PreviouslyMarketplaces CEO and Co-Founder, Secret Escapes
Non-Executive Director, BIZAY
Non-Executive Director, Smart Pension
Founded in 2013, the HeliosX Group began when founder Dwayne D’Souza saw that whilst many other industries had adopted rapid delivery and pushed for customer convenience, healthcare remained a slow and cumbersome experience. Beginning with MedExpress and growing to include Dermatica, RocketRx and Ziphealth in the US, the HeliosX group is now made up of a team of over 250 people with an annualised revenue over $50M. HeliosX have the ambitious mission to change the way healthcare is delivered globally, improving the quality of life for millions of people across the world and the business is driven to do whatever it takes to make this a reality.
Dwayne took the considered decision to step back from his role as CEO and will move into a Chair position. This means that HeliosX reached the point where it needed a new CEO to lead the business through the next phase of growth. With the huge potential in the markets that they currently operate, as well as expansion into new markets and sectors, the incoming CEO needed to determine the direction and trajectory of HeliosX’s continued growth, and identify opportunities for HeliosX to grow from a $50M revenue business to $100M and beyond. The CEO needed to be able to carve out a path for the company and determine what the future holds for the business.
The incoming CEO is required to spearhead the company’s expansion into new international markets and diverse verticals, crafting a strategic roadmap aligned with market opportunities. They will work with the executive team to devise a robust business plan and foster cohesion while maintaining the company’s culture and values. The ideal candidate should have substantial leadership experience in a multi-vertical business, overseeing the P&L, and have a track record in formulating commercial and operational strategies. They must exhibit exceptional leadership skills, understanding business intricacies and articulating a compelling vision both internally and externally. Proficiency in operational excellence, managing diverse workforces, and experience in D2C, Healthtech, or Marketplace domains were highly valued. Expertise in international markets, familiarity with investor relations, and fundraising were also crucial.
Erevena executed an extensive search, securing Tom Valentine, the former Co-Founder & CEO Marketplaces at Secret Escapes. Tom has a background in product, and is an experienced leader and business builder. Pre pandemic, Secret Escapes employed 800 people and under Tom’s leadership the business expanded from the UK into Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US. Tom was a strong match in terms of scale appropriateness, as Co-Founder he took Secret Escapes revenues from 0 to approximately $160M, on gross bookings of about $882Mjust before the pandemic. Tom has worked in marketplaces his whole career, and at Secret Escapes raised £180M in primary, and another £100M in debt, being part of the pitches and deals. Tom also created a culture that had a core of execution, data focus, and an attitude to stay open minded to others points of view. He instilled these values at Secret Escapes, and had a core pillar around customer experience and building great teams.
Dwayne D’Souza, Founder & CEO, HeliosX
Founder & CEO
I was recommended to work with the team at Erevena because of their deep industry experience and was delighted with the result. Founder succession is notoriously complex, and we feel as though we have found a great leader in Tom who can take the business through the next period of growth. I enjoyed my interactions with Jonnie and Keith, and their expertise was vital in securing the successful outcome. I recommend them to other founders and would work with them again.