James Routledge, Product Manager in London, United Kingdom
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James Routledge

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Location
London, United Kingdom
Toptal Member Since
March 24, 2021

James is a serial product leader with 15 years of experience. He notably built the product of a fintech now exited for $490 million and specializes in product-market fit and product-led growth work for Seed to Series B. James has built products in the following markets: health, fintech, social networks, eCommerce, and beauty. He speaks internationally on product-led growth, including keynotes; his talks are available online.

Project Highlights

Social Network
Led the creation and product market fit of a app used daily and weekly by millennials in the UK market with 60% WAU and strong network effects.
Fintech SaaS
Grew the online insurance market in the UK, created the highest converting forms in the industry.
Digital Banking App
Created, from the whiteboard stage, a new payments account product for the European market in 2015, one of the first global Neobank accounts.

Expertise

Work Experience

CPO/CTO

2014 - PRESENT
James Routledge
  • Ran a consultancy helping Series A companies and venture builders. Built a top beauty SaaS for Europe's number one venture builder, Founders Factory.
  • Built the product organization for Grant Thornton. The squads were constructed from the new horizontal product organization and produced seven figures of new revenue within the first three months.
  • Pivoted an HR-tech company from SMB to enterprise focus, resulting in a valuation increase from £5 million to £200 million within two years (NDA).

Chief Product Officer

2021 - 2022
Harper
  • Built and scaled a healthcare mobile and web product to look after the mental health and wellbeing of patients undergoing medical treatment or suffering from chronic illness.
  • Launched into the IVF (fertility) market with the B2B2C model to partner with clinics to look after the emotional wellbeing and levels of wellness of 100% of patients in clinics in the US (New York) and UK (national).
  • Developed and recruited the team from 0-12 staff, building the organization and rapidly scaling, using a large seed round. Brought network and ten years of experience in product management to help find a product-market fit within six months.

Interim Head of Product

2020 - 2021
NDA - Beauty eCommerce
  • Rebuilt the growth and eCommerce strategy for the beauty leader for their web initiatives including fulfillment in their dedicated warehouse.
  • Built a data warehouse across Shopify, Ometria, and GoogleAnalytics to aggregate one view of the customer and helped them to calculate customer lifetime value (CLV) over cohorts to find which customers are profitable.
  • Built a customer-focused model where eCommerce defined its customers and market sizes and started to personalize the experience to increase advocacy.

CPO

2019 - 2021
Halo
  • Built a social network that acquired 1 in 20 homes in districts of London for an average customer acquisition cost (CAC) of $2.
  • Built an average engagement of 3.5 sessions per day, creating a daily addictive product.
  • Increased WAU retention to 60% at 90 days, building a sticky habitual product in local communities.

Product Lead

2015 - 2015
Sentenial
  • Created a new payments platform, Nuapay. Sentenial processes €2 billion every 10 days through their payment networks.
  • Advised the business on how to acquire SME clients with a virtual bank account strategy.
  • Created the initial thinking around an API strategy which eventually closed Worldpay as a key client.

Product Lead

2012 - 2014
Simply Business
  • Built the UX for the UK insurance market. Built white-labeled into leading aggregators. Redefined how people buy insurance in the UK.
  • Optimized the back office (200+ staff) to help improve efficiency around payments by 80%.
  • Increased the bottom line revenue by 7% in my last seven weeks.

Social Network

Led the creation and product market fit of a app used daily and weekly by millennials in the UK market with 60% WAU and strong network effects.

Halo is a local social network for connecting people where they live. It automatically filled issues with local governments and was used by communities as a way for neighbors to socialize. Halo is a social graph (LinkedIn/Tinder) product that helps connect and discuss a knowledge graph (Facebook/Reddit) model.

Fintech SaaS

https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/

Grew the online insurance market in the UK, created the highest converting forms in the industry.

Built a fully online way to pay insurance back in 2014, created a model for quoting and rating customers based on inputs, and designed a clean and clear way for people to compare insurance policies. Once purchased, it helped people always be insured for their policies, helping remove rejected claims in the business and property markets.

Luxury Rental Marketplace

Helped the business build a matching solution for getting people with an ultra-high net worth (UHNW) to find and book during luxury holidays. The average basket was $12,000+. This company is Airbnb for UHNWs.

Built a real-time messaging interface, the concept was to launch into direct conversations with people who needed luxury service to provide them with a conversion to conversation moment, which would highly increase conversion through the funnel.

In many cases, a UHNW would delegate to a PA/EA, both the source and decision-maker.

Digital Banking App

https://www.nuapay.com/en/

Created, from the whiteboard stage, a new payments account product for the European market in 2015, one of the first global Neobank accounts.

Nuapay was a virtual bank account product and app that enabled SMEs to open business accounts with SEPA payments on the same day and reduce payment costs by 99% using the direct debit payment method to avoid costly schemes by Mastercard and Visa.

Blockchain Recruit Tech

https://eva.ai/

Led the turnaround of a recruitment startup to use blockchain technology to find product market fit for candidates with no work experience in the hospitality sector.

Took over a business without product market fit looking into the recruitment space. Built out a new team and took to market an offering for the hospitality market where candidates have a new form of CV based on skills that helped them demonstrate an affinity for roles without having work experience.

Project and Resource Management System for Talent

https://beamery.com/platform/overview

Built out a new UI around passive talent pools to enable the acquisition of talent that could be held until ready to activate

Beamery is a talent platform that engages with two core strategies. Passive candidate acquisition and continuous candidate engagement.

Their CRM/SaaS is designed to acquire all the potential talent you might need, create an engagement strategy around these pools of different people, and keep them connected to your hiring process until you are ready to put them into an active role.

Influencer Marketplace

https://zine.co/

Built a leading influencer marketplace, now partnered with the largest agency WPP for their influencer marketing.

Zine was one of the first influencer marketplaces. Focused on fashion, it was designed to create a profile or media kit for any influencer who connected up their social profiles.

For brands, it is the only product to give a rating on the quality of engagement and the fake follower counts tied to each type of social account.

Zine is a marketplace that enterprise customers use to learn which influencers to trust and offer a one-click management option for working with them on a retainer or a one-off basis.

Payments on a Home Services Marketplace

http://www.angi.com

Helped Angi reshape their payment offering, increasing their volumes of payment by the hundreds of millions.

Angi is a marketplace for home services operating in multiple countries. It offers pros a way to collect payments using their own platform, AngiPay.

My job was to run the teams at Angi to help increase payment volume, as this would directly improve pro retention.

Reorganized the team and helped the business add data-driven decisions by rebuilding how data is used from customer service and across the product streams. Added customer focus to the department with direct access to customers, which resulted in teams understanding the customer deeply for the first time, which resulted in massive improvements across the customer experience and increases in payment volumes after an extended period of stagnation.

Marketplace for Short-term Rentals

https://www.snaptrip.com/

Improved conversion between consumers and b&b's by revising the UX for finding and booking stays.

Snaptrip is the no.1 UK site for booking last-minute holidays. But working with product teams, we were able to understand where to invest in improving the user experience for consumers looking for holidays at short notice, which resulted in a 10% increase in conversion.
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