June 14, 2024

Start-up experts join forces to launch matching service to democratise start-up access to investors and Non-Executive Directors 

Three start-up industry experts have joined together to launch Connectd, a new smart-matching platform for start-ups, investors and Non-Executive Directors (NEDs). The matchmaking subscription service enables start-ups to gain immediate access to relevant investors, advisors and experts, and removes any class, race and location bias.

Despite each member of the founding team being under 30, they bring together a highly complementary and experienced skillset, which spans the whole start-up ecosystem:

  • Roei Samuel, CEO: a proven entrepreneur who launched one of the world’s most successful eSports platforms, RealSport at age 23, which he scaled to 9.5million monthly users and took to a full multi-million-pound acquisition by Gfinity in 2018
  • Nathan Weekes, CMO: an ex-paratrooper, who has spent the last six years operating in the NED space, enabling start-ups to strategically scale by placing quality skillset to their board
  • Sam Luckett, CSO: an experienced financial strategist, who has spent the last eight years working at PWC, Goldman Sachs and Barclays, managing investment portfolios of high net worth individuals

Roei Samuel, CEO, Connectd: “After my last start-ups was acquired, I started angel investing, and I recognised a huge flaw in the system. I wanted visibility of new opportunities, but the best deals are falling into the same hands time and time again. The game felt rigged against enabling equality and a level playing field. Start-ups should be judged on the validity of the idea by someone who knows their sector, and all investors should have equal access to exciting opportunities.

“In reality, many cannot connect with investors at all, or they have to waste significant resource on ‘beauty parades,’ trying to butter up influential individuals that can potentially offer an investor introduction. I wanted to develop a platform that would democratise access to funding and expertise, which given the economic climate has never been more important.”

Lack of start-up diversity and access to early-stage investment remain huge issues to growth. Only 9% of early stage funding goes to businesses with a female founder and 65% of all funding goes to businesses in the London and South East ‘bubble.’ High-growth start-ups have raised £5.37bn since the UK was placed into lockdown in March, but just £458m of this was first-time funding, a 55 per cent year-on-year decrease.

Unlike other platforms and traditional brokers, Connectd users can directly access each other. Every member is vetted, to ensure it becomes a trusted platform, and source of quality for all.

Connectd completed a successful beta-launch in lockdown. It has already enabled hundreds of UK start-ups to accelerate commercial opportunities and get funding, and access to NED talent, with a 5* rating on Trustpilot. Unlike traditional recruitment models, start-ups do not pay a fee for recruiting NEDs/advisors on the Connectd platform.