Alumni Q&A: Michele, Candu Labs co-founder

Wise alum Michele

TransferWise alumni

Wise is a great training ground for future entrepreneurs. The autonomy you get to make decisions is similar to owning your own business. You have to constantly challenge other people’s ideas alongside your own – is this really the right thing to do and why? It’s a challenging, but rewarding journey.

Current role: Co-Founder of Candu Labs

When did you join Wise and how long did you work here?

I joined Wise in 2017 and was there for a year and a half.

Why did you join Wise?

I was a Wise customer before I joined and really loved how helpful the product was and felt inspired by the mission. Having done more research on working there, I also became a fan of the culture and idea of autonomous teams.

What did you do at Wise?

I worked on our User Experience team as a Product Manager. 

What did you like the most about working here?

I loved the people and the culture. It’s great how everybody’s laser-focused on the mission and this leads to highly customer-centric product development.

What does your business do?

Candu enables SaaS onboarding on autopilot. As products mature and expand, users can easily become overwhelmed. With Candu’s Editor, teams can build personalized onboarding experiences with embeddable UI components.

Candu syncs with your style guides and product analytic suite — so you can test and learn what drives first time user activation. Under the hood, Candu’s algorithms are learning what nudges turns users into lifelong customers.

What has it been like kick-starting your own business?

Being an entrepreneur is lots of fun but for me it was a big, difficult decision to leave Wise, as I really loved the culture. I decided I wanted to build something similar, a company where people come to work happy, motivated and challenged. Every day as an entrepreneur is interesting and the amount of info you need to absorb in the beginning is challenging, but you learn a lot.

It’s been difficult in many ways. The hardest thing is to establish the market and find your position in it. When you’re in a company that’s doing well and people are happy it’s easier but when you’re on your own and there’s no regular paychecks it’s a lot of pressure.

Any tips for those thinking about starting their own business?

Becoming an entrepreneur is not a sudden lightbulb moment. It takes a lot of planning, hard work and effort. The most important thing is the intent behind what your business is. Think critically about your business idea and what’s the best way to start your business.