George Spanoudakis, Product Manager in Athens, Central Athens, Greece
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George Spanoudakis

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Athens, Central Athens, Greece
Toptal Member Since
May 28, 2020

George is an accomplished entrepreneur and global product manager with 12+ years of experience. He has built and sold two startups and held key positions in companies with $200 to $500 million in revenue. He has led the development of 100+ web and mobile products used by 30 million customers worldwide. These include mobile consumer apps for fintech, telecom, gaming, and messaging. George has expertise in emerging markets, and he was selected for Fortune's 40 Under 40 list (Greece) three times.

Project Highlights

Led the design, development, and launch of an interactive multimedia communication app, delivering 1.5 million customers within 18 months and reaching the top-25 charts on the App Store and Google Play in 22 countries.
Loop (Celebrity App)
Led the development, market introduction, and funnel optimization of the app, helping the company sell it to several top-tier telcos in emerging markets and secure millions in revenues.
Drafted a new strategy for the company, then helped them adjust their product and introduce new revenue streams.


Work Experience

Head of Global Business Development, Alternate Payments

2020 - PRESENT
Novatti Group
  • Led global business development for Flexepin and alternate payments.
  • Developed and executed sales strategies for Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, Canada, and Central America.
  • Designed and implemented expansion strategies to introduce Flexepin in new markets.
  • Identified and built product and strategic partnerships to extend the product portfolio and expand the company’s global footprint.
  • Advised on new product development, current product localization, and alignment with local compliance regulations.

Managing Director

2011 - PRESENT
Jynglee - Business consulting agency
  • Advised startups in a 360 mode including business plan development, team building, fundraising, product strategy, introduction to market, digital marketing, partnerships, monetization, optimization, and growth.
  • Assisted SMEs with investor relations; business strategy; market research; product management; software development outsourcing; go-to-market strategy, plan, and execution; digital marketing; partnerships; business development; and expansion.
  • Provided assistance to entrepreneurs, freelancers, and remote workers from emerging markets to remotely incorporate, run, and grow their businesses in the EU.
  • Guided companies to open markets and launch products across the EU and in the US, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, DRC, Ivory Coast, Zambia, Egypt, Tunisia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, the Philippines, India, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico.
  • Enabled clients to generate $30+ million in revenue to date.

Expansion Lead, EMEA

2017 - 2020
Xapo – Global crypto and fiat money wallet
  • Led end-to-end expansion and business development across the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region.
  • Identified, evaluated, negotiated, and signed contracts with local, regional, and global partners including payment processors, card issuers, eMoney companies, banks, digital wallets, and FX providers.
  • Created the regional expansion framework, a lean framework to build intelligence about a region to identify, evaluate, and prioritize new market opportunities.
  • Designed, developed, and established "Country-in-a-Box" (CiaB), a complete framework to open up new markets in less than six months, including all regulatory requirements.
  • Led the expansion of the company in South Africa, Nigeria, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico.
  • Designed the training program (onboarding, training, and coaching) for new expansion leads that was delivered in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Executed strategic objectives at the regional and country levels.
  • Advised on product localization for European and African markets.
  • Created remote collaboration guidelines, a set of best practices that maximize remote collaboration, efficiency, and personal productivity.

Product Director

2016 - 2017
Upstream – The largest value-added service provider for telecom companies in emerging markets
  • Led development of the product strategy, tactical roadmaps, and requirements to support the attainment of the company’s objectives.
  • Launched the first new-generation products of the company. The combined portfolio generated more than $15 million in revenues within 12 months.
  • Managed the P&L of the new product portfolio and achieved profitability.
  • Ensured the best end-user experience across multiple delivery channels, subscription flows, and payment methods specific to emerging markets (Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Middle East and North Africa, and Asian Pacific).
  • Identified market needs through close interaction with local teams, research, and competitive intelligence, and defined the scope of new product offerings to deliver the business objectives.
  • Educated sales teams across the world and participated in sales pitches and negotiations with C-level executives of telcos.
  • Oversaw the creation of marketing and sales materials for new products.
  • Trained and coached operational teams across the company (approximately 60 people) to adjust regional portfolio offerings according to regional needs and successfully launch them to achieve the company’s goals.
  • Produced use cases, storyboards, and flowcharts to depict user flows across multiple platforms (SMS, web, and apps).
  • Assessed potential partners, negotiated business models and contract clauses, and secured the best possible partners.

CEO, Co-founder

2011 - 2016
Pinnatta (Acquired) – Interactive, multimedia communication platform
  • Secured $4.2 million in funding from American, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, British, and Greek investors.
  • Directed product development for the first two years, achieving a strong product-market fit.
  • Led digital marketing for two years, delivering 1.7 million downloads within 20 months and reaching top-25 social networking charts in 22 countries.
  • Designed and led the team to launch Pinnatta on Facebook Messenger. It was one of the first 70 apps on the Messenger platform, and it achieved 500,000 downloads within six months with no marketing budget.
  • Led business development for the 18 months prior to the acquisition, securing partnerships with social media platforms, direct messaging services, dating companies, greeting card companies, international keyboard apps, and telecom providers.
  • Secured partnerships including Vodafone in 16 European countries, KhalijTel in 12 Middle Eastern countries, and Fleksy worldwide.
  • Developed and owned the company strategy and KPIs.

Head of Product

2010 - 2011
Apps4Mags – Digital publishing platform
  • Created and owned the product strategy and the product roadmap until profitability.
  • Developed the product budget and managed the product P&L.
  • Led product planning including the assignment of tasks and deliverables.
  • Recruited and directed a team of five (three engineers, a graphics designer, and a project manager).
  • Led product research and competition analysis and defined the pricing strategy.
  • Collaborated with the marketing team to define the go-to-market strategy and sales plans.
  • Participated in sales pitches and negotiations with C-level executives of publishing houses and media groups, helping to secure the first paying customers.

CEO, Founder

2008 - 2010
Thiinkle (Acquired) – Web and mobile games development studio
  • Led the development and publication of 25 social apps and games, achieving 23 million downloads in two years while spending zero dollars on marketing. Growth was 100% based on organic growth and optimization of viral loops.
  • Designed and led the development and optimization of an in-house ad management platform that helped the company increase revenues by 500%.
  • Created a spin-off social media and digital marketing agency, achieving profitability in the first month.
  • Secured a partnership with Leo Burnett Athens (the largest ad agency in Greece) and delivered digital marketing projects for key accounts like IKEA Greece, Kellogg's, OTE COSMOTE (Greece's largest telecom provider), and the Greek Government.

Product Manager

2007 - 2008
Grebooca – Social media apps
  • Joined a team of four web engineers and a graphics designer to build an app that would reach one million users within three months.
  • Designed and launched "Perfect Match." We tripled the target of one million users to reach three million and cut development time from three months to 30 days by introducing forced invites on Facebook.
  • Won a Stanford University contest: CS377W – Create engaging web applications using metrics and learning on Facebook.
  • Designed and launched "Yes or No," a Facebook app that reached 2.8 million users in two months through pure organic growth with no marketing budget.


Led the design, development, and launch of an interactive multimedia communication app, delivering 1.5 million customers within 18 months and reaching the top-25 charts on the App Store and Google Play in 22 countries.

Pinnatta was an interactive multimedia communication app for iOS and Android. It brought the wow factor of a personalized and interactive greeting card to daily communication.

Imagine this: It's your best friend's birthday. Instead of sending a classic text message, emoji, or gif, you could go to Pinnatta, select a birthday cake among a long list of options, personalize it by writing your friend's name on top of the cake with your finger, add their age so the right number of candles are placed on top, add your personal message as a card, and send it directly to their smartphone.

They could receive it without having to download the app. And when they open it, they can see the birthday cake, listen to the happy-birthday song and blow on their device to put out the candles before reading your message. Pinnatta offered that kind of micro-experience for any special occasion or everyday communication.

As the CEO, I led the design and the implementation of the mobile app and the back-end platform, as well as the introduction to the market until we confirmed the product-market fit and achieved a good growth rate. The company was acquired after six years.

Main Technologies: PHP, MySQL, HTML5, JavaScript, iOS, Android

What do you think? (Social App)

Designed, led the development, and managed the full lifecycle of the app, delivering three million users and hundreds of thousands in revenue with no marketing budget.

"What do you think?" was one of the first very successful viral apps on Facebook. The concept was based on a very simple idea: Everyone has an opinion about their friends. The app displayed a list of questions about the friends of the logged-in users in this format: Do you think your friend X would do Y? The friend being questioned was instantly notified and asked to answer a series of questions about their friends.

The app achieved a sky-high viral rate and a tremendous organic growth rate. "What do you think?" was the first big hit of thiinkle (the company behind the app). As the CEO of Thiinkle, I designed the app, led the development and monetization, and managed the full lifecycle of the app until the company was acquired two years later.

Before the company was acquired, we attracted three million users and hundreds of thousands in revenue while spending zero on marketing. Based on the success of the app, I led the team to build and launch a series of 25 social apps in total, achieving more than 23 million users.

Main Technologies: PHP, MySQL, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Facebook API

Loop (Celebrity App)

Led the development, market introduction, and funnel optimization of the app, helping the company sell it to several top-tier telcos in emerging markets and secure millions in revenues.

Loop was an exclusive content app that featured celebrities. The app targeted fans of extremely popular global and regional celebrities in emerging markets. World-class footballer, Samuel Eto'o, was one of the celebrities we partnered with.

The company sold the app to several telcos, and they offered the service to their subscription audience. Customers could subscribe to the service through their mobile device (smartphone or older phone), pay through their telecommunication provider, and receive the content in a format optimized for their device (an app for smartphones, HTML/HTML5 for web-enabled phones, or SMS for feature phones).

As a product director, I spearheaded these activities:
- Took over the product in the concept phase
- Led the design and development
- Managed the celebrity sourcing and signing process
- Created marketing and sales materials
- Educated sales teams in 12 regional offices across the globe
- Participated in sales meetings with telco CMOs and other C-level executives
- Led the launch and funnel optimization in multiple countries including Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya

Main Technologies: PHP, HTML5, MySQL, Android

Country in a Box

Designed, developed, and established Country-in-a-Box (CiaB), a complete framework used by regulated fintech/crypto/digital banking companies to open up new markets in three to six months with minimal budgets and staff.

Country-in-a-box is a complete, end-to-end collection of playbooks, guidelines, processes, templates, documents, and examples that describe, organize, streamline, and accelerate the process of launching a localized MVP in a new market within three to six months, using a team of two or three people.

The framework was developed with the following principles:
- Country and partner agnostic
- Flexible but safe
- Fast and efficient
- Reusable but constantly evolving
- Detailed and complete

It covers all aspects of launching a business:
- Market analysis (legal, compliance, finance, technology, culture, and competition)
- Partner selection (ecosystem analysis, partners comparison, benchmarking, negotiation, and agreement)
- Product localization
- MVP launch

The framework can be used (with a few adjustments) to expand or launch any web or mobile product or service in a new market. As an expansion lead, I envisioned, designed, developed, and established the framework as a key component of the company's expansion strategy. I also trained, onboarded, and coached expansion leads for other regions—Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa—to use the framework.


Drafted a new strategy for the company, then helped them adjust their product and introduce new revenue streams.

Athlenda is a web and mobile platform that enables the developed world to discover, track, and monitor young athletes from areas that, until today, remained untapped. Athlenda is addressing a huge industry challenge: to organize and streamline the chaotic process of scouting new talent.

As a consultant to the company, I drafted a new business plan and worked closely with the CEO to attract new investments. I designed and led the development of a new version of the product for soccer and cricket and helped the company open up new markets, leveraging those new verticals in Europe and India.

As part of the whole process, I introduced two new revenue streams and helped the company sell the new subproducts to basketball teams from the NBA, the NCAA, and the Euroleague. Within the 12 months that I worked with Athlenda, the company doubled its numbers on the supply side (athletes), tripled its numbers on the demand side (coaches, scouts, teams, and non-athletes), and boosted revenue by 500%.

Main Technologies: PHP, HTML5, JavaScript, MySQL, Android

GoCar Interactive Magazine

Led product development from concept to product launch. The app won the Best Tablet Edition Award from Digital Media Awards.

GoCar in the most popular automotive magazine in Greece and Cyprus. GoCar Interactive is the award-winning app version of the magazine for tablets and smartphones. As the head of product for Apps4Mags, the technology provider behind GoCar Interactive magazine for tablets, I led the whole project from end-to-end.

My contributions included:
- Participation in sales meetings and contract negotiations
- Concept design
- Development of complete product specs including the definition of use cases, design of user flows and storyboards, and prototyping
- Development and management of the product roadmap
- Project management
- Direction of product development
- Collaboration with the marketing team to define the go-to-market strategy
- Introduction to market
2002 - 2008

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science

University of Crete - Heraklion, Greece

2006 - 2007

Courses Toward Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science (Exchange Student)

University of Manchester - Manchester, UK


G Suite, Slack, Skype, Jira, Trello, InVision, Confluence, Google Analytics, iOS SDK, WP eCommerce, Zoom, Asana, Podio, Figma, Sketch, Google Forms

Industry Expertise

Venture Capital, Banking & Finance, Bitcoin


Gamification, Agile, Agile Product Management, Digital Marketing Best Practices, Agile Project Management




Product Strategy, Product Management, Product Marketing, Project Management, Mobile Apps, Team Leadership, Business Development, Fintech, Startups, Startup Funding, Partnerships, Market Entry, Digital Marketing, Funnel Optimization, Emerging Markets, Investor Relations, Strategy, User Engagement, Team Management, Business Planning, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Growth Marketing, Growth, People Management, People Development, Operations, Angel Investing, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Social Media, Go-to-market Plans, Messaging, Analytics, Launch Strategy, Product Ownership, Product Owner, Mobile Banking, Product Growth, Digital Marketing Strategy, Cold Calling, Lead Generation, B2B Lead Generation, B2B Sales Pipeline, Growth Hacking, Startup Growth Strategy Development, Growth Strategy, Online Marketing, Market Research & Analysis, Market Research, Revenue Strategy, Business Strategy, Digital Strategy, Remote Work, Remote Team Leadership, Team Building, Facebook, Lean Startups, Lean Project Management, Product Launch, Funnel Analysis, Sales Funnel, Data-driven Decision-making, Data-informed Decisions, Multimedia, Freelancing, Customer Journeys, Wireframing, User Flows, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Digital Product Management, Product Roadmaps, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Competitive Strategy, Competitive Intelligence, Roadmaps, Feature Prioritization, Feature Analysis, Personas, Personalization, Contract Negotiation, B2B Partnerships, Strategic Partnerships, Partnership Strategies, Partner Management, Partnership Analysis, Consulting, Business Consulting, International Growth, Business Services, Management, Profit & Loss (P&L), P&L Management, Business Models, Mobile, Business to Consumer (B2C), Sales Pipelines, Product-market Fit, Crypto, Negotiation, Mobile Marketing, A/B Testing, Online Dating, Web Platforms, Web Development, Mobile App Development, Sales, New Business Development, WordPress, iOS, Android, Financials, Value-added Services (VAS), eCommerce, HTML, HTML5, CSS, Social Media Marketing (SMM), Social Media Strategy, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Instagram Ads, Email Marketing, Digital Payments, Online Payments, eCommerce Payments, Mobile Payments, LinkedIn Marketing, WordPress eCommerce, Market Fit, Project Finance, Company Strategy, User Experience (UX), Mentorship & Coaching, Business Coaching, Lean Canvas, Mobile UX, Mobile Web, Wireframe to Product, Mobile eCommerce, Software as a Service (SaaS), Digital Project Management, Feature Planning, Feature Roadmaps, Feature Backlog Prioritization, SaaS, Cryptocurrency, Payment Networks, Payment Gateways, Project Scoping, Project Planning, Backlog Grooming, Backlog Management, UX Analysis, International Payments, International Commerce, Business Analysis, Management Consulting, Game Mechanics, PHP, JavaScript, SQL, Android SDK, Language Learning, Google, Pipedrive API, Adobe Photoshop, Amplitude, SurveyMonkey, Business to Business (B2B), Computer Science, MySQL, Facebook API, Product Development, Digital Storyboards, Prototyping

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