We spotted RapTech many years ago as an early Seed Stage business, named BattleMe, in 2017, when they resided at the leading Telefonica backed accelerator, called Wayra.
Unusually the business was born by Alena and her brother, who through their childhood in Belarus grew a love of 80’s and 90’s US hip-hop which they then combined with their technological expertise.
Consequently, the Technology and Rap Fame platform enables independent Hip-Hop and Rap artists to showcase their talents directly to the community, which, in turn has led to some artists actually getting recording contracts.
Additionally since we first met Alena, the business has scaled into becoming a major scale-up, with both a growing content and tech team of 20 people, resulting in being featured as APP of the day in 163 countries, by Apple.
Balancing this, during the chat, Alena also highlights the stresses of scaling a Technology during the pandemic and how it’s not been plain sailing:
1/ Zoom fatigue set in several times- where she didn’t really enjoy hours of back to back daily calls – without any breaks.
2/ She also highlights how impersonal her role as a founder has become, like many founders – she’s not actually met some of her team face to face, which she really dislikes
3/ Alena is big on team spirit and is super keen to get her team all back together in the office to bounce of each other and stimulate innovation
4/ On diversity, Alena highlighted that the gender balance just magically swung towards more women come into the business during Covid, not by any design though, just by consequence and RapTech now has a 50/50 split
But in general / practical terms – she found doing business successfully in the Pandemic pretty tough – something that the wider Tech press tend to overlook with their extreme focus on mental health !
RapTech is a real success story led by a great Eastern European female founder, based in London who has overcome many challenges from investors and the industry she and her brother has disrupted.
We hope the podcast provides some useful insight for other founders on how to navigate the UK an US tech ecosystem and globally grow a strong B2C brand and technology business, from the UK…..at the moment.