apple Podcasts and BBC news.
Name a book that’s influenced you or your career.
“Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday.
Name a company that you wish you founded & why.
Headspace. I use it daily and it is a product that changes and in some cases saves lives. Mental health and the protection of it is a very important topic to me.
Thank you to Jude Greer for being our first guest on the Meet the CEO series. Subscribe to our newsletter to find out when the next CEO interview will be published.