Rob Boynes

Rob is a globally experienced design leader and product designer with a focus on user experience and product innovation. He works primarily in early stage companies, from Zero to One startups to Series B+ scale-ups and has experience as both advisor and practitioner. 

Currently he is VP Design for, a series B scale-up that works heavily in the 18-35 advocacy space. There he oversees global product and marketing design teams across multiple product verticals including marketplace (, travel, sports and entertainment with partnerships including Live Nation, the NBA and Bumble. He works remotely between London, Toronto, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Prior to this he was special projects lead at Citymapper, overseeing the conception and launch of SmartBus and SmartRide along with aligned software, app and open data projects. Before Citymapper he was the VP Design at Sonr Inc - a globally distributed / remote NLP / ML SaaS startup based between San Francisco and New York where he oversaw product and design from initial conception and pitch to final acquisition working in partnership with Twitter / GNIP, Reddit and News Corp and acquire-hiring half of the Huffington Post. Sonr Inc exited to AudioBoom Inc in 2016.

He joined Sonr Inc after time as Design Director at Contentment, a SaaS startup focused on responsive digital content management and visual creation tools that reached rapid pre-Series B acquisition. 

As well as startups, Rob has extensive big ‘M’ media experience having been a Creative Director focused on global product, content, brand and storytelling at MTV (Comedy Central, South Park Studios, Nickelodeon), The Week, Conde Nast, News Corp, BSkyB / Fox, Dennis Publishing, Future Inc and the Haymarket Group

He was founder of the successful product consultancy Fought & Won, launching innovative and experimental digital narrative products for a wide range of clients including the Home Retail Group (Habitat / Argos), Edition Hotels, Storythings, The Institute of Physics and The Economist.

He speaks and writes regularly as an design leader for international conferences, agencies, publishers, incubators and investors in the UK, US and Europe. 

You can find out more information about his work history here, but here are his most recent roles in more detail:

VP Design
Verve (London / Toronto / Las Vegas / Los Angeles)

  • Leading and representing Design across Product and Marketing globally

  • Oversaw the merger and acquisition of multiple companies and their integration

  • Built a Marketing Design and Creative team from scratch between London and Los Angeles

  • Oversaw the scaling of Product Design into a global stakeholder environment

  • Instituted Design frameworks and asynchronous workflows into Product, Engineering and Marketing

  • Instituted new DAM, IP and asset protocols for archival and social usage

  • Instituted briefing process and briefing education across the global org

  • Oversaw creative-led global partnerships - both pitch and execution

  • Scaled Design in an organisation that scaled from 70 to 250 people in under a year

  • Implemented critique and communications across Creative, UX and Video specialisms

  • Aided Series B through C raise

  • 10% IC / 90% Leadership

Lead Product
Citymapper (London / Paris / Hong Kong / Singapore)

  • Led special projects and growth products including Smartbus and Smartride

  • Service Design of systems, policy and technical implementation

  • Full stack Design of Smartbus from Service to Saas to Experiential to Visual to Communications

  • Led CX and UX communications strategy across both Product and Marketing

  • International press and conference speaker

  • Led Design and UX for internal tools teams including ML Mapping Saas and payments

  • Aided Series B through C raise

  • 50% IC / 50% Leadership

VP Design
Sonr Inc (London / New York / San Franciso)

  • Led and represented Design globally

  • Led and represented Product globally

  • Zero to one design and build of ML big data Saas and mobile applications

  • Oversaw partnerships (including Twitter, Reddit and NewsCorp)

  • Led UX testing, CX implementation and strategy

  • Led Design across Front End Development, Back End and API documentation

  • Led Seed to Angel to Series A pitch processes and storytelling

  • Investor liaison including due diligence for investor group

  • Led board and advisory board recruitment

  • 70% IC / 30% Leadership