Following a $12 million Series A funding round, Cushion, a bill pay company and leader in bank and credit card fee negotiation, announced today the appointment of Shariq Rizvi to its board as an independent director. Rizvi will serve as an advisor and thought partner across Cushion’s various functions including business and product strategy, fundraising, hiring and leadership.
A graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the University of California, Berkeley, Rizvi brings immense entrepreneurial success and technical experience to the rapidly growing team at Cushion. Rizvi currently serves as Executive Vice President of Ads Monetization at Reddit, where he oversees product, engineering, data and design teams, fueling the company’s main revenue engine.
Before Reddit, Rizvi served as Director of Engineering at Twitter, and co-founded Twitter’s performance ads business, building it into a multi-billion-dollar revenue driver, which ultimately led the tech giant through its IPO in 2013. Rizvi also co-founded Dasient, an enterprise startup that was acquired by Twitter, and cloud monitoring startup Netsil, which was acquired by cloud computing leader Nutanix in 2018. Before that, Rizvi’s undergraduate research in database systems made him one of the youngest published authors in his field.
“I met Shariq more than 10 years ago when I worked at a startup that he co-founded and later sold to Twitter,” said Paul Kesserwani, founder and CEO of Cushion. “I’ve watched him evolve from an outstanding engineer to a manager, a leader and now a super successful entrepreneur with multiple exits under his belt. Shariq offers a rare combination of technical chops, operational experience and business success. I’m honored to have Shariq join Cushion’s board at this critical time as we scale our product and engineering teams and bring our consumer bill pay offering to market.”
As a member of Cushion’s board of directors, Rizvi will help vet technical candidates, ensuring the growing team is stacked with top-tier talent. Rizvi’s deep industry expertise will also allow him to act as a sounding board for business decisions as the fintech company scales.
“As one of Cushion’s first angel investors, I was drawn to the company’s mission to help people live financially healthier lives from day one,” said Rizvi. “I’ve watched Cushion’s success since its inception nearly six years ago, and with a Series A funding round under its belt and the rollout of an upcoming bill pay solution underway, now is the optimal time to join as an advisor and partner to Paul and the rest of the team.”
Cushion’s new bill pay solution reimagines how consumers track, manage, and pay bills, allowing them to avoid late fees and overdrafts and build their credit profile all at once. Bill pay enables Cushion to tackle the foundational issue causing consumers to acquire fees in the first place, providing a way for them to successfully pay their bills on time, in full, and fee-free.
“I am eager to help Paul continue to build and scale a world-class team at Cushion,” said Rizvi. “The next several product and engineering hires will play a pivotal role in making their bill pay solution a success. Cushion has already proven that it can build and monetize innovative solutions that help consumers, like their fee negotiation offering. I’m excited to contribute to this next chapter because enabling consumers to successfully pay their bills on time while avoiding fees can have 100x the impact that their first product did.”