April is seeing major changes in the Portuguese entrepreneurial landscape with the CEOs of both Uniplaces and Portugal Ventures moving aside for new leadership.

For Uniplaces, Cyril Jessua took over the role of CEO from Co-Founder Ben Grech, and Rita Marques took the reigns as the new chief executive of Portugal Ventures, replacing Celso Guedes de Carvalho.


“We are very happy to announce that Cyril Jessua will join our team as our new CEO. He has our full support as founders, and that of our leadership team and board,” wrote Grech in an open letter on the Uniplaces blog.

“Critically, Cyril shares our vision of building the global, trusted brand for student accommodation and is ready to get stuck in and bring this to fruition. He’ll bring with him experience of scaling and leading international marketplaces — as he did successfully for Groupon in Canada, France and Belgium, and more recently at OPnGo,” added Grech.

The outgoing Uniplaces CEO will continue full-time as a Non-Executive Chairman, focused on developing new, strategic opportunities that can be game-changing for Uniplaces.

Jessua came highly recommended as the new CEO after his international successes with Groupon over the years, along with his leadership as CEO at OPnGo.

Uniplaces is an online marketplace for booking student accommodation with thousands of verified properties.

Portugal Ventures

Rita Marques, director of Porto Business School, became the new CEO of Portugal Ventures last week after shareholders elected not to reinstate Celso Guedes de Carvalho.

The new governing bodies of Portugal Capital Ventures for the 2018-2020 triennium were elected last Thursday, April 19.

“The Board of Directors of Portugal Capital Ventures – Sociedade de Capital de Risco, S.A. will now be chaired by Rita Marques, who until now has been executive director of the MBA and Postgraduate courses at Porto Business School,” read a statement to the press.

Rui Ferreira, a consultant and university professor, will take up his duties as vice president and Pedro de Melo Breyner, head of a multidisciplinary team of specialized support to tourism companies in Portugal, will be a member.

Portugal Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in seed rounds of Portuguese startups in tech, life sciences, and tourism.