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Phillip Valka

Managing Director

Phillip Valka

Phillip has spent his 15-years within the financial services space, advising & executing transactions across digital payments, specialty credit, banks, and digital commerce. Prior to Apis, Phillip spent 7 years on PayPal’s Corporate Development & Ventures team in San Francisco and London where he helped execute several transactions ranging from early-stage venture to large-cap acquisitions across the globe. Before PayPal, he worked in FIG investment banking at Barclays and Moelis in New York and started his career as a consultant for financial institutions in 2007. Phillip lives in London and enjoys tennis, travel, history, and wine.

Hometown

New York and Prague, Czech Republic

Areas of expertise

Payments, Specialty credit (consumer and business), Digital commerce, Banks, Growth, M&A

Currently located

London, UK

Languages

French (Conversational)

Prior Experience

Linkedin profile

Education

Areas of focus at Apis

Payments, global

Emerging financial institutions, global

B2B services, global

What is the most important lesson you have ever learned?

The central importance of a strong team culture. Teams comprised of members with complementary skills combined with a culture emphasizing intellectual curiosity, collaboration, integrity, learning, commitment to collective success and humour, drive the best outcomes.

What would the trip of a lifetime be for you?

I had such a trip on a recent month-long sabbatical when I travelled to South Africa, Egypt, Rome, Israel and Paris. South Africa was a particular highlight where I enjoyed the sun & sea of Cape Town, the majestic beauty of Stellenbosch, and the pinnacle of nature on a safari in Kruger Park.

What is your favourite book/movie? And why?

Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark. I’m a keen reader of history and the origins of First World War is an infinitely complex & fascinating topic. Clark’s study expertly weaves together the events which caused the world to descend from its heights of economic integration & technological development to unprecedented destruction. Its lessons concerning the compounding dangers of human misjudgement, contingency, and unintended consequences, will always remain relevant.

How would you describe a perfect investment?

An attractive entry valuation for a stake in a company that offers a compelling value prop to customers in a rapidly growing TAM and enjoys strong unit economics, improving cohort performance, high operating leverage from a scalable product & tech stack, and led by best-in-class management team – a real unicorn

How did your background prepare you for a role at Apis?

I’ve spent my entire 15-year career within financial services – starting as consultant for troubled banks in ’07-08 financial crisis, spent several years in FIG investment banking, and most recently, on PayPal’s Corp Dev & Ventures team. I’ve been fortunate to work on incredible teams with supportive mentors to execute a wide range of deals at the heart of trends driving the evolution of financial services & commerce across the globe.

What is so important about Financial Services in Growth Markets?

Strong financial services sectors help support strong economies. Technological innovation has enabled greater scalability & cheaper distribution, leading to new business models that can offer expanded access to a wider breadth of financial services. Given relatively early stages of their financial sectors, Growth Markets are well-positioned to leapfrog legacy structures to deliver digital-first solutions to a broader range of customers, with positive impacts for these Markets’ economies.

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