Entrepreneur Series: Leo MacLehose and Dom Collingwood of MatchPint

by | Oct 19, 2021 | Entrepreneur Series | 0 comments

Name: Leo MacLehose & Dom Collingwood

Company: MatchPint

Leo has answered on behalf of the company

1. Tell us about your company and the inspiration behind it.

Myself and Dom set up MatchPint in 2011. As passionate sports fans we believe watching sport surrounded by friends is the ultimate social experience. We have built our app to do just this, as a global digital ‘stadium’, and a platform which connects sports fans, pubs and brands. MatchPint is an online and mobile service, which shows sports fans what game is being televised in which pub, wherever they are, on their computer or via their iPhone. The app and website is free for sports fans, and has a B2B product with pubs and brands.

MatchPint is now available in several countries and our network is growing quickly with six million fans using the platform in the 12 months previous to Covid, over 10,000 pubs across the platform, and regular partnerships with the likes of Guinness and Budweiser.

2. What do you know now that you wish you knew at the beginning of your journey?

We started the business in our early twenties and there was a lot we didn’t know. We underestimated the financial resources required to build a great product and build out a two-sided marketplace. We raised too little money in the early stages, and so we took a long time to get up to a scale that could unlock the success of the business.      

3. What specific challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur and how have you overcome them?

We came very close to folding back in 2017, we put all our eggs into one basket, which was a long-term partnership with a major broadcaster. When the negotiation fell through, we hadn’t organised a plan B, and we were two weeks away from running out of cash. Our team rallied incredibly and bought us enough time to raise a bridge round with investors. Two months later we signed a big campaign for the FIFA World Cup 2018. We learnt a lot from that period and we’re a better company for it.

4. How do you view the impact of skill vs luck in your company’s success to date?

I’m a strong believer that you make your own luck. It comes from an optimistic mind set, curiosity, and a willingness to plant seeds that can turn into ‘luck’ as often as possible. There’s a skill in that.

5. What are your aims for the next 1,5 & 10 years, for the business, and personally?

We’re building the world’s largest ‘stadium’ with a capacity of 8.25m over the next four years. We want to be a household name facilitating and amplifying great sporting moments for fans all around the world.

Over the next six years, our mission is to continue to build the ‘stadium’, fill the ‘stadium’ with fans, and then work with partners (drinks, food, merchandise, payments etc) to elevate the experience, bringing fans together to enjoy sport at its best.

Eventually, Dom and I will exit the business, but not too soon. We’re loving the journey, and we’re extremely lucky to work on a business we’re passionate about, with great people all around us.

6. Which other businesses, leaders or entrepreneurs inspire you and why?

We’ve learnt a lot from the likes of Kim Scott, whose ideas and thinking have helped us build a more empathetic business, where we value openness, radical candour and humanity.

Businesses like Deliveroo and Uber, who have built great brands and changed their space for the better by building fundamentally excellent products, are always an inspiration.

7. What is the best piece of advice you have been given throughout your journey so far and where did it come from?

I have the enormous privilege to work alongside an amazing co-founder, who gives me incredibly strong feedback and advice on every step of the journey. There is zero chance we would have built the business we have were it not for the strength of our partnership. I can’t pick one single piece of advice, but I’m pretty sure Dom fills 10/10 of the best pieces of advice I’ve received. It’s not always easy to cultivate a great co-founder relationship, and if I had to give one piece of advice to people looking to launch a business, it is to start your company with someone you respect and like a lot. It makes the hard times a lot easier, and the good times even greater.

8. Do you work with advisers in your company, and if so, where do you feel they add value?

We have an excellent board of directors who hold us to account, and make sure we’re delivering on the vision we’ve set out. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s easy to get distracted and zig-zag. Having a board with a little bit of distance, can make sure you get from A to B as successfully as possible.

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