Connectd Profile

Connectd logo.

Connectd is a fintech startup that helps other startup companies virtually match with compatible investors, mentors, and more. 

Founder(s): Roei Samuel

Industry: Tech

Founded in: 2020

Location: London

Interview With Roei Samuel

Describe your product or service:

“Our platform uses data-driven ‘smart matching technology’ to directly connect startups with investors and non-executive directors, board advisors, and mentors. I am a 30-year old entrepreneur who has [the] experience of founding a successful business previously and exiting it, which was RealSport, a company I founded back in university. I turned to angel investing and saw a lack of a solution that provides access to a community of founders and investors, which was where Connectd was born. To provide that online community where people can come together to solve problems, source and provide funding, and grow together.”

Describe your company values and mission:

“We want to open doors for those that weren’t getting opportunities through traditional means and to support startups, investors, and advisors on their journey. 

Many startup founders are overlooked because they don’t know the right people, or they might be discriminated against, as many female founders have found, and the same can be said for investors and advisors. These innate biases that have existed are no longer acceptable, and we believe our platform alleviates these issues from occurring. Investment opportunities for startups are based on relevancy on our platform, through shared interests, behavior, and experience as well as credibility and commercial success to date. This means that people are not judged on the way they look or where they are from but on their merit and scale of opportunity they have to offer.”

How are you funded? I.e. type of funding, number of funding rounds, total funding amount.

“Seed funding round so far of $1 million, with a further funding round later this year.”

How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)

“I’m the sole founder, but we have a growing team between 20-30 now. Less than a year ago, there were only five to ten of us, and we’re rapidly hiring.”

How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!

“When I turned to angel investing after my exit of RealSport, I noticed a gap in the market for a digital platform that could provide a community for startups. Within the startup community, there is a great desire to mutually grow and share expertise, which is why I felt passionately about this venture.

I have seen other founders struggle to find investment because doors were closed to them because they didn’t know the right people, or they didn’t have the right personality or background. These factors are far less important as opposed to raw numbers, data, and the scale of the opportunity through Connectd. We provide investors and founders with the opportunity to connect based on a number of factors, the most important is relevance. If a founder has a background in financial services, they won’t be receiving irrelevant opportunities in their inbox like a Pharma startup, for example.

These factors are set up by the individual on our platform and can be updated to change your portfolio and interests, so you get different searches.”

How did you come up with your startup’s name? Did you have other names you considered?

“It felt obvious to me that something about connecting was needed, and I landed on Connectd very quickly!”

Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?

“My parents were entrepreneurs, so I’ve lived and breathed it on a daily basis. There were ups and downs, it wasn’t always an easy experience, but I learned that you need a support network of people around you to become successful and at times of negativity, to lean on them for help. Mental resilience was something I realized you needed early on. I’ve always been entrepreneurially minded, and I founded RealSport while at University because I saw the power of the web to host communities of like-minded people and bring them relevant information. And from that experience, I founded Connectd.”

Did you encounter any roadblocks when launching your startup? If so, what were they and what did you do to solve them?

“I’ve faced a number of challenges, particularly as we’ve grown. Senior hires right at the beginning were really challenging because there are only so many steps and due diligence processes you can go through before making a decision. Getting the right people on board and trusting them enough to delegate tasks too is critical in my view. 

When I founded the business, the first challenge was getting the backing. I had been fortunate to meet some fantastic investors at RealSport. But that was still key, getting the technology in place and the proposition, which both equate to a difficult task. We also launched at the beginning of the pandemic, which happened to be a positive thing for our business because we’re entirely digital. However, it also meant we started with just me in the business, and I had to hire people remotely and bring them on board with my vision remotely, which was really difficult.”

Who is your target market? How did you establish the right market for your startup?

“We target angel investors, VCs, as well as startup founders and non-executive directors. These people share the same problems and need a solution like ours.”

What’s your marketing strategy?

“We are now more aggressively targeting angel investors and startup founders through direct marketing.”

How did you acquire your first 100 customers?

“Through a lot of hard work! We basically gave people free opportunities to try the platform and trust us, and they did, and they kept coming back each time.”

What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?

“Ultimately it’s month-to-month growth as a subscription-based model.”

What’s your favorite startup book and podcast?

“Scott Galloway’s ‘Marketing Newsletter’ and Caroline Dweck’s ‘Mindset Book.’”

Is there a tool, app, or resource that you swear by to help run your startup?

“I used Headspace for meditation purposes, and it really helps.”

What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?

“In all honesty, I think it’s the amount of people you meet with similar problems and the overwhelming desire to help each other.”

How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?

“With great difficulty in all honesty, but [the] key to it is trusting those around you and actually making time to do other things like seeing friends and family. A lot of sacrifices are made, but you need to consider your own needs and listen to your mind/body at times.”

What is a strategy you use to stay productive and focused?

“I book a lot of time slots in my diary to commit to doing tasks.”

Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?

“One thing that has helped me is drinking plenty of water, more than two liters a day, and I feel so much better for it.”

What was your first job and what did it teach you?

“Working with my family made me appreciate the ups and the downs and the lessons they bring.”

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