Standard Chartered ex-deputy chief executive Mike Rees named chairman of tech startup Chirp

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Mike Rees will help Chirp scale up as chairman (Source: Getty)

A former top City chief has joined a tech firm adding to the growing trend of moving from the Square Mile to a startup.

The ex-deputy chief executive of Standard Chartered, Mike Rees, has been appointed as chairman of Chirp, a startup working on technology that can transfer data via sound, to help "push the company to the next stage of its development".

Rees departed Standard Chartered in January 2016 after more than two decades with the banks and has since set up his own consulting firm.

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"The global market for data-over-sound represents a multi-billion dollar opportunity, thanks to the ubiquity of smart devices and the sheer volume of day-to-day interactions that can be carried out electronically,” said Rees.

“Chirp’s unique technology and leadership team means the company is ideally positioned to unlock this potential and drive the development of the broader market.”

Chirp chief executive Moran Lerner said: “We’re now leaving the “'startup' phase and have launched into the accelerated growth phase.

"This means we need to bring on people on to our non-executive and advisory board who can bring a different level of expertise and experience, and support our world-class team as we start the next chapter of our journey.”

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Lerner said the appointment comes at a "pivotal moment in its evolution". Chirp works like a sonic barcode and has been used by the makers of video game Skylander, Activision Blizzard, to let users transfer characters between phones and console in its most high-profile use to date. EDF and Audi are also clients.

The five-year-old startup was formed by scientists working at University College London with initial backing from the university and Imperial Innovations. It has since raised cash via equity crowdfunding and from early-stage Chinese investor GuanQun Investment.

Rees joins several former City bigwigs heading for startup life, particularly in the fintech space

Startups plunder the Square Mile for City supremos

1. Lady Barbara Judge - Hibob chairman (read more)

2. Sir David Walker - Setl chairman (read more)

3. Ian Peacock - CoInvestor board (read more)

4. Paul Manduca - RateSetter chairman (read more)

5. Rich Ricci - FreemarketFX chairman (read more)

WATCH: How Chirp works

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