Online marketplace OnBuy has appointed a new chief technology officer.

Joanna Smith, who previously served as CTO of Virtual College, will oversee OnBuy’s expanding technology teams across its current UK market, with sights set on global markets beyond.

Prior to her role at Virtual College, Smith held the role of IT director then consultant for multi-category recommerce business, Entertainment Magpie. 

Prior to this, she worked under the Co-operative Group as head of group IT, working across all IT areas identifying issues and proposing and implementing tactical solutions.

Since its inception in 2016, OnBuy has aimed to disrupt the status quo around eCommerce, taking on the industry giants that currently dominate the market. 

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With its ‘level playing field’ offering – it vows never to compete with its retailers – OnBuy has attracted more than 7,000 retailers, hosting over 36 million products on the platform.

“Joanne is impressive and there was no other option for OnBuy,” said founder and CEO Cas Paton. 

“We have a clear vision and it’s nothing short of ambitious, and to get there we need the best people. 

“I was immediately impressed by Joanna’s extensive knowledge of the sector, and I am confident in her leadership capabilities to drive our technology platform as we continue to execute our strategy.

“Jo has been the missing piece of the puzzle that we’ve now filled, and we’re absolutely thrilled to have her on board to bring her expertise and experience to OnBuy. 

“With Jo’s strategic understanding of technology transformation in the retail industry, we look forward to bringing to life some hugely exciting developments to improve OnBuy’s end to end service for the benefit of all of our customers.”


Smith joins OnBuy following a highly successful growth period, including its recent Series A+ fundraise earlier this year which saw £35 million of investment – a mix of debt and equity – raised through VC and strategic technology investors. 

The investment will help OnBuy, second on our 100 eCommerce Trailblazers ranking last year, target unicorn status in the coming years.

Smith said: “It is fantastic to return to the retail sector and join OnBuy at such a pivotal time for the business. OnBuy has experienced exceptional growth under the impassioned leadership of Cas and the skilled team he has already put in place.

“Onbuy is strategically well-positioned for the future, and I look forward to working together with the full team to continue to deliver exceptional results for our customers and our shareholders.”

100 eCommerce Trailblazers