Chloe Shakesby

International expansion on the horizon for growth marketplace with $1m seed funding

A London growth marketplace has announced that it has raised $1m in a seed funding round to support its upcoming international expansion.

Connectd, which connects startups, investors and advisors, has secured the funding through a round led by Saracens owner Nigel Wray, joined by LiFE Ventures, Toni Nijm of Yobi Partners and Steve Castle of ABC Investors.

The funds are set to be used to prepare for international expansion in 2022, boost the company’s recruitment and build out its product.

The company was founded last year by entrepreneur Roei Samuel, who previously founded RealSport.

Roei commented: “It is ironic that with all the leaps made by British businesses, the startup space itself has seen very little in the way of innovation,”

“Having founded my own business before investing in startups, I have seen how difficult it is on both sides.

“If you don’t move in traditional circles, it can be very difficult to get access to the capital and outside expertise needed to rapidly scale the business. Similarly, investors can waste hours hopelessly searching for the right opportunity.

“We see it differently, which is why Connectd brings people together based on what they know, not who they know.

“I truly believe in the power of Connectd to help diversify the UK startup scene.

“We are proud to have helped companies from under-represented groups to gain access to the finance and people that can turbo charge their growth.”

Nigel Wray, lead investor, said: “Connectd is a game-changing platform uniting the three pillars needed to launch a successful business: founding entrepreneurs, investors and advisors.

“This is the most exciting time in the UK startup scene that I have ever seen, and I am delighted to play a role in helping UK SME businesses and startups to thrive.”

Josh Drukarz, managing partner at LiFE Ventures, commented: “At LiFE Ventures we were particularly excited about the Connectd platform given their desire to democratise the early-stage funding market - typically a closed community limited to insiders.

“Connectd’s three-sided marketplace supported by a simple digital SaaS solution opens up new opportunities to the mass market. We have found it particularly useful to meet great businesses.”

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