How to Change the DNA of a Business to Be Socially Responsible? with Richard Harries, CEO of Cofndrs [Podcast #72]

This week, we welcome Richard Harries, CEO of Cofndrs, to discuss everything from their investment journey to revolutionising CSR. Richard believes that it is vital to change the way we do things traditionally if we want to make a real impact on the world. He says “[i]t’s more about the common cause that you have and the common vision&mission you share with these businesses”. And Cofndrs aims to tap this potential for real connection by uniting commercial success with social and environmental change. 

Cofndrs provides a customer-powered platform for businesses that helps to accelerate the success of solutions to social and environmental issues. On this platform, people can collaborate with brands on another level and thereby elevate their status from customers to co-founders (hence the name). It helps purpose-driven businesses to succeed by providing services like financing, marketing, sales and product development. 

As a business that has raised £550K in seed funding recently, Richard was kind enough to indulge us with the details. Let’s take a look at the topics we discussed in this episode.

Did CSR Fall From Grace?

We started by establishing how is Cofndrs platform different from crowdfunding and in what aspects they diverge from traditional ways. How are they revolutionising the relationship between the customer and the business? And, of course, Richard explained what forward-selling is and how it works to better understand the way Cofndrs operates.

Then, we jumped to how they validated that there was a demand for a product such as this. We talked about CSR (corporate social responsibility) and how it could be more impactful if it doesn’t turn into something companies only see as a means to make a profit. Richard explained why this happened to CSR and how we can change this outcome by changing the DNAs of companies. 

We also took a look at their numbers: the metrics Richard keeps track of as the CEO and how many customers they currently have and expect in the future. By what methods do they manage growth in terms of reach, team and revenue? Moreover, technical, marketing, product, sales, and people seem to be the main dimensions of a business. We discussed which of these are the most challenging for Cofndrs as a business right now. Or, important to their growth as a business? 

Intricacies of Investment

Perhaps we saved the most important topics for the last. Richard talked about their team in detail from who they are and how they contribute. He also explained the possible benefits of utilising part-time and/or external resources for your business. We also discussed their ethos in the company and how it helps to attract talent that shares the same values.

Lastly, we had a highly in-depth conversation about Cofndrs’ investment journey. You’ll have to check out the episode for the details! However, if you are keen to know the difference between being funded and not, who to contact, how to pitch, and how much time it really takes when it comes to hunt for investors, click and listen to our insightful chat with Richard.