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Plaid's new president hails from Cloudflare, has IPO experience

Plaid has named Jennifer (Jen) Taylor, who most recently served as Cloudflare’s chief product officer, as its first president.

The move is notable in that it comes just months after the fintech startup hired former Expedia CFO Eric Hart to serve as its first chief financial officer. The hiring of a CFO is a step usually only taken by companies that are planning to go public. 

In announcing Taylor’s appointment, San Francisco-based Plaid pointed out that her nearly seven-year tenure spanned pre, during and after Cloudflare’s IPO -- perhaps signaling that Plaid itself is inching closer to an initial public offering (IPO).

Update: A Plaid spokesperson told TechCrunch post-publication: "I can confirm that an eventual IPO is a milestone we're tracking towards, but we don't have any details or a timeline to share beyond that. Jen will be a critical component of maturing our tech and product strategy as we continue to grow and evolve."

Image Credits: Jen Taylor, president / Plaid

In a LinkedIn post, Taylor wrote: “Super excited to share that I’ve joined Plaid as President, where I’ll be overseeing teams across tech + product building the network that will power the future of finance.”

Prior to joining Cloudflare, Taylor held high-level leadership positions at Salesforce, Facebook (now Meta) and Adobe and had a two-year stint as a venture capitalist.

Plaid got its start as a company that connects consumer bank accounts to financial applications, but has since been gradually expanding its offerings to also include lending, anti-fraud and payments. The 11-year-old company was almost acquired by Visa for $5 billion before antitrust regulators shut that deal down. Plaid went on to raise funding at a $13.4 billion valuation after the deal fell through, and has worked to diversify its revenue streams since.

In a blog post, Plaid co-founder and CEO Zach Perret wrote that Taylor’s “experience scaling products to meet increasing customer demand will be invaluable” as Plaid continues to expand its platform “to support ongoing innovation in financial services.”

Plaid has 8,500 customers and over 1,000 employees. Its backers include a16z, Index Ventures, Altimeter, Silver Lake, NEA, Kleiner Perkins, JP Morgan, Citi Ventures, Amex Ventures, Goldman Sachs and Spark Capital, among others.

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