Anika Riley, Trustfy
8th July 2019
Launching a business can be daunting and exciting in equal measures. For July’s Women Who Launch we speak to Anika Riley, Co-founder of Trustfy.
THE ELEVATOR PITCH
Trustfy is a software solution that simplifies client-freelancer interactions around payments and helps freelancers manage their cashflow.
Last year in April, my co-founder and I got started in Dublin. Through numerous accelerator programs we developed the product to best address freelancers’ needs. My co-founder is the tech side of things and I take over the business side of things, so it’s great to have that balance within the team.
We recently re-located to take part in the NDRC program at Portershed, Galway. We’ve been very impressed with the quality and the support of the NDRC program so far. In tandem with investment, they are helping us to build and grow the company.
We’ve bootstrapped the company over the last 14 months, through multiple accelerator programs like Dublin New Frontiers, and recently raised our first round of investment through the NDRC.
Anyone who is doing project-based work can use Trustfy, but we’re especially focused on freelancers that are doing digital work like design and development. It’s especially valuable if you don’t know your clients personally and might be working with clients that live in a different part of the country or are international.
BRANDS YOU LOVE
I have a lot of respect for companies that balance financial success with a conscience, like Patagonia and Doctor Bronner’s Soap. They are proof that becoming a global brand doesn’t have to come at the cost of your values.
BIGGEST ‘WIN’ TO DATE
Having Trustfy live today is my biggest win. When we got started last April I couldn’t imagine how far we would come within a year.
BIGGEST ‘SLAP IN THE FACE’
I’m either an optimist or we’ve been lucky so far. There are good days and less good days, but no catastrophes yet. Knock on wood!
ARE YOU SOCIAL WHEN IT COMES TO MEDIA?
It’s important and it’s something we’re building out at the moment. We’ve been so busy with software development we haven’t put as much focus on it as we would like, that’s changing now.
I spend the better part of my day in front of a laptop and do everything online. My family lives in the States and being able to talk to them face-to-face is really important. I’m not big on gadgets though, I won’t give up paper books and I don’t want my fridge to talk back!
IF YOU HAD A BLANK CHEQUE
I’d build out our team with the most talented and passionate people I can find; put away a nest-egg so I can focus on the business and not on paying the bills; and buy my Dad the beach house in Key West he’s always wanted.
YOUR TRAITS – BEST AND WORST
I think my strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin. On the one hand I’m very enthusiastic, open-minded and driven, which can be a great combination for trying new things and taking a leap of faith. But it also means I want to do everything at the same time, and I can get impatient, distracted and a little chaotic.
My co-founder is a lot more structured than I am (he is German after all!), so it’s really valuable to have that balance.
IDEAL BUSINESS PARTNER (past or present)
I’d keep my co-founder! I like doing about 80% of what he dislikes, and he likes doing about 80% of what I dislike. It’s absolute gold to work with someone you can pass tasks back and forth to without a lot of argument.
BEST BUSINESS ADVICE
A lot of people will give you advice, much of it contradictory! You have to accept that there are no simple or perfect answers. I love this F. Scott Fitzgerald quote for that:
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”