Joseph Emison

Six-time technical co-founder, including a fintech unicorn (Branch)

I've built six companies from scratch--bootstrapped, VC-backed, and PE-backed. I've exited four of the companies, been the CIO and CTO of multiple PE-backed companies, have two patents, and have recently written a book published by Pearson (Serverless as a Game Changer). I have handled all aspects of running technology at SaaS and data companies, including enterprise architecture, software development, data engineering, reporting, information security, infrastructure, internal IT, and anything e…

Joseph Emison


  • Branch

    Branch is a full-stack insurance company that uses data, technology, and automation to make bundling home and auto insurance easier and less expensive.


  • Branch


    Co-Founder and CTO

    Apr 2018 - Present

    Branch is a full-stack insurance company that uses data, technology, and automation to make bundling home and auto insurance easier and less expensive.

    • Initial developer and architect of back-end architecture
    • Scaled the company to over $200M in annual premium and more than 400 employees
    • Raised over $230M in venture capital
  • FuelSQC


    Consulting CTO

    Oct 2015 - Present

    I have been the part-time/consulting CTO for FuelSQC, an online statistical package built specifically for the fuel and bio-fuel community, providing comprehensive quality control analytics, and control charting. We bootstrapped FuelSQC from scratch to more than $1MM in ARR over several years.

    • Built the original application in Angular 1.4 on Firebase Realtime Database
    • Redesigned and led the rebuilding of the application in React on Firestore
    • Have cost-optimized to keep run costs under $5K/year
  • Spaceful

    Co-Founder and CTO

    Oct 2015 - Jun 2017

    Founded a commercial real estate SaaS product out of an incubator in Redwood City (Mach49).

    • Built and launched initial product in 3 months
    • Acquired into a larger company, where I became CIO
  • BuildFax


    Co-Founder and CTO

    Jul 2008 - Oct 2015

    I founded BuildFax to collect all the building permit data in the US. Building permit data is stored in many different formats and structures, and so I designed a pipeline that could be operated by non-technical staff that ingested the data in arbitrary formats and standardized it for analysis and sale. We had a YC-backed competitor that we beat in every head-to-head because of our data quality, and we operated with much lower overhead.

    • Designed underlying software and cloud architecture
    • Original developer for software, reporting, and analysis
    • Awarded two patents around using building permit data for roof condition
    • Built team to more than 50 employees
  • EphPod


    Oct 2001 - Jun 2008

    I built the first software to make the iPod work with Windows. I was first to market, despite being a solo developer against several companies with teams of developers working to build their own products. I released it for free, and monetized the traffic and partnerships through ads. In 2008, I sold the product and domain to Wind Solutions.

    • Built EphPod in Borland Delphi
    • Translated it in eight different languages
    • Featured in Wired, New York Times, Wall St Journal, and others
    • Sold to Wind Solutions
  • BluePrince


    Co-founder and CTO

    Jun 1998 - Sep 2004

    We founded BluePrince to put municipal building departments online. The first jurisdictions went live with BluePrince in 2000, and it's still in use across many states.

    • Designed and built the original Windows application (C++)
    • Designed and built the first web application that allows applying for and paying for building permits online
    • Built the team to more than 50 employees

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