Spade is hiring a

Data Science & ML Lead

New York, United States

Data Science & Machine Learning Lead

What is Spade?

Spade is building the next generation of fintech infrastructure by providing real-time merchant intelligence for the card ecosystem. We leverage a proprietary, ground-truth database to link any card transaction to a real merchant identity – providing granular merchant, category, and geolocation information. Spade leads the market in terms of merchant coverage, geolocation matching accuracy, and speed of transaction enrichment. Customers including Unit, Mercury, and Sardine trust Spade’s data to authorize more transactions, prevent fraud, and build more innovative features.

We’re a fast growing, seed stage, remote friendly company backed by industry experts and top tier investors (including a16z, Y-Combinator, and more to be announced soon). We’re a small and mighty team, passionate about building exceptional products for our growing customer base. We care deeply about diversity of opinion, background, and experience. We value empathy, curiosity, and passion, and strive to create an environment where individuals have autonomy and the ability to take ownership over their work.

What will you be doing?

Data plays a key role in our product – we derive valuable insights from vast proprietary data sets (with geographic, category, and merchant data covering 99.9% of all merchants in the United States). We are looking for a product-oriented data science & ML lead passionate about using data to solve complex problems for our customers and team members. As the founding data leader at Spade, you will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience working on green-field data projects, play a key role in developing our product, and lay the foundation for our growing data science team. You will:  

  • Lead our data function, collaborating closely with our CTO, CEO, and Engineering Manager on long-term product and data strategy, while running the planning process and managing a team to execute on short term objectives
  • Manage and mentor a team of incredible data scientists, building a high-performing, inclusive, and empathetic culture
  • Work with your team to build top-tier merchant databases and low-latency APIs, leveraging techniques such as large-scale entity resolution models, including probabilistic models, embeddings, and clustering models
  • Swiftly ship high-impact and scalable data products that enhance Spade’s customer experience, by collaborating closely with technical and non-technical functions, and finding the right balance between theoretical soundness and practicality
  • Use your understanding of customer needs, internal metrics, and deep knowledge of the broader ML ecosystem to uncover fresh possibilities within our merchant and transaction data sets to bring additional value to our customers and continuously improve on Spade’s product suite
  • Identify headcount goals and and collaborate with the recruiting team to identify and hire diverse, excellent engineering talent
  • Set clear goals, identify and remove roadblocks, and measure impact of the data organization 
  • Use project management methodologies to ensure projects are executed on time, within scope, and to Spade’s quality standards
  • Nice to have: Own our data pipelines, ensuring that our pipelines are optimized to perform over large data sets, and that we are consistently shipping high quality datasets into production 

What experience, skills, and qualifications are necessary? 

  • Must have: 
    • 7+ years industry experience, and 2+ years of experience as a data team lead or manager
    • A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
    • Fintech experience, specifically familiarity with payments-related data (e.g., card, debit, acquirer, and/or merchant data) and / or transaction data (e.g., card ard authorization and fraud prevention)
    • Deep experience in machine learning and statistical algorithms and techniques related to entity resolution, such as probabilistic linking, deep learning models, embeddings, and clustering models
    • Ability to create compelling narratives with data that translate complex technical concepts and findings to non-technical stakeholders, employing data science tools and visualization techniques such as Python, querying languages (SQL), and plotting libraries (Matplotlib, Plotly) where relevant
    • Strong problem-solving skills and ability to guide team in breaking down complex product and technical challenges into accurately estimated milestones
    • A desire to focus on customer needs and solve pressing problems
  • Nice to have: 
    • A Master’s or Ph.D. in data science, machine learning, statistics, or another quantitative field
    • Experience with PySpark and DataBricks

Why join Spade? 

  • Be a cultural founder. As an early employee, you’ll play a meaningful role in defining and building our culture.
  • Get in on the ground floor. We’re a small but well-funded team – joining now comes with limited risk and unlimited upside.
  • Build the next generation of financial infrastructure. Our products will power the next wave of innovation in fintech, helping our customers deliver better, more transparent products and services to the consumer.
  • Benefits include:
    • Competitive compensation and equity package
    • Full medical, dental, and vision benefits for US-based employees
    • Life & short-term disability insurance
    • Flexible PTO
    • Early exercise program
    • Extended post-termination exercise period
    • 401K for retirement planning
    • Hybrid team, with pet-friendly headquarters in NYC
    • Paid parental leave
    • Work from home stipend

Salary Range:

  • At Spade, we view total compensation as consisting of salary + equity + benefits. We recruit motivated and high performing talent, and work to compensate people in line with the value they bring to our team. 
  • We aim to pay fairly and competitively, and consider a number of factors in developing compensation offers. These factors include years and breadth of experience, interview performance, market dynamics, and internal equity. 
  • The anticipated cash salary range for this role is $200,000-$235,000, with an equity grant.

Diversity & Inclusion at Spade:

Spade is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culture that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We believe that having people with different backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives not only helps us build the best products for our customers, but also helps us be the best version of ourselves.

As part of our commitment to health and safety, Spade requires employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as permitted under applicable law.

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