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

Fundraising Expert in Catskill, NY, United States

Member since August 22, 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.
Kelly is now available for hire

Career Highlights


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  • 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.
    • Acted as the interim CFO of an enterprise software company that had recently been acquired by a private equity fund. Engaged to establish a professional finance department, fix significant operational issues, establish new financial reporting processes, integrate a subsequent acquisition and guide the accounting team through its audit. Eight-month engagement with overlap with the permanent CFO. Transitioned from spreadsheet accounting to GAAP-based financial reporting in Intaact (accounting software); established reliable sales and customer retention reporting that guided the company to 20% revenue growth; established accurate historical financials used as the basis for a successful escrow claim by the acquirers.
    • Worked in the capacity of a consulting CFO to a direct-to-consumer accessory brand. Engaged to redesign budgeting process with particular focus on optimizing the marketing budget and improving inventory turnover during a high-growth period. Established an operating plan to guide the company to a 200 point improvement in EBITDA, 25% improvement in customer LTV (despite higher acquisition costs), and over 500% growth in operating cash flow as projected revenue doubled.
    • Acted as a consulting CFO to a consumer product company. Engaged to evaluate debt and equity financing options and prepare the company for potential first outside capital. Created financial model, investor material, and lender packages and participated in investor and lender meetings. Recruited and trained new accounting staff, established sales and revenue recognition processes and built a dynamic cash flow forecast.
    • Advised on the business-side for a European trade organization. Engaged to develop partner and funding strategies so the organization can better promote relevant companies to the appropriate contacts. Identified key industry decision-makers, their focus and their partnering process and provided specific recommendations on the next steps.
    Focus areas: Board Presentations, Fundraising, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Interim CFO
  • CFO

    2018 - 2019
    Vecna Robotics
    • Established a stand-alone operation and positioned the company for growth by building and implementing financial controls and processes across the organization and recruited and trained the accounting and finance team.
    • Secured debt financing to manage working capital needs.
    • Established a pricing strategy to scale with strategic customers, increase reoccurring revenue, and achieve economies of scale while negotiating costs with strategic suppliers and contract manufacturers to significantly improve margins.
    Focus areas: Strategic Partnerships, Budgeting, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Finance
  • VP, Head of Finance

    2015 - 2016
    • Grew the company over 500% during my tenure as the head of finance. Boxed is an eCommerce company that delivers the products consumers use every day to their door step in bulk sizes. Founded in 2013, it is backed by well-known VC investors such as DST (Yuri Milner), GGV Capital, Greycroft, Signia, and First Round Capital.
    • 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/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 automation project and a co-marketing effort with American Express.
    • Established financial processes and procedures during a hyper-growth period when headcount grew from 40 to over 100 FTEs, and the supply chain and fulfillment capabilities became significantly more robust. Worked 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.
    Focus areas: Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Fundraising, Pricing Analysis, Valuation, Financial Modeling, Board Presentations, Operations Analytics
  • SVP, Head of Finance

    2011 - 2015
    • Worked for ThinkEco, a leading provider of cloud-based energy efficiency and demand response solutions for residential, commercial, and utility applications. Founded in 2009, it is backed by prominent angel investors.
    • Provided financial and operational support to scale a $4 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.
    • Improved communication and transparency with investors, which facilitated $5 million in additional capital contributions, by providing financial reports outlining key accomplishments, risks, and opportunities.
    • Charted a path to profitability and long-term success by ascertaining the true costs of existing/proposed products and ongoing service costs, evaluating new channels, developing effective pricing strategies, and renegotiating vendor contracts.
    Focus areas: Board Presentations, Cost Reduction & Optimization, Profitability Analysis, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Valuation, Financial Modeling, Operations Analytics
  • CFO and VP of Corporate Development

    2009 - 2011
    Noveda Technologies
    • Worked for Noveda, a company founded in 2007 that develops and provides cloud-based data-analysis and monitoring solutions for renewable and conventional energy and water systems. I was hired by the angel investor to fundraise and position the company for growth.
    • Authored a business plan and articulated a vision and value to the investment community. Pitched and won $4 million in milestone-based funding from the NJ Clean Energy Manufacturing Fund.
    • Coordinated competency centers to identify potential alliances with the objective of developing OEM/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, prepared and executed legal documents, and led the integration of teams.
    Focus areas: Comparable Company Analysis, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Valuation, Financial Modeling, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Fundraising
  • 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.
    • Worked with notable clients including: Minnesota Steel (dual-track project financing/M&A process resulting in $1.7 billion sale to Essar Steel), the ATSB (an office of the US Treasury on the sale of $750 million of airline debt), the SNPE (French, state-owned organization on the sale of $180 million shares of Dynamic Material), SUPERVALU (on $17 billion acquisition of Albertson’s with an investment group led by Cerberus), Golfsmith ($70 million IPO), Combinatorx ($40 million IPO), and Iconix Brand Group ($260 million equity raise).
    Focus areas: Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Valuation, Financial Modeling, Pitch Presentations, Fundraising


  • Bachelor's degree in Economics
    1995 - 1998
    Geneseo State College - Geneseo, NY, USA


  • CFA Charterholder
    CFA Institute

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