By | Published On: June 9, 2022 |

Welcome to Episode 84 of my podcast The Executive Edge, with this week’s guest, Danae Shell.

Danae is the co-founder and CEO of Valla, the first legal platform for employees to get an employment issue sorted. She has also been awarded as a “Disruptive Innovator” and “Rising Star” in the tech industry. She is a developer-turned marketer and a Tennessean who has worked in Scotland’s start-up scene for over 17 years.

Danae also has extensive scale-up experience, joining as an early employee in Scottish start-ups FreeAgent and Care Sourcer, and helping to build and scale their marketing teams. She raised £1.2m in an equity crowdfunding round.

What did we discuss?

The platform helps people represent themselves in legal situations. So, we began by discussing the types of situations where this might be necessary. Danae’s own experiences strengthened her belief that this type of help was needed. She cites how junior people who wanted help, would come to her, but she didn’t know what to do. With her colleague who also felt affected by bullying and difficulties, she started Valla.

Some way down the line, the business was at a favourable tipping point because the volume of transactions grew. In reality, that meant the number of people who needed the platform, grew. She now looked to manage the overload and demand. Then realised they needed new skills, more time, and more people!

It’s an interesting story as it might seem possible to anticipate what people will need but actually the ‘user’ journey demanded different creative solutions at different times.