Archimede Mulas London - 05/11/2018
CEO has been lucky to have Fabio Zecchini CTO of Musement on the phone last week to tell us about his story, the success of his company, and tell us about being recently acquired by TUI Group.
Musement is a one-stop shop for experiences when at home or traveling abroad. Having started with museum tickets, Musement now offers memorable experiences in many verticals, from arts and culture to sports and leisure (baseball or NBA tickets), not only to tourists who visit a city for the first time, but also to locals who are looking for temporary art shows or more.
Our questions to Fabio:
Tell us a bit about your Tech Background
I had a very linear career. I graduated from the University of Padua with a Degree in Information Engineering, and then always worked in the world of data analysis. I started as a consultant with PwC, and then realised there was a gold mine of data in the digital media and marketing sector.
I worked as data analyst in several media companies, until moving on to becoming Chief Data Analytical Officer at iProspect. Here I created the first team of data scientists in Europe (about 10 years ago) in London, Milan and Paris
How did you start Musement
With some colleagues we started working on Musement in parallel with our old jobs for about a year and a half. We were self-funded when we started signing our first commercial partnership contracts. At our first raise we were then asked to leave our jobs and dedicate our full time to this.
What is your role as CTO?
Musement has around 150 employees, of which 50 work with me on the tech development. My main focus is on data and the modernisation of the tech platform. From day zero, everything was being tracked; our actions, user’s reactions and market development. This allowed us to take data-driven business decisions, and immediately understand if an action has to be corrected.
Having also had experience with PwC, I am able to understand when to prioritise business demands to tech best practices. In low-peak seasons, I then make sure to go back with my team and re-write any code where we took short cuts.
How did it feel to be acquired by TUI Group, and what was the process like?
It is not easy, you are selling the being for which you have given body and soul. I remember signing at 3:45 in the morning, and have to admit that I felt some melancholy. However, I know that it was the best thing for the company and for all the employees.
The process started as a funding round, where we weren’t thinking of selling. TUI Group was smart, they saw an opportunity to consolidate their service offering to their 20 million clients, and we thought it was the right time to be acquired. Maybe in two-three years it would have been too late.
The due diligence lasted 2 and a half months, with all of the due diligence on the platform having to be done through me, as the company kept operating as normal. However, we found a very good chemistry with our new partner.
Musement is still very much independent, with many more resources to grow the business further. Although we are not a start-up anymore, with our growth being more towards corporate, we are still very agile.
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