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Startup scaling lessons from SeedBlink as it prepares for market growth with a change in CEOs

SeedBlink CEO scaling lessons
Image credit: Andrei Dudoiu and Carmen Sebe | SeedBlink
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Last week, Bucharest-based SeedBlink, the international crowdsourcing platform, appointed Carmen Sebe as the company’s new CEO. The news followed their recent raise of a €3M Series A investment to democratize equity investment in startups. 

SeedBlink is working on scaling its business model internationally. Andrei Dudoiu, co-founder and former CEO of SeedBlink, shared in a previous interview for The Recursive that their main goal is to prove what they have been testing in Romania can be exported anywhere. 

“Our vision is to enable the middle-class individuals to access venture capital level tools and networks, to build and manage a diversified portfolio and, in turn, to become enthusiastic angels reviving the tech innovation in Europe,” Carmen Sebe, CEO of SeedBlink, says. 

Sebe shared with us that they are at full speed in delivering on their promises. To do this, they have been focusing on technology and market growth. 

In a portfolio with over 50 startups and €25M funded in the last two years, in the past two months, half of the pipeline and active campaigns have been from outside of Romania. Around 20% of the investors are foreign and the team plans for a wider footprint in the next year. 

“Besides the cross-border expansion strategies, we also look to acquire and consolidate platforms supported by the new EU harmonized crowdfunding regulation,” Sebe shared.

Passing of the leadership baton

Over the past months, there have been several changes in the management team to prepare it for scaling. With the change of CEO, Dudoiu remains as Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board of Directors, while Ionut Patrahau, co-founder and CIO, becomes a Managing Partner and assumes the role responsible for Corporate Development. Radu Georgescu will continue to be the Chairman of the Advisory Board. 

“We have grown the team significantly and it was time to define our responsibilities in the context of recruiting a super leadership team. Everyone is focused on growth. I can be more active in business development and maintaining close relationships within the ecosystem,” Andrei Dudoiu shared with The Recursive. 

Carmen Sebe, the new CEO of SeedBlink, joined the platform at the beginning of 2020 as a partner. Beginning with this autumn, she will take charge of guiding the company through a period of hyper-growth. 

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Before this appointment, she was a partner at Gecad Ventures and she will keep an active role as Advisory Board Member at both TypingDNA, a startup focusing on bеhaviоral biоmеtrics tеchnоlоgy, which has raised over €7.5M investment, and SymphoPay, a B2B cloud-based platform to integrate payments. Dudoiu said that she has a proven track record of running tech companies and helping to grow them internationally.

“The success of a smooth transition in our case is a lifelong friendship at a leadership level, which allows us to discuss and align openly on our plans,” SeedBlink’s new CEO shared with us. 

When should startups change CEOs?

To remove the traditional barriers of the financing process in the early-stage startups, for both entrepreneurs and investors, each of the four partners aims to bring their contribution to the business. Sebe shared that they will all tackle different verticals inside the company with a common goal in mind, from finance and banking knowledge to entrepreneurship, and venture capital. 

Reflecting on the steps necessary to scale a tech startup globally, Carmen Sebe believes that hiring people who have done it before comes first in a competitive market. And fostering a culture where people have fun and support each other should be next according to her. 

Sebe adds that creating a trusting environment for people to test, fail, learn, and innovate will move the startup forward. The team should also implement good working processes that will keep a focus on the customer, and cultivate accountability. 

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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive with 10+ years of experience as a freelance writer based in Bucharest, Romania. Her mission is to report internationally on the amazing progress of the local startup ecosystem while bringing into focus topics such as diversity in business cultures and women in tech; mental health, work-life balance, and the future. Of what? Everything! As a former solopreneur and a full-time mom, she strives to learn something new every day to share with the world. #nevernotlearning