Jamie Heaslip takes on full-time role at Dublin start-up Flender

21 Jan 2020

Jamie Heaslip. Image: Flender

Former Ireland and Leinster rugby captain Jamie Heaslip will now work directly with Flender CEO Kristjan Koik to develop the company’s brand and marketing communications.

This week, digital lending start-up Flender announced that former Irish rugby international Jamie Heaslip will be joining the company as head of brand marketing.

Flender is one of a number of companies that the former Ireland and Leinster captain has invested in. In the last decade, Heaslip has also backed Dublin-based start-ups Kitman Labs and Pointy, which was recently acquired by Google. The rugby player has also invested in the Lovin Media Group and lighting business UrbanVolt.

Heaslip is involved in a number of other business ventures, with his commercial firm Sabra Management and his pubs, The Bridge 1859 in Dublin 4 and Lemon & Duke in Dublin 2, co-owned with former teammates Seán O’Brien and Rob and Dave Kearney.

Heaslip’s role at Flender

Launched in 2016, Flender offers flexible, multi-purpose loans to Irish SMEs, and the platform can approve loans within 24 hours of receiving a completed application.

In 2019, the company funded more than €13m in SME loans and secured an additional €75m funding line to provide loans to Irish businesses in 2020.

Prior to taking on the new full-time role with Flender, Heaslip has acted as a brand ambassador since 2017. He will now work directly with CEO Kristjan Koik to enhance the Flender brand and develop marketing communications.

In a statement, Heaslip said: “I’ve always admired people and businesses that question the norm and come up with innovative ideas and solutions. By challenging how SMEs access capital, doing so at speed, and always putting customers first, Flender is doing just that.

“SMEs are the beating heart of the Irish economy and Ireland has become a melting pot of innovation, ideas and great businesses. I’m truly excited to be part of a truly innovative company that is helping ambitious Irish SMEs take the next step in their journey – just like I’m taking mine.”

Koik added: “We’re delighted that Jamie is joining the Flender family and his extensive leadership, business and marketing experience will be invaluable to the company.

“Jamie’s drive, ambition and record of success are the qualities that will help us achieve our plans to fund €100m in SME loans by the end of 2020, and become Ireland’s leading fintech lender.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic