Seb Robert is the CEO and founder of Gophr, a logistics company that built a courier platform for same-day delivery.
Robert founded Gophr in 2014, after being disappointed by the bad experience with couriers. His company is working to rethink delivery to the last mile, using software to match couriers to the most efficient delivery option for business.
The London-based company lists brands such as HelloFresh, Boots and Co-op among its customers.
Last year, Gophr raised £ 4 million in Serie A funding, bringing its total funding to £ 4.8 million. Gophr says it reached an expected turnover of £ 17 million in 2021, with the boom in the online supply pandemic helping the company achieve four million deliveries in the same day.
This week’s Founder in Five Q&A, the Gophr founder recalls his worst presentation experience, shares whether the founders should be honest on social media, and explains why he’s still unconvinced by Facebook’s vision of the metaverse.
1. What is your worst experience?
Seb Robert: What stands out was a conversation at Zoom with an extremely prestigious investor from the United States, with whom we really wanted to join. We present this great deck, which we spent a whole week assembling. After about 15 minutes, one of their team said, “Excuse me, should we see the slides here?”
I hadn’t shared my screen properly. My team didn’t tell me, and later they said they just froze and didn’t know what to do, and it got worse the longer it lasted. We did not cover ourselves in honor of this.
2. Should the founders be honest on social media?
SR: This is a marketing tactic that is used a lot – to be honest, who is passionate about the industry. But I prefer to contribute to conversations and topics to which I feel I can add something – a point of view, a little insight, some experience. I never start trying to be honest just to add noise.
I prefer to let our products and services speak for us. Saying something scandalous or contradictory can bring you some retweets, but if you try to be helpful, then I think it makes people trust your opinion.
3. Do you collect anything?
SR: Simulators and melodies. Although I’ve been slowing them both down lately. As for the trainers, you used to be able to get some great stuff on sale. This began to change about six years ago, when the resale of sneakers really began to develop. After Michael Jordan’s documentary launched on Netflix last year, forget it.
Ringtones that I just put in playlists. I have to listen to things without lyrics, otherwise it’s too distracting. Bits and melodies from 60 to 140 beats per minute tend to work.
4. Which emerging technology is most promising?
SR: It’s not necessarily nascent, but Web3 is the most promising for me, assuming it’s cracking on a large scale. The ability to make data, credentials, and assets hopeless, transportable, and adaptable across multiple software environments is enormous. It goes beyond platforms that disrupt industries, and it’s about what combinations you can create to unlock new solutions to serve multiple industries, creating more value than was thought possible.
I don’t want to pretend to be an idealist with dreamy eyes; I was around Web2 when its champions thought it would unlock world peace. But if it works, it has to move things significantly forward.
5. Which widespread technology do you think is doomed to failure?
SR: I still have to be convinced of the metaverse, as understood in the promotional videos on Facebook. I don’t think it’s doomed to fail, but I’m old enough to remember virtual reality when The Lawnmower Man came out on VHS, and Second Life when it took off in 2010, before stopping a few years later. .
It’s clear that first-person games are forever, I just think there’s a limit to what you can do with fully immersive worlds that need headphones for now. Augmented reality seems to be a better bet, both in terms of leisure and from a business and functional point of view.
Founder in Five – a series of UKTN questions and answers with entrepreneurs behind innovative startups, large-scale projects, unicorns and public technology companies in the UK – is published every Friday.