Since I was young, I have always known I wanted to own a business and be an entrepreneur. It was this sense of destiny that gave me the courage to leave my stable legal career at Freshfields, an international law firm and one of the prestigious ‘Magic Circle’ law firms in the UK, in the fall of 2017 and move back home to my parents' house a few months later.
This decision felt like such a risk at the time and a huge step back in my life and career. If things didn’t work out, would I (or even could I) go back into law? Before you start a new business, you know it will be tough, but I don’t think you can fully prepare for what is to come. Luckily, with hindsight, I can safely say this was one of the best decisions I have yet to make. If you had told me the day I left my legal career, that fast forward to today, I’d be running a fast growing technology scale-up, with investments from the likes of Microsoft, Google and Sequoia, I probably would not have believed you.
One thing that I can safely say is that Definely would not exist if I hadn’t met Feargus (Learn about how Definely started here). Feargus and I met while we were both lawyers at Freshfields, and let me tell you, Feargus helped me a lot during the early days of my legal career. We became good friends, and the more I got to know him, the more I was fascinated by how he was able to do the same sort of work as me (reviewing long, complex legal documents) with his visual impairment. For those who don’t know Feargus, he is registered blind.
Accessing any information for someone who is visually impaired is incredibly challenging, never mind legal documents. What started out as a search to solve a problem for Feargus’ disability has turned into a suite of solutions used by some of the world’s largest law firms and multinational corporations.
It’s been an incredible journey where I’ve learned a lot; there have certainly been lots of highs and lots of lows, but the old cliché is true: the highs make the lows worth it. Navigating the VC world is challenging, especially during such turbulent economic times for the tech sector, and it’s something that nobody really prepares you for when you become an entrepreneur - you really do have to learn on the job.
However, one of my big highlights was when I secured our first round of external funding - this was really the first time I thought, ‘Wow, we may be onto something’ and the external validation that people believed in our vision was so inspiring. Since then, we’ve built some incredible innovations that I am very proud of and welcomed some stellar customers along the way, with reputable, global businesses like Deloitte, Barclays, DLA Piper and Dentons.
I’ve been lucky to have an incredible team around me, and we’ve worked hard together to turn our vision into a reality. It's rewarding that this is now coming to fruition. Some noteworthy achievements include Definely being recognised as a Rising Star by TechNation, highlighted in Sifted as one of the Top 11 UK startups to watch in 2023, and most recently, named in the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 2023 as one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the UK. On a personal note, I have been honoured to have received entrepreneurial accolades from the likes of KPMG and the Black British Business Awards.
While we have certainly achieved a lot in a relatively short space of time, oddly enough, it still feels like we’ve barely scratched the surface - there is still so much to do. However, it’s important to look back and reflect on how far we have come in such a short period because this only fuels my ambition for the future of the company.
CEO and Co-Founder of Definely