Executive Spotlight – Adam Tesan
Meet the Chief Revenue Officer for Payrix
Sold on Embedded Payments
Throughout his career, Adam Tesan, Chief Revenue Officer for Payrix, has always been close to the world of payments, working for a variety of SaaS and other tech companies. Where he started his career is a perfect example.
“I spent 14 years at Active Network. They market management software for races, activities and events. They’re a SaaS company with a really heavy bent towards payments. You could have considered them a PayFac® when they started out because they were early on in the game, giving away their software and charging a transaction fee, so they were essentially becoming a payments company.”
He eventually took on a new challenge at the ad tech company Empyr. They were a card-linked offers platform for online-to-offline commerce programs. “We were integrated with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express to enable opt-in transaction tracking and worked very closely with them and partners to solve the problem of online-to-offline digital advertising attribution in the industry by tracking online ad spend to in-store purchases.”
Adam then became CRO for Chargebee, a subscription, billing, and revenue management platform. “When I left, we were processing over $12 billion and doubled the customer base. Our vision was to further monetize that processing volume over the platform with payments and embedded finance. It was basically Payrix’s roadmap.”
A Wow Moment
The decision to join Payrix was an easy one for Adam. “When I started looking into the company, the first thing that wowed me was the value proposition and concept. Then I saw the unit economics with business growth at 100%+ year over year. It’s pretty incredible and rare and really considered best-in-class at this revenue stage to be scaling like that. Plus, there are some amazing growth drivers in this business, because we’re just now on the payments side of the broader product vision.
And then, there’s the organizational structure of having an amazing company like FIS and Worldpay running this high-growth division semi-autonomously. It’s super interesting.”
“The last piece of the puzzle fell into place when I started meeting everybody on the team and was won over by the incredible talent being assembled. I knew that’s how we’re going to win.”
Customers Win, Too
Although Adam is still learning the payments space, he can see the great opportunities that embedded payments create for software companies. “If you think about economic times right now, new business acquisition is going to slow down for software companies. So they have to start looking at ways to get more wallet share from their existing customer base. Embedded payments adds a new revenue stream.
“There are also other strategic opportunities that embedded payments open up for a software business. At Chargebee, when we started looking at the payments opportunity, we did the math on a specific customer segment to meet a strategic GTM approach and found that we could experiment with pricing using payments revenue.”
Having worked in the SaaS industry, he knows embedded payments can have a big impact on NRR (Net Revenue Retention) as well, arguably one of the most important metrics for SaaS companies and their investors. “Value-added services, like payments, loans, banking services, and card issuing, can really drive up a business’s NRR and show that you can hold on to customers and grow your business through expansion.”
If Not Payments, Football
Outside of work, Adam admits to being a big English football fan. If he had unlimited money and resources, he’d like to own a team, like Ryan Reynolds and Wrexham. “My family keeps me busy, but here in California, I can watch football games early in the morning without catching too much flack.”
He also has fun skiing, pretending he knows how to golf, traveling, and reading. While he prefers books and MasterClass.com interviews over movies, he can sell you on titles from all three categories. Check out some of his recommendations:
- Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
- Kane & Able, Jeffrey Archer
- The Price of Peace, Zachary Carter
- MasterClass Classes – Bill Clinton, Alexis Ohanian, Daniel Pink
- Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio
- Ford v Ferrari, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale