ARLINGTON, Va., June 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Basket, the largest shopper-powered grocery platform, announced today five new hires in senior roles: Amira El-Gawly, Vice President of Community; Jason Rubinstein, Vice President of Finance; and Brian Hoffner, Director of Sales; as well as Kiran Devarakonda, Lead Engineer; and Kyle Caston, Senior Software Engineer Team Lead. These roles further demonstrate Basket's accelerated hiring momentum; doubling its employee base in just two months. Led by co-founders Neil Kataria and Andy Ellwood, the start-up completed its $11M Series A round at the end of 2017.
"Basket is moving full-speed ahead in bringing in the brightest and the best talent to our Arlington, VA-based headquarters," stated Neil Kataria, CEO and Co-Founder of Basket. "Amira, Jason, Brian, Kiran and Kyle offer that incredible range of experience, core skills and hard-charging hustle to help push Basket ahead as a force in the grocery industry." He continued, "Whether or not Amazon establishes its second headquarters in the Northern Virginia or the Washington, D.C. area, Basket's goal is to help make the DMV a destination for a high-tech and consumer-focused workforce that thrives on innovative company culture." The hiring announcement today follows the appointment last month of other core positions, including Hunter Powers as Senior Vice President of Engineering.
El-Gawly will be overseeing Basket's community of commerce and data "moderators," flex team members in the field across every U.S. state who complete missions to obtain accessible and transparent pricing information. El-Gawly comes to Basket from Manifesta, a business and culture strategy shop. Prior to that, she co-founded and served as EVP and Chief Strategy Officer of 360 Live Media, a marketing and experience design agency. Hailing from Egypt, she also served in the office of the advisor of the Crown Prince in Abu Dhabi.
Rubinstein will lead planning, forecasting and corporate finance. He started his career as a nuclear submarine officer with the U.S. Navy, before eventually going to Google. At Google, he managed revenue and expense for small and medium business marketing. For the last five years, Rubinstein was with Marketo in San Mateo, CA, where he established practices and policy to help scale the company to over 1,000 employees and to $400M of revenue.
Hoffner will be expanding Basket's B2B outreach to food brands and grocery retailers. Hoffner spent the last seven years managing and growing high-performing sales teams in the DC area. He ran sales at Speek and GoodWorld, served as sales director at RainKing Solutions, and most recently led sales at Urban Stems, where he oversaw sales strategy and implementation and worked to identify new growth opportunities.
Devarakonda was most recently at the real estate firm Costar group, known for apartments.com, where he led the engineering team. For seven years, he was at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), first as Senior Software Engineer and then as Lead Software Engineer.
Caston will be leading the engineering team for Community. Formerly at Social Tables, he oversaw the development and delivery of their Event Sales platform. Before that, Kyle worked on research and development efforts for the Department of Defense.
Basket is powered by the largest community of shoppers in the world working together to never overpay for groceries again. Basket believes everyone should have access to real-time pricing information in order to make the best decisions. Leveraging blockchain technology and a decentralized network of data partners, Basket has launched a breakthrough platform for brands and retailers, offering a big picture pricing intelligence with more clarity and speed than ever before. For shoppers, as well as brands and retailers, Basket is leading the way in grocery transparency and accessibility. Founded in 2014, the company completed its $11M Series A round at the end of 2017.