Kent started off as an instructor in the Royal Norwegian Air Force Officers’ Academy at the age of 19. The original intention was to fly fighter jets after having made it through to the pilot academy as one of the 20 out of 3,000 applicants selected. However, after a short stint in the military, Kent decided to pursue a civilian education and graciously turned down his place with the RNoAF’s Pilot Academy, which brought him to leave everything back home in the comfort zone in Norway and join Clark University in Worcester, MA in the USA.
It was here, while studying Economics, that he first learned about the world of corporate finance and had his eyes set on investment banking. Kent was also assigned as the captain of the university football team which on top of his military experience, further built on his leadership experience.
As a risk-taker, his post-graduation move was no different. With no job or money, in May 2014, he moved to Manhattan, on the day of his graduation as a straight-A student with high honours in Economics, got a £4,500 loan to last him for 3 months, including rent and set out to find a job. Within 11 days, he got a call for an interview on Wall Street and was hired as an account executive for a marketing firm before he had even left the building that day. He recalls that “it was the introduction that shot [him] into the corporate world, working with global companies and clients.” Over the year working in NYC, he was promoted twice and had a closing rate of 93% in his last quarter with the company – the highest, globally, at the time.
After 4 years in the states, Kent was drawn to London for personal reasons. Despite his young age he started consulting for a property company before setting up his own start-up consultancy in February 2016. His company, Becama Holdings, was working with clients in multiple European countries within a short period of time consulting on their business development and partnership strategies. This is what led him to SimplyPayMe (previously SmartTrade App) in April 2016, after originally looking to use the solution for one of his clients. Following a few meetings with the team at SimplyPayMe, he began working closely with them and constantly growing closer and closer to the managerial side of the business until he eventually took over the role as CEO in December 2017.
In the short period of time, Kent has been spearheading the ship, SimplyPayMe has been through tremendous periods of change. They have attracted some of the heaviest hitters in the industry to their board, amongst others; Gary Prince, previously MD of VibePay and VP mobile payments in Barclays Corp and Jane Turner, CEO of Centtrip. The company has made a monumental change to their approach by moving away from individual sales, being their own Point of Sale for SMEs, to delivering infrastructure and payments technology all over the world. Kent, along with the rest of the team, has built close relationships with global companies, of which the most prominent, Mastercard, has become one of SimplyPayMe’s most important partners.
In only a matter of a couple of years, this company which started as a humble lead provider for plumbers is quickly becoming one of the greatest up and coming payments technology providers and platforms for organisations whose mission is to add value and serve their SMEs and Sole Traders better. SimplyPayMe has managed to crack a code amongst an audience which hasn’t been a priority for many until now and the vision is to quickly become the world leader in payments tech, or “The WordPress of Payments” within the next few years.Tags: fintech, payment processing