Interview With Jessica and Louella Alderson
Describe your product or service in 2-3 sentences:
So Syncd is the dating app that matches compatible personality types. We pair couples who have just the right amount of similarities to understand each other and just the right amount of differences to create a spark.
Describe your company culture in 3 words:
Inclusive, authentic and creative
Describe your company values in one sentence or more:
Our core values are acceptance and promoting equal opportunities. We strive to encourage acceptance, particularly of different personality traits, through So Syncd. We also actively promote equal opportunities.
What are you ultimately hoping to achieve with your business?
Our goal is to make dating more fun, meaningful and successful.
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
We recently raised a $1m funding round which involved a family office, an investment club, a micro VC and angel investors. Initially we bootstrapped the company while working full-time jobs.
How big is your team?
Tell us about your team: (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
My sister and I are the co-founders. We also have a marketing manager, three developers, a project manager and a part-time CTO.
What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
It was the idea. We were both so passionate about the concept of helping people find meaningful connections that we couldn’t not pursue it. We also love problem-solving – we’re definitely not short of that as entrepreneurs.
How did you come up with your startup idea?
The idea for So Syncd was born when Jessica, personality type INFP and an ex-investment banker, broke up with a long-term partner and wanted to understand what went wrong.
She delved deeply into the idea of personality matching to find love and over a few drinks in a London bar with Louella, personality type ESFJ and an ex-property analyst, the sisters realised that there was undoubtedly a better way to find meaningful connections online.
Louella, while being sceptical at first, became convinced of how accurate and successful the personality-matching concept was when she and Jessica applied the unique algorithm to their friends and Louella’s own successful relationship. It turned out that she had been in a long-term relationship with her perfect So Syncd personality match.
On that evening, Jessica and Louella, having had one too many cocktails, came up with the idea of So Syncd and the very next day they started building the foundations of a more meaningful way to date.
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
We brainstormed for weeks. We had a few other ideas but the domains were taken! So Syncd sums up what we do – we connect people who are on the same wavelength or ‘in sync’.
What is something that makes your company unique?
We are the first app and website that connects compatible Myers-Briggs personality types.
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
The greatest challenge for us was launching a tech company as non-technical founders. While Lou previously helped scale a different start-up to unicorn status, my background has largely been finance. Between the two of us, we covered a lot of business aspects like fundraising, legal, HR, marketing, and design, but our technical shortcomings were impossible to ignore.
Early on, we couldn’t make a monetary commitment so we used contractors to help us build our app. Three or four months in, we knew we needed someone more permanent to help manage both the strategy and tactics so we brought on a part-time CTO. It’s been so comforting having him around to handle any technical urgencies and strategic technical decisions we need to make.
Is this your first business? If not, how did your experiences with past businesses influence your decision to start this new business?
This is our first business. We both worked at startups previously though and loved how fast-paced it was.
Who is your product or service made for?
So Syncd is made for people who are looking for meaningful connections.
What's your marketing strategy?
PR, digital marketing and influencer partnerships.
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
Building a following on Instagram.
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
Active users, sign-ups, acquisition cost and retention rate.
How has your approach to managing your business changed from when you started to now?
We now have a dedicated tech team which makes a huge difference. We can obviously progress much faster and it makes the day-to-day running of the business a lot smoother. When we first launched, we spent a lot more time putting out fires. We are now able to focus on the big picture and long-term strategy.
If you could go back in time and change anything about your entrepreneurial journey, would you?
I would have launched our app sooner. We delayed launching it to smooth out some small details that in the big scheme of things didn’t matter. Time is so precious when it comes to building a company. The earlier you launch, the faster you can start learning.
What is the biggest lesson you learned during your journey?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is nothing goes to plan. At least at first. By their very nature, startups are risky. There are an infinite number of uncertainties that lie ahead when you launch a business. It still helps to have a plan but it will almost certainly change and it will probably change quite drastically. Being adaptable and responding to new information is key to the success of any startup.
Who is your support system?
As sisters, we support each other all day every day. We have a very tight bond. We also have an incredibly encouraging family, as well as supportive friends and investors. Lou has a supportive partner. We have the whole package when it comes to a support system and it makes all the difference.
Who or what inspired you to start your business?
We set up So Syncd after I broke up with a long-term partner. I wanted to understand what went wrong so I started delving into personality type compatibility.
What motivates you?
Helping people find meaningful connections and hearing all of our success stories.
What’s the #1 resource you rely on for success?
Our amazing team and advisors. Having incredible advisors has been game-changing for us.
How do you define success?
Living life in alignment with your values and positively impacting the lives of others.
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
I’m most proud of our incredible community. They are kind, smart, supportive and thoughtful. It’s humbling to see.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Focus on building your network early on. It will be so important as you grow, whether it’s sourcing talent, advice or funding, your network will be invaluable.
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More on So Syncd
So Syncd, the London-based dating app founded by sisters Jessica and Louella “Lou” Alderson, offers an alternative to the typical dating app experience by utilizing a unique algorithm based on personality types to match up potential partners.
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Jessica and Louella Alderson of So Syncd, that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.
We have developed this list of five creative and impactful ways to support dating app startup So Syncd.
Startup business So Syncd is bringing its own unique, personality-based dating app to the scene, backed by a $1 million seed round from investors.