From direct lending to embedded finance: Luke Voiles on Pipe’s evolving value proposition

  • Pipe's CEO Luke Voiles joins Tearsheet editor Zack Miller on the podcast to discuss the firm's move into embedded lending with its new Capital as a Service platform.
  • From his roles at Intuit, Square, and now Pipe, Luke shares his management style, approach to building world-class products, and how he handles work-life balance.

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From direct lending to embedded finance: Luke Voiles on Pipe’s evolving value proposition

Today I’m joined by Luke Voiles, CEO of Pipe, a high profile revenue-based lender that’s evolving into a platform – we’ll talk a lot about this evolution. Luke has had an extensive career journey that has prepared him for his role at Pipe. After starting in private equity, he joined Intuit where he helped build and lead the QuickBooks Capital team, providing capital to small businesses during the PPP loan program. He then went to Square to run their banking division before being recruited to join Pipe as CEO. I’ve actually interviewed Luke in each one of these roles and it’s been fascinating for me to watch his own growth as a product-driven leader. In our conversation, Luke shares insights from his experience at companies like Intuit and Square that have shaped his leadership approach and methodology for building products. We discuss how he has applied lessons around having a clear mission, focusing on the customer experience, and balancing speed with compliance in regulated industries like fintech. Luke provides a look inside Pipe’s evolution from its original vision to the newly launched “Capital as a Service” offering. He explains the strategic prioritization that enabled them to build a scalable product quickly. We also get a preview into Pipe’s future plans, including AI-powered tools to streamline operations for small business owners. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, operator at a startup, or just interested in financial technology and product development, I think you’ll find Luke’s perspectives insightful. So enjoy my conversation with Luke Voiles of Pipe. The big points

  1. Importance of mission-based leadership – “I come to work every day to make sure small businesses have access to capital and can just survive and like just like feed their kids, you know, like that. That type of purpose.”
  2. Learning customer-focused leadership at Intuit – “Having real customers and engaging with the real customers is the most amazing onboarding you can possibly do.”
  3. Inspiration from COVID-19 impact on SMBs – “You literally like walk down Main Street Live on Magnolia Avenue here. And you walk down the street and every business is closed, you’re like, Okay, that’s crazy.”
  4. Narrowing focus to build Pipe Capital as a Service – “We started building the thing in April of last year, we were done with it by August, did a 60 person Bug Bash and had like everything was turned on a live by October.”
  5. Leveraging partnerships for customer acquisition – “We have access to almost a million small business customers through our partners right now. Square only believe that half like we already have access to a million that we can go make that give them access to capital.”

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Subscribe: Apple Podcasts I SoundCloud I Spotify I Google Podcasts The following excerpts were edited for clarity. subscription wall for TS Pro

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