Blake Murray is no ordinary entrepreneur. The CEO of Divvy, an automated corporate expense management platform, comes from a long line of tech innovators, starting with his father, who has become a legend in the industry.
Blake's father, a Stanford MBA graduate, attended a fireside chat by a young Steve Jobs in the 1970s, which inspired him to take action. After a lot of persistence and cold-calling, he was eventually hired by Apple, becoming one of its earliest team members. He was responsible for developing the famous 1984 commercial and, more importantly, forming a close relationship with Jobs.
The tech industry was a different beast back then, and Blake's father was an albatross amid the brilliant and hard-charging young people surrounding him. His advice and experience were something Steve Jobs himself sought out, even coming over late at night to talk about how to balance his life.
When Steve Jobs was fired from Apple, Blake's father again found himself on the move, this time to Microsoft. He was instrumental in setting up the company's HR processes there and became close with Bill Gates. After departing Microsoft in 1999, he created Unitus, a microcredit organization, which Blake says was his father's proudest moment.
Blake was always aware of his father's entrepreneurial spirit, but it wasn't the path he foresaw for himself. He initially wanted to become a wildlife biologist, but when his wife found out she was pregnant with their second child, he knew he needed a different career.
He ended up working in commercial real estate before taking a job with his cousin's company, Weave. He learned the financial and technical skills needed to launch a successful tech company there. After some trial and error, he eventually founded Divvy, a revolutionary fintech platform.
Divvy is an automated corporate expense management platform that has revolutionized how companies manage their finances. The platform allows businesses to manage their expenses in one place, giving them real-time insight into their finances. It's a concept that Blake came up with during his time with Weave, and it's been an enormous success.
When Blake first came up with the idea for Divvy, he wasn't sure how it would be received. He was afraid his father would disapprove, but to his surprise, his father saw the potential and encouraged him to pursue it. His father's validation was invaluable, giving Blake the confidence to move forward with the project.
With his father's investment, Blake sought the help of Utah-based software development agency Izeni to help him bring the MVP to life. With their help, he was able to create a functional wireframe on mobile and the web, as well as some initial code.
The MVP succeeded, allowing Blake to take it to the next level. He secured a commercial agreement with US Bank, one of the largest banks in the United States, and from there, Divvy was off and running.
When raising capital for Divvy, Blake was adamant about preserving control. He was aware of the pitfalls that come with venture capital, and he was determined to avoid them. He opted for a friends and family round of funding, which allowed him to retain control and ensure the business was run in the company's and its customers' best interests.
This decision paid off, allowing Blake to close a series A investment with Utah-based Pelion Ventures. With their help, Divvy has continued to grow, and Blake has attracted additional investors, such as Insight Ventures and NEA Ventures.
Blake's story is one of sheer determination and drive. He had a vision, and with the help of his father and the right team, he could make it a reality. Divvy is now an industry leader, and it's a testament to the power of hard work, family, and perseverance.
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