Thomas Kramer, the Chief Financial Officer at IonQ, joins us in the next episode of the CFO podcast to talk about SPAC IPO versus traditional IPO. Thomas is an experienced Chief Financial Officer with an extensive background leading companies through rapid growth.
At IonQ, he focuses on commercializing the infrastructure and managing the company's relationships with investors and the public markets. Previously, Thomas was the CFO of Opower, guiding the company through its initial public offering and its sale later to Oracle. He was also the co-founder and CFO of Cvent, taking the company from zero revenue through the largest private software financing in the United States at that time.
In this episode, we discuss the company’s life cycle. the evolving role of a CFO, SPAC IPO vs traditional IPO, amongst other financial topics.
Understanding a Company's Life Cycle
As the years go by, a company's life cycle seems to be getting faster and faster over time. Today, a company's life cycle is around ten years. Even though there are companies like General Electric, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler that stay around for a long time, they are exceptions.
“It's interesting to think of companies as people or organisms. And the thing about companies is that they move so much faster in their life cycles than people do.”
The Evolving Role of a CFO
There used to be two types of CFOs. There was one that was an accountant, and there was one that was a banker. Now, we're seeing a shift from the accountant side of the CFO to more of a COO role where the CFO goes in and helps operate other departments.
“A CFO is like a service center for the rest of the organization. We have many customers, and most of them are internal. And then, when you become public, you start having more external customers. But what the CFO does is help all the other parts of the company get better.”
A Brief View Into Quantum Computers and SPAC IPO versus Traditional IPO
Thomas is the CFO of IonQ, which builds some of the world’s best quantum computers. IonQ has a unique trapped-ion approach that combines unmatched physical performance, perfect qubit replication, optical networkability, and highly-optimized algorithms to support complex applications across various industries.
IonQ opted to go IPO through a SPAC. Thomas describes what SPAC means and why it was the most suitable solution for a tech company like IonQ.
“From the finance side, what had gone well for the company is, we went public through a SPAC. And SPAC means that right before you complete the transaction and merge with the SPAC company, all the holders of the shares in the SPAC can ask for their money back.”
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