A Week in My Life: Nicola Weedall, Co-founder, Hydr
Hydr is a new invoice platform helping SMEs optimise their cashflow which launched in May this year.
Founded by Nicola Weedall, founder of Autopaid, and Hector Macandrew, Hydr pays invoices in full - minus a fee - within 24 hours. Weedall has a wealth of experience in fintech, and along with Macandrew is committed to tackling poor payment culture at a time when long terms and late payments are having a more siginificant effect on small businesses than ever.
Before Autopaid, which Nic founded in 2017, she also worked at GE Capital as its UK Lending Service and Delivery Manager, and was Head of Risk at DueCourse, another fintech focused on business payments. She is dedicated to championing women in fintech.
She provided a summary of what a week in her life looks like...
I’m straight out of the blocks this morning at 6:30am with the usual breakfast routine and school prep at home. It’s going to be a busy week for me and Hector - we’re in start-up mode at the moment and I’m heading to Cornwall at the weekend for a family break, so there’s lots to do!
My husband manages the school run today. Hector and I spend the morning with our product team - remotely - making some key updates to our platform and working on our app build. We’ve been planning and developing Hydr for over a year and officially launched in May. It’s so exciting to see everything we’ve been working on over the last 12 months come to life.
Hector and I are both working from home today but we’ll meet in the office tomorrow. I’m on school pick-up and my son (Harry, 8) has his first cricket match tonight, so it’s a nice end to the day watching him burn off some energy with his friends.
Having three children (Harry; Millie, 14; and Parker, 4) and a new business, there’s never a dull moment, but I naturally thrive on being busy and juggling all the balls, so days like today are in my comfort zone.
I’m in the office today, which I love, straight from school run. We’re at Department Bonded Warehouse in Manchester, which is a real hive of activity, particularly with emerging technology businesses. Hydr is a member of the Enterprise City 'Exchange' - a programme supporting ambitious, early-stage tech companies. Tech Nation is a knowledge partner to the programme and it’s such a fantastic support network for us at this stage in our journey.
I onboarded a new customer onto our platform at 11am - a manufacturing business - and they were really impressed with our platform’s Xero integration, ease of use, and digital onboarding. Now that we’re through testing and helping real businesses manage their cashflow, there is nothing more motivating than getting feedback like this.
We’re on a call with Xero in the afternoon, discussing some branding for our website and also the schedule for joining the Xero Marketplace. The afternoon finishes with some admin; we had our board meeting last week and we are finalising the minutes to distribute.
One of the first things I do every day is log into our admin panel - a proprietary, custom-built piece of tech. It allows us to look at all of our customers' progress as they go through onboarding, the status of their customers and outstanding invoices, enabling us to keep a close eye on each step of the process, offering support when needed.
Being completely digital allows us to observe progress in real-time and intervene quickly should any issues arise.
I meet the CEO of Pro-Manchester later in the morning for coffee. It’s so nice to be back having physical meetings - the novelty of lockdown ending hasn’t worn off on me yet! I’ve spoken on a few of their panel events in the past and they do some great work with SMEs so it’s good to reconnect and explore opportunities for Hydr.
When I get back to Bonded Warehouse, I have a call with one of our client’s customers. A lovely chat - and great to get to know the account lead there. Building great relationships with our clients and with their customers is central to our proposition so these introduction chats are really important.
We have a budget catch-up in the afternoon together before heading to an informal meeting - more of a chat - with a PE firm that I have a relationship with. We take the opportunity to showcase our product with a quick demo and it's really well received.
I’m on the school run this morning. My husband and I take turns depending on what we have on with work, but I’m heading to London for the night this afternoon, so I wanted to see the kids off.
I head straight into the office and am happy to see some PR coverage come through on my emails. We have our weekly WIP call with our PR consultant today and talk about some of the opportunities in the pipeline. I have an interview lined up with a fintech journalist tomorrow and we talk through the prep for that.
Hector and I then run straight into a call with our web developers. We’re so happy with the site they’ve built and are just making a few refinements now. We head to Piccadilly Station to get our train to London at about 4pm, for dinner with some potential investors tonight at 7:30pm. We have a really supportive group of angels on board, but it’s never too soon to start building relationships with others as we look ahead to our next funding round, which will be next year.
It’s breakfast at the hotel this morning at 8:30am, which feels like a bit of a treat (and a lie in!). We reflect on last night’s dinner and have a bit of a handover chat as I’m going to be away in Cornwall for a few days next week.
I won’t be disappearing completely, but I’ll be limiting my email-checking time so that I have a much-needed break and family time. I join a Zoom interview with the journalist from the fintech title at 10:30am. It goes well - I love talking to people about Hydr and I’m a huge supporter of women in tech, so this was enjoyable for me and I’m looking forward to seeing the piece at the end.
Hector stays in London as he's spending the weekend in Wiltshire, so I head to Euston for my train back to Manchester at midday. I work on the train and then head straight home, arriving just in time for the kids who are excited for their holiday. Tonight will be packing and then a well-earned glass of wine!