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Back-end Software Engineer at Karfu

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  • London
  • fulltime
  • ₤50000 - ₤650000 per year
  • -
  • Salary & options

    Up to £65,000 Gross (FTE)

    Up to 0.5% share options


    About the job

    Karfu is seeking a full-time Back-end Software Engineer to take our platform from a prototype in private beta, through into public beta, followed by a full commercial launch of the product.


    Job description

    We are now looking for a Back-end Software Engineer with relevant experience who can join our small team, work collaboratively to build the next phase of the product and help us achieve product-market fit. The ideal candidate will be someone who has learned their craft working on a range of software development projects and who is ready for the next step up.

    You will have primary responsibility for ensuring our services, data and infrastructure are developed and optimised to allow Karfu to deliver a stand-out consumer website. 

    You’ll do this through working directly with our Founding team, Karfu employees, technical suppliers and marketplace providers, in order to understand, prioritise and establish software development requirements. You’ll need to find innovative solutions as we iterate and grow, including how best to evolve the architecture and integrate new features into the website platform as we scale.

    The role will initially focus on integrating a variety of first and third party data, available via APIs and batch CSV downloads. This data will need to be stored and transformed for Karfu’s use, to enable our unique result display to access the required data. You will then play a significant role with our CTO and Front-end Software Engineer to build the infrastructure to support our product roadmap through beta testing to launch. This will include ongoing monitoring and developing solutions to improve website performance to ensure the Karfu product runs as quickly and efficiently as possible from a consumer perspective to enable the best user experience.

    You will have the opportunity to shape the product roadmap and be a key contributor to the ongoing development of the product vision and proposition. If you are successful, you will leave a lasting impact on the finances of UK consumers and help inform consumers about more sustainable mobility choices. 

    You will work across a combination of proofs-of-concept and investigations, large strategic projects, improving our internal processes and some smaller tactical work. You will work directly with our CTO, a Front-end Software Engineer and a Project Manager to plan functionality, deliver it and prioritise product backlogs and monitor technical debt. You will also need to understand and be able to take charge of DevOps in the absence of our CTO.

    You're an expert in APIs, from both a design and build perspective, as well as integrating numerous APIs and data feeds from multiple 3rd party sources. You will need to work with our technical suppliers who are providing key data to the platform, as well as marketplace providers who provide mobility products and services. 

    You will display an understanding of how a user will interact with the backend interface, making sure any tools are easy to use from the point of view of an editor; we don’t want someone to have to have a PHD on how the platform works in order to make content updates. 

    You will regularly review software development processes and evaluate results to inform ongoing learning and improvement. You will keep up to date with emerging digital technologies and best practice in software development, identifying where we can improve ways of working, innovate and add value for our customers.


    Here’s what we have to offer

    • Work with a varied development stack across front-end and back-end.
      • Our Founding team have significant combined experience (over 60 years) in running projects and teams across engineering, marketing and financial analysis
    • Influence our product and engineering direction. 
      • We are a small team - your opinion and contribution will be valued. 
      • We are looking for people who have ideas and are proactive about finding solutions to challenges we uncover and help us prepare for scale.
      • There will be an opportunity to grow and manage the day to day engineering team, as well as help us decide on our next product team hires.
    • Influence our company direction
      • You will be one of the first hires outside of the three founders (CEO, COO, CTO). You will be a key contributor to our culture and in setting standards for our team.
      • You will need to understand our overall strategy to provide relevant engineering solutions, but also help us decide where to focus our efforts and resources.
    • Utilise new engineering and productivity software trends
      • Our team is very open to reviewing and trying new engineering solutions, frameworks and practices to speed up our time to market and, more broadly, to support overall company success.
    • Make a difference to people’s wallets
      • Karfu helps consumers make better financial decisions for their individual circumstances - think ‘Money Saving Expert’ for Mobility. 
      • You’ll be helping normal people save money across a wide variety of different mobility purchases.
    • Help people explore more sustainable mobility options
      • Karfu shows consumers the reality of the environmental impact of their mobility choices so they can view their overall impact. 
      • You’ll help people understand the trade-off between new vehicle types (including electric) and their traditional equivalents, as well as highlighting the differences between ownership and usership.
    • Help providers sell more effectively and efficiently
      • Karfu helps 3rd party providers put relevant products in front of a consumer.
      • You’ll be working with the technical teams from a huge variety of mobility companies, to integrate their products and data into the Karfu platform via APIs and data feeds


    Role requirement

    • You have 5+ years commercial experience working on enterprise level application builds.
    • PHP, MYSQL, ’Nix Admin ++, AWS (EC2, Route53, CloudWatch, AutoScaling. Lambda), BASH, GIT/GIT Flow, SLIM and RESTful services are essential
    • You have experience in cross functional teams and agile ways of working
    • You have experience of and are willing to own feature delivery from idea to production
    • You take pride in what you implement, especially the visual polish of the user experience, you are passionate about building what’s right for the user
    • You provide clean, well commented code and know and can help implement development best practices
    • You have experience in writing tests for back-end features, as well as automated testing and managing code peer reviews
    • You are able to communicate directly and build relationships with the technical teams at our providers without significant CTO or Founding team oversight 
    • You are comfortable managing at least one other software engineer in the near future
    • Comfortable in a high-paced and dynamic environment, you need to be a self-starter with a willingness to learn and adapt as our product and situation evolves
    • You are a good communicator in both written and spoken English, due consideration will be given to speech impediments, neurodiversity considerations and strong accents



    • Experience in using the Concrete5 / Concrete CMS platform
    • Doctrine, TDD, Docker, PHP-DI and SOAP are desirable
    • ES6 and REACT/REACT Native are nice-to-haves
    • Experience working for or with a comparison website or platform, or on a two-sided marketplace product 
    • Previous working experience of scaling a digital product in a rapidly growing company
    • Experience of software development within FCA regulated environments




    About Karfu


    Karfu, currently in stealth, is a B2C technology start-up in the mobility sector. 

    We define Mobility as the technologies, products, vehicles and services that enable people and goods to move around freely.

    Karfu is an impartial online platform designed to help consumers save money and discover the financial and environmental costs of their ‘mobility’ choices, including vehicles from cars to scooters, across access options from ownership to usership.  

    The product is currently a desktop and mobile website. Mobile apps (iOS and Android), and a B2B proposition will follow in due course. 

    We have just completed our second external funding round. A full explanation of the company, strategy and product will be provided during the interview process.

    Karfu's founding principles are to be transparent, responsible and sustainable. We are a certified Pending B Corp and are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion.


    How are we committed to promoting Diversity and Inclusion


    Diversity means difference, specifically the range of human differences within a group of people across the three categories below: 

    1. Demographic (age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical resources)
    2. Experiential (economic or social position, education, occupation, faith, abilities, dependents, caring responsibilities)
    3. Cognitive (how we approach problems and think about things.)

    Karfu is committed to hiring people with as broad a range of these differences as possible.

    Inclusion is the act of making someone feel part of a group, which involves people’s well-being at work, safeguarding people’s mental and physical resources, and championing rights and cultural differences all of which collectively help people to succeed at work.

    By its nature, inclusion is difficult to measure in the workplace. Karfu’s aim is to create an inclusive environment that allows individual contribution to matter and employees are able to perform to their full potential, no matter their background, identity or circumstances.


    Benefits of working at Karfu


    All positions at Karfu include: 

    • A competitive salary including statutory pension
    • Stage appropriate equity compensation, via our employee option scheme
    • 25 days of paid annual leave excluding bank holidays (pro rata for PTE employees)


    Our expectations


    You are looking for a place to belong and grow

    We are looking for our first hires outside the Founding team. We want people who are passionate about what we are doing and want to help us grow the company over the next decade. We want committed people who share our values and our vision.

    Purpose, not just profit, drives you

    Karfu is a (pending) B Corporation. Rather than just words, we wanted to prove our commitment to taking action by having legally enforceable standards to live up to. We care about sustainability and the impact Karfu could have on consumer decisions. We appreciate diversity and inclusion challenges which are reflected in our hiring policies and our internal culture. We want to be a responsible business that helps across local, national and global communities.

    You know about vehicle purchase methods and how they work 

    If you know your PCP from your PCH and could you create a breakdown and assess whether one is a good deal or not relative to the other, this is the perfect job for you. We are looking for someone who will bring in these specific skills and can hit the ground running. Alternatively, if you understand consumer finance, or the ins and outs of how loans, mortgages or the cycle to work scheme operate, we’ll work with you to transfer these skills to working with Karfu. 

    You are passionate about mobility

    You feel there are unique challenges and opportunities for mobility products and services and you love helping people find answers that are right for them. You’re intrigued by Electric Scooter trials. You are familiar with businesses from Citymapper to Zipcar. You are as happy on a bike as a bus or a train. You are interested in all forms of mobility and you see this continually expanding industry getting more exciting, not less. It’s where you want to build your career and your expertise.

    You believe in impartiality

    We believe in a level playing field for providers to compete against each other. Think the BBC, trying to see different options from both sides, rather than Google focusing on working with the highest bidders and making it impossible for a small business to compete. 

    You are reliable and you care

    As an early stage start-up, you will be working closely with the Founders and we expect you to share the same level of enthusiasm and professionalism. We adopt a merit-based approach in our company. If you care about your performance at work, taking your role, time management, output and contribution to the team and company seriously, you’ll enjoy working with us.

    You have a start-up attitude

    You have a keen appetite to optimise, test, build and learn. You have a flexibility that means you can fill in for others if they’re away or help other members of the team when they need it. If you don’t know something, you don’t wait to be told to look it up. You are proactive both in work and in improving your own skill set outside of it. 


    Useful to know


    We are recruiting a number of new employees who you will work with, including:

    • Product focus
      • Front-end Software Engineer (FTE)
      • Project Manager (PTE)
      • Product Designer (PTE)
    • Marketing focus
      • Content Editor (FTE)
      • Marketing Executive (FTE)


    We won’t be fully remote forever

    • Whilst these roles will be primarily remote, we are planning on having a flexible office or workspace in London at some stage in late 2021 / 2022, dependent on COVID-19 related developments
    • We currently envisage attendance will be at least 1 day a week in person, with preferred office locations near or between Clapham Junction and Waterloo, with the duration and location subject to change
    • This will require you to live a commutable distance from central London in case we decide to increase the amount of weekly attendance at a later date. 
    • However, we will consider candidates with exceptional CVs from elsewhere in the UK, who seek a remote only role, so please do not be deterred from applying


    We understand and care that you have a life

    • Whether you have a family, caring commitments, or other responsibilities outside of work, if it is important to you, it is important to us. 
    • Our Founding team appreciates juggling work and life is not easy. We will endeavour to treat you as we would like to be treated ourselves when things don’t go to plan. 


    We are a sustainable start-up and we run lean

    • We are focused on saving consumers money. It would be irresponsible of us to be frivolous with our own investment funding with that mission in mind. 
    • Instead, we’ll focus on things that we feel are important to employees, like a challenging role that will push you, living wage salaries, pensions, benefits and fair work / life balance, rather than ensuring you have a new t-shirt every time we change our logo, or a professional table tennis table.
    • If necessary, a suitable laptop will be provided, with your views and project requirements in mind. However, we are happy for you to use your own personal computer equipment.


    Your questions about accessibility

    • If you have any questions about accessibility, or are concerned about any Karfu company policies that might affect your ability to do a good job, please get in touch using a non-personally identifiable email address if at all possible.

    How to apply


    Please apply through Work In Startups. Our full application process on our website requires the below:


    1. CV

    Provide a CV (no more than 2 sides of A4) without a name or date of birth, to help us keep applications on a level playing field.

    2. Application screening question

    Let us feel your passion. Tell us 'Why do you want to come and work for Karfu over every other company?'

    3. Skills showcase

    Finally, we’d like applicants to send us something that showcases your skills that we can view or test, for example, a link to:

    Software Development - your GitHub or Stack Overflow


    UK applicants only, please


    At the moment, we are headquartered in the UK. 

    For this reason we are only looking for UK-based candidates with a UK work permit to join us. 

    There are no sponsorship opportunities at Karfu.


    Application Stages:


    Following initial shortlisting, there will be 3 stages, which may vary in order:

    1. Remote
      • At least one strategic or tactical test
    2. Remote/In-person
      • At least one Founding Team panel interview
    3. Referencing from previous roles

    Karfu only uses competency-based, structured interviews where all candidates are asked the same questions. Each question will be scored independently by the Founding Team.

    If you need any special arrangements for interviews, please let us know. 


    Note to Recruitment Agencies


    No recruiters or agencies, please.

    Karfu does not accept unsolicited CVs from recruiters or employment agencies in response to any of our live roles on our career pages on the Karfu website, company branded social media presences (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn) or external recruitment platforms.

    Karfu will not consider or agree to payment of any referral compensation or recruiter fee relating to these unsolicited CVs. 

    Karfu explicitly reserves the right to hire those candidate(s) without any financial obligation to the recruiter or agency. 

    Any unsolicited CVs, including those submitted to hiring managers, are deemed to be the property of Karfu.

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