Kelly Sickles, Finance Expert in Catskill, NY, United States
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Kelly Sickles

Verified Expert  in Finance

Fundraising Expert

Catskill, NY, United States
Toptal Member Since
August 29, 2016

Kelly relaunched her consulting practice after a 20-year financial career working with and advising well-respected startups (Vecna Robotics, Boxed) and on Wall Street (Lazard). She enjoys freelancing because it provides her the opportunity to meet so many fascinating entrepreneurs, investors, and lenders and leverage her experiences to help them maximize value and build sustainable businesses.

Career Highlights

Vecna Robotics

Education Highlights

Bachelor's Degree
Geneseo State College

Certification Highlights

CFA Charterholder
CFA Institute

Case Studies

Work Experience

Interim and Consulting CFO

2011 - PRESENT
Common Hours, LLC
  • Leveraged my significant experience in operational and strategic finance to help companies through important inflection points in their business, including high-growth periods, equity and debt financings, and ownership changes.
  • Prepared many companies for fundraising from seed funding through Series B. Advised on business strategy, structure, and valuation. Created financial models, investor material, and lender packages and participated in investor and lender meetings.
  • Acted as an interim CFO of an enterprise software company that had recently been acquired by a private equity fund. Fixed significant operational issues, integrated a subsequent acquisition, and guided the accounting team through its first audit.
  • Acted as a part-time CFO to a direct-to-consumer accessory brand. Significantly improved margins, cash flow, and projected lifetime value of a customer during the high-growth period.
  • Acted as an interim CFO for an omnichannel consumer product company. Contributed to the advancement and professionalization of the accounting department, re-stated historical financials, and prepared the company for outside capital.
  • Advised community-based incubator. Provided strategic advice on funding strategies and feedback on investor pitches and material.
  • Advised a European trade organization. Developed partner and funding strategies so companies can accelerate US commercialization efforts.
Focus areas: Board Presentations, Fundraising, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Interim CFO, Virtual CFO, Part-time CFO, CFO, Budgeting, Systems, Accounting, Financial Modeling, Forecasting, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Operations, Business Planning, P&L Forecasting, Reporting, Three-statement Modeling, M&A (Buy-side), Revenue & Expense Projections, Valuation, Business Strategy, Business Models, Pitch Decks, Pitch Deck Consultant, Tableau, SQL, Data Analysis, Financial Forecasting, Startups, Private Equity, Venture Debt, SaaS, Dashboards


2018 - 2019
Vecna Robotics
  • Joined the company after helping them as a consultant to raise the first round of capital. Executed corporate spin-off and established stand-alone business strategy.
  • Secured debt financing to manage working capital needs.
  • Established and negotiated a pricing strategy to scale with strategic customers that are global leaders in logistics and retail.
  • Worked closely with product and marketing teams to develop a long-term scalable product and pricing strategy.
  • Built and implemented financial and operational processes across a 100-person organization and coordinated the company’s first audit.
  • Created and improved partnerships with global and local manufacturing and service partners to reduce lead times, improve margins, and meet high uptime standards at sites around the country.
Focus areas: Strategic Partnerships, Budgeting, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Finance, Accounting, Operations, Pricing Strategy, Product Strategy, US GAAP, Revenue Strategy, Board Presentations, CFO, Reporting, Forecasting, P&L Forecasting, Comparable Company Analysis, Pitch Decks, Financial Forecasting, Startups, Spinoffs, SaaS, Dashboards

VP | Head of Finance

2015 - 2016
  • Built finance and accounting teams from scratch and took responsibility for all financial, accounting, and treasury activities during the hyper-growth period.
  • Raised $100 million in Series C funding and successfully led the company through an intense strategic investment due diligence process performed by a Fortune 100 corporate development team.
  • Secured over $40 million of commitments for an asset-backed credit facility and a sale and leaseback arrangement from new lending partners to finance growing working capital needs and cap-ex projects.
  • Established KPIs and budgets for the core business, which included a sizable online and offline marketing budget, as well as diverse initiatives such as a private-label product launch, a multi-million warehouse expansion, and an automation project.
  • Collaborated closely with operations and engineering teams to implement and enhance third-party and proprietary systems related to procurement, inventory management, sales tax compliance, and business intelligence.
  • Balanced growth and performance objectives by aligning ambitious KPIs across the organization and instilling budget discipline. The result was a significant improvement in margins, customer value, and operating cash flow.
Focus areas: Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Fundraising, Price Analysis, Valuation, Financial Modeling, Board Presentations, Operations Analytics, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Budgeting, System Design, Accounting, CFO, Budget Modeling, Reporting, Comparable Company Analysis, Pitch Decks, SQL, Data Analysis, Forecasting, Sales Forecasting, Startups, Private Equity, Dashboards

SVP | Head of Finance

2011 - 2015
  • Was responsible for all financial planning and analysis, accounting, and budgeting activities for a company engaged in manufacturing, software development and licensing, and professional services.
  • Provided financial and operational support to scale a multi-million, award-winning program created in partnership with Con Edison that allows the utility to reduce stress on the grid and engage with its residential customers.
  • Contributed to the development of OEM products and partnerships that provided energy management solutions. Responsible for establishing hardware and license pricing and margin-based commission structure.
Focus areas: Board Presentations, Cost Reduction & Optimization (Cost-down), Profitability Analysis, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Valuation, Financial Modeling, Budgeting, Reporting, Accounting, Forecasting

CFO | VP of Corporate Development

2009 - 2011
Noveda Technologies
  • Was responsible for all financial, corporate, legal, and HR responsibilities. Raised first outside capital.
  • Coordinated competency centers to identify potential alliances with the objective of developing OEM and licensing relationships, enhancing technology roadmap, opening new geographic channels, and improving internal processes.
  • Managed business, financial, and technical due diligence for domestic and international alliances, negotiated valuations, executed legal documents, and led the integration of teams.
  • Worked on strategic transactions that included Indian and acquihire to enhance resources and IP and a strategic partnership with a global facilities management firm to co-develop customer solutions.
Focus areas: Comparable Company Analysis, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Valuation, Financial Modeling, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Fundraising, M&A (Buy-side), CFO, Forecasting, Reporting, Accounting

VP, Investment Banking

2003 - 2007
  • Structured investments across the capital structure of a boutique investment bank as its top-ranked associate and subsequent VP and provided acquisition financing, balance sheet restructuring, and capital structure advice to the firm’s clients.
  • Performed financial and business due diligence, developed detailed financial models, evaluated strategic plans, and created investment memoranda and presentations.
  • Originated, structured, and marketed over $1.5 billion of investments including bank loans, bridge loans, convertibles, private equity, PIPEs, public equity, and IPOs for clients across several industries.
Focus areas: Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Valuation, Financial Modeling, Pitch Presentations, Fundraising, Restructuring, Debt Restructuring, Private Placements, Initial Public Offerings
1995 - 1998

Bachelor's Degree in Economics

Geneseo State College - Geneseo, NY, USA


CFA Charterholder

CFA Institute


Profitability Analysis, Comparable Company Analysis, Budgeting, Debt, Three-statement Modeling, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Market Research, Forecasting, Fundraising, Valuation, Financial Modeling, Financial Reporting, Cost Reduction & Optimization (Cost-down), CFO, P&L Forecasting, Revenue & Expense Projections, Price Analysis, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Accounting, Pricing Strategy, Debt Restructuring, M&A (Buy-side), Data Analysis, Private Equity, Venture Debt

Output Software

Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word

Industry Expertise

Energy, Consumer Products, Technology, Retail & Wholesale, Real Estate

Data & Analysis Software

Capital IQ, Bloomberg, Tableau, SQL

Geographic Expertise

United States


Board Presentations, Pitch Presentations, Benchmarking, Communication, Business Planning, Finance, Virtual CFO, Pitch Decks, Financial Analysis, Interim CFO, Pitch Deck Consultant, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Operations, Reporting, Business Strategy, Business Models, Operations Analytics, Strategic Partnerships, Debt Financing, Customer Research, Supply Chain Optimization, Systems, Product Strategy, US GAAP, Revenue Strategy, System Design, Restructuring, Private Placements, Initial Public Offerings, Transaction Comparables, Part-time CFO, Budget Modeling, Financial Forecasting, Sales Forecasting, Startups, Spinoffs, SaaS, Dashboards, Economics

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