Paul Butcher

The senior technologist behind several successful start-ups, Paul has repeatedly driven the entrepreneurial process from business plan and prototyping through to execution and exit. He is a recognised authority on software engineering having written two critically acclaimed books on the subject. Paul was Chief Software Architect of SwiftKey, subsequently acquired by Microsoft. He went on to co-found English Language iTutoring, subsequently acquired by Cambridge Assessment English, and is currently CTO of XLIO Ventures.

Indicative Experience

  • Co-founded English Language iTutoring, a technology transfer business commercialising Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning technology developed within the University of Cambridge to assist with learning English as a foreign language. ELiT was acquired by Cambridge Assessment English.

  • Built and led SwiftKey’s world-class development team, taking the technology from proof-of-concept through to commercial release. The software was the best-selling Android application worldwide for three years, was licensed to both Samsung and Blackberry, and released on iOS. SwiftKey was acquired by Microsoft.

  • As CTO of Texperts, built a platform that combined Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning with human intelligence to efficiently answer unrestricted free text questions. Following acquisition by kgb (the company behind 118118) the technology was rolled out worldwide and successfully scaled to handle the demand generated by an advert broadcast during the 2010 Super Bowl.

  • Performed due diligence on a South African technology start-up ahead of private equity investment. Post-investment, acted as mentor to the CTO.

  • Performed due diligence on a UK software house ahead of an acquisition by a company looking to bring software development expertise in-house. Post-acquisition, regular consultancy engagements to ensure that the integration was on track.

  • After the tech bubble burst in 2001, leading to a loss of funding, led Commtag’s initially demoralised team to develop a commercial offering in just 9 months. The product was awarded “Best Corporate Wireless Application or Service” at the 2003 GSM Association Awards and the company was acquired shortly afterwards.

Specific Expertise

  • Software development process and culture

  • B2B and B2C product development

  • Recruitment

  • Fundraising

  • Intellectual property and licensing

  • Acquisition

  • Technical sales support

  • Continuous delivery

  • Cloud deployment

  • Concurrent and parallel software

  • Machine learning

  • Natural language processing

  • Mobile app development

  • Embedded software

  • Functional programming

Career Highlights 2020–present:

  • 2020- present: CTO, XLIO Ventures

  • 2014–2020: Co-founder and CTO, English Language iTutoring

  • 2010–2013: Chief Software Architect, SwiftKey

  • 2005–2009: CTO, Texperts

  • 2001–2003: CTO, Commtag/Smartner