The Humans of smrtPhone

Our “smrtie of the Month” is a martial arts devotee, a dancer, and a customer support whiz – Rares Francu!


Rareș Francu

Title / Role in the Company

I work as a 1st level Support Agent. I answer the live chat. I help customers with any issues they might have or questions they come up with. I give them suggestions and tips & tricks on how to fully maximize their usage of the system. 

I am also involved in the internal training program for new employees. We’re building out an online training portal and I’m currently working on the quizzes at the end of each section. 

How long have you worked for smrtPhone?

11 months. 

What’s your background? 

I’m a pretty tech savvy person, but I always like the human part of my jobs as well. Even though I’m really comfortable with technology, I don’t think I could be a developer because it’s too focused on the technical side. I like having the mix.

For my previous job, I worked as a Renewals Manager at an identity and security provider. I was renewing contracts and subscriptions. It was also B2B technology. My job before that was in the financial sector, working at a bank. At first, I worked in customer support taking calls. Then I was promoted to Credit Card Specialist, which was a back office position. Basically, if the agents in the call center couldn’t solve requests from customers, they would come to me. It was essentially a Level 2 Support position. 

I like to solve issues and help people. I always like to try to solve the issue myself first, and if I can’t then I ask for help. I like technology. I am comfortable with it. I’m used to it. These jobs come naturally to me. 

My path to smrtPhone started through jiu jitsu, like many people here. Starting jiu jitsu was the best decision of my life because only good things have come from it. I met Vlad [smrtPhone co-founder and CTO] and we went to a training camp in Bulgaria. At the time I was working at my previous job but I had forgotten to put on my “out of office” reply. So in the car, I was talking with a coworker to have them turn it on for me. That sparked a conversation with Vlad about what I do, what I like to do, and what smrtPhone does. And then things went from there, and here I am. 

Rares Francu from smrtPhone at jiu jitsu

What was your first job? 

My very first job that I got paid for was helping a friend of my father as a carpenter’s assistant. We were working with wood, making stairs, building furniture, everything. I worked there for three weeks when I broke my hand BMX biking and couldn’t do it any more. 

He was living in a house and had a garage with all of these materials. He never had to buy stuff when a client needed things – he always had the supplies. But it was really disorganized and he had a big ego, so there was no helping. I wasn’t too sad when the job ended, but it taught me the value of money at an early age.

What do you like about working for smrtPhone? 

I like the fact that we can work remotely from everywhere. That’s good for me, but also it means I have colleagues from everywhere. Here, you experience other people’s cultures. At the team building, we get to talk with each other about what’s similar or different in our countries and I think this is the best way to develop as a person, to be able to see things from different perspectives.

And, just in general, I like the team. We are always helping each other. We are all striving to grow, keeping a healthy competition. As the company grows, we grow as employees and also as people. 

In short: I like the people.

  smrtPhone Support team goofs around

Describe smrtPhone in 3 words: 


The company is growing and is focused on healthy growth. We are growing as a team, as employees, as people. 


From the top down, we practice our values. And it’s at all levels – we see our values modeled by our managers and leadership. 


We really are like a family. Even though it’s cliche and everyone says it, it’s true. 

Is there a particular moment/project at smrtPhone that stands out and makes you feel proud?  

I would say: the launch of the new smrtDialer. It was a really big improvement, both on the functionality and the design side. It made it really user friendly. 

And, this isn’t exactly a moment, but it’s something that makes me feel proud: the fact that we can all contribute directly. Our ideas are taken seriously and we can get involved in lots of different things. I like that we can impact the product and the company. It’s a big satisfaction you can take away. For example, how I’m working on the internal training now and building out quizzes – that’s going to help us be faster and leaner and better as a company. 

What do you like to do in your free time? 

I’m a pretty active person. I like to do a lot of sports. I go to the gym. I practice jiu jitsu. I go snowboarding in the winter. When it’s possible, I go everywhere with my bike. 

I also like to have fun by doing things that involve music like going to concerts, listening to music with my friends, and dancing. If there’s music, be sure that I’m dancing, even if I am at the gym.

Rares Francu wearing an orange shirt in venice (maybe)

Name something that is on your “bucket list”

Something that was on my bucket list: to be able to work from anywhere and travel the world. And this is slowly becoming a reality, because of the freedom at smrtPhone. In October, I’m going to go to Thailand and work from there for two months along with Tudor and Sebi from the Support team. Because of the time difference, we’ll have to work the night shift hours. But it’s only for two months and we’ll have a swimming pool, so it all evens out. 

What is a fun fact people might not know about you? 

When I was like 7 or 8, my father was relocated to Italy, so we moved there for two years and I had to go to school there. I finished about 75% of first grade in Romania and then did the last part in Italy. I had really bad grades at first because I did not know the language. But at the end of second grade, I knew Italian and I managed to get the highest grade (Ottimo.)

Ever since then, I have liked Italy and Italian food and I’ve always wanted to go back to stay for a while. We still have relatives there, so I’ve been back for visits. Even now, after all these years, if I listen to Italian in a movie or on the street, I can understand what they are saying. But if I was to learn to speak again, I would need to go back and stay for a while. I’ll make it happen!