Chief Financial Officer

Ember

Ember

Accounting & Finance
Edinburgh, UK
Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2024
About Ember

We're building the future of public transport — convenient, affordable, connected and zero-emission. Our goal is to make it easier and more enjoyable to get from A to B with Ember than it is with your own car.

We’re a tech company, not a traditional bus operator. We've built a platform that coordinates our entire operation – everything from monitoring vehicles and controlling chargers to selling tickets and calculating ETAs. This allows us to use electric buses more intensively than anyone else in the world, leading to a massive emissions reduction. It also helps us provide a much better passenger experience, with innovative features like demand-responsive stops.

We’re still tiny, with two routes and 24 buses. The challenge is to scale this 100x whilst staying lean, increasing efficiency and delivering an even better product experience. We’ve recently raised a Series A from some of Europe’s leading climate VCs and are looking for mission-driven individuals who can help take us to the next level.

The role

You’ll be working directly with the Founders, taking ownership of the end-to-end finance function as well as playing a key role in advancing the broader business strategy.

As a full stack business with real assets on our balance sheet, a big part of the role will be ensuring our debt financing can scale with the business. We’ve successfully worked with Triodos Bank to fund our first 40 vehicles but this set up will need to evolve as we go to 400 and then 4,000 vehicles in multiple geographies. You’ll need to build relationships with a wide variety of financiers, think practically about which legal structures work best and take charge of ensuring we have the right finance in place on the right terms to hit our growth plan.

You’ll also be in regular contact with our equity investors. This will include preparation of board materials (prose plus data - no slides!), managing existing relationships, nurturing new ones and making sure everyone buys into the high-level strategy.

Balancing both the equity and the debt story means wearing the two hats of low risk and high growth simultaneously – they’re not contradictory but you’ll need to craft a narrative that shows we are transparent, ambitious and secure.

You’ll be managing our existing Head of Finance and developing them further. As a team of one they’ve brought us a long way already - you’ll be supporting and driving them to take things to the next level whilst ensuring operational finance continues to run smoothly day-to-day.

With full oversight of the finance function in a growing business, you’ll ensure that our processes are hyper efficient and not people heavy. Our existing Head of Finance has set up a huge amount but scaling further will inevitably bring new challenges. Things like payroll, treasury management, expenses and management accounts will all need to evolve as we scale in numbers and geographies.

You don't need specific transport or mobility experience – none of us had any experience with buses before we launched. However, experience with scaling an asset-intensive business whilst staying nimble is helpful. That might have been in a scale-up but it could also have been on the structuring side and now you want to jump to the more interesting side of transactions.

You’ll primarily be based in our Edinburgh office as this role is an integral part of the senior leadership team. However, we’re also happy to offer some flexibility in working arrangements.

Diversity and equality

At Ember, we support diversity across our team and customers. We work to ensure every employee feels respected and able to give their best, whether temporary, part-time or full-time. We’re happy to offer flexible working patterns where they make sense, are compassionate when it comes to time off and offer enhanced maternity and paternity leave.

Read more about our approach in our Equal Opportunities Policy.

What’s On Offer

A salary from £90,000 to £150,000 per annum, depending on your level of experience. We know this is a broad range so we’re happy to have a discussion on this at an early stage to ensure clarity. You'll also be eligible for share options through an EMI scheme.

How do I apply?

Apply using the form, providing a CV and a cover letter explaining why you're the one. We're particularly interested to hear real world examples where you can demonstrate what you have done, exactly why it was impactful and how you’ve learned from it.

As founders, we see you becoming a thought-partner which means developing deep knowledge across the entire business – finance touches everything and everything touches finance. You should have a natural curiosity and a feel for how commercial, technical, operational and legal developments can drive the PnL.

You should have a desire to get involved early in our growth story. That brings a real opportunity to make your mark but it also means diving into the detail and getting work done yourself – there often won’t be a team to delegate to.

How you work and think is more important to us than any specific sectoral experience. You’ll be coming in as a finance expert but not necessarily a transport one.

Key skills we’re looking for include:

  • Outstanding modelling skills and a clear vision for what makes a financial model into a powerful business tool. You’ll own the development of our models and should be a very advanced user of Google Sheets or Excel.
  • Able to confidently self serve with data from across the business and build it into streamlined models. Familiarity with MySQL, PostgreSQL or similar query languages is very helpful – if you don’t have this we’d expect you to learn it so you can work autonomously.
  • A strong understanding of what’s involved in managing working capital and treasury from a bottom up understanding of business needs.
  • Comfort defining debt structures and going to market to find the right solution for each stage of our growth.
  • Strong relationship building skills, understanding what different audiences are looking for and knowing how to negotiate effectively.


As character traits, you should think that this sounds a lot like you:

  • A strong sense of what good really looks like whatever the topic, problem, or issue. After all, good is good.
  • An instinct and curiosity that draws you to problems and drives you to find a solution, rather than hoping someone else picks it up.
  • An innate structured thinker – your mind is like a spreadsheet and you can see how it all links together.
  • A low ego - we’re lifelong learners which means we can be humble and expert at the same time.
  • An ability to build strong relationships with a diverse range of people, from investors and financiers to drivers and support crew who are at the front line of the business.
  • A focus on long term progress and making constant improvements along the way.
  • Willingness to get hands on and back yourself to work through any problem, including those outside of your realm of expertise.
  • A passion for efficiency and a meticulous attention to detail. Not one error in a million keystrokes.
  • Be comfortable with the trade off between deep thought and a bias for action, knowing that both can be right.