Q&A with Laura Matter, Co-Founder of Noii

Each month we have the honor of interviewing Women Who Inspire Us. This month we talked to Laura Matter, co-founder of tech start-up Noii, a video dating platform. Laura is passionate about transforming the process of dating to be a deeper, more meaningful connection through real-life and offline interaction instead of just online. Learn about her inspiring story, how she discovered her co-founders and what she’s learned along the way.

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and your current position. 

My name is Laura Matter, and I co-founded a dating startup in Zurich called Noii. Noii is a video dating platform. We started the tech startup in 2022 with three co-founders: Thomas, Vlad, and myself. I’m taking on the role as the CEO, primarily focusing on marketing.

Before founding the startup, I worked in a digital marketing agency in Zurich, which helped me gain the skills I now use at Noii.

What led you to founding a tech startup? 

There wasn’t a single moment when I decided to start a tech company, especially in the dating industry. My father is an entrepreneur, which probably influenced me. From a young age, I was interested in the startup and entrepreneurial world, watching related YouTube videos because I found them fascinating.

While working at the marketing agency, I noticed how frustrated people were with existing dating apps. During COVID-19, we had to cut back on work, and I quickly got bored. That’s when we started a platform to help people connect for activities like walking dogs or grocery shopping, which unexpectedly evolved into a matchmaking platform.

During this time, I realized two things: I love connecting people for all sorts of activities, and I enjoyed building something from scratch. That’s how everything fell into place with Noii.

Talk about your idea early and often with as many people as possible to find co-founders.

– Laura Matter

What was the toughest challenge you faced during your career, especially when starting Noii?

Finding co-founders was a huge challenge. It took almost a year of searching while I was still working. I met many potential co-founders, but it often felt like dating—things seemed promising at first but didn’t work out. Most of them needed convincing about the idea.

Finally, I met Thomas through a mutual friend, and he was instantly excited about the idea. I found Vlad by chance at a coworking space. My advice is to find someone who is as excited about the idea as you are and matches your energy. There will be plenty of times when you need to pitch your idea and convince others, so having a co-founder who’s fully committed is crucial.

Another tip is to talk about your idea early and often with as many people as possible and mention that you’re looking for a co-founder. You never know who might know someone perfect for your team.

What other skills or values are you looking at when hiring for new team members during the early stages of founding a startup? 

Passion for the topic is a must. It’s also important to find people who are willing to go the extra mile. I always communicate from the start that there can be tough times requiring extra effort, so there are no surprises later.

Dating is such a significant part of everyone’s life and just a really fun field to be in.

– Laura Matter

At Girls in Tech, we’re all about diversity and inclusion. What do you do to promote diversity and inclusion at Noii?

Our co-founder team is naturally diverse in age, background, skills, and even gender. Also when looking for team members, it’s important to have a well-balanced team in any form of diversity, not just gender.

What’s the most exciting thing in your professional life right now?

Dating itself is incredibly exciting, even though I’m not dating anymore. Our office is full of stories from our users. It’s fascinating because dating is such a significant part of everyone’s life and just a really fun field to be in. Personally, I love the variety in my tasks; every day is different and far from boring. I can learn something new every day.

What particularly motivates you at work? 

Initially, it was the thrill of building something from scratch and watching it grow. Now, it’s also the impact we have on people’s lives. Hearing that we’ve made dating enjoyable for someone who previously found it frustrating is incredibly rewarding and gives me a lot of energy.

Do you have a role model?

I’m inspired by many people in the startup world. I really love the energy and passion of everyone for their own topic. Grace Beverley, who has founded several startups in the UK, is particularly impressive to me. She also runs a podcast (Working Hard, Hardly Working) that offers a lot of educational content and advice, which I find inspirational.

Trust your own experience and opinion.

– Laura Matter

Can you recommend any other books or podcasts to our readers?

Definitely the book “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz. It really helped me understand the value of my own experience and opinion.

This is advice that changed the way how I run my startup and see myself. When we brought in external investors, I sometimes felt overshadowed by their experience. But always remember, they’re advising based on their own experiences, which might be different from yours.

As a founder, you spend the most time on the business, evaluating ideas, doing market research, talking to users, and you have the deepest knowledge of your own idea. So really, trust your own experience and opinion.

If you weren’t doing what you do today, what would you be doing?

I’d probably would start another startup… Or maybe also work in a marketing agency, cause I really love to try out new things, be funny or silly, and catch attention with creative campaigns. If I’d start another startup, it would probably be in the pet industry – I’m always surprised how much money people spend on their pets and it’d be a nice environment because you would be around pets a lot, which I would enjoy.

We want to push the trend in the dating world towards deeper, meaningful connections through real-life and offline interactions.

– Laura Matter

What’s your next challenge ahead? 

We’re currently running a crowd-investing campaign. We aimed to raise 650’000 CHF with a maximum value of 1 million CHF. We reached the initial goal in 24 hours and soon after also raised the full 1 million CHF.

Seeing this incredible support from our community made us very proud. We decided to extend the crowd-investing campaign and raise even more money. And even this goal was reached! This means that currently there’s a lot to do to onboard all the new owners. This crowd-investing was a huge milestone on our roadmap.

We’re in a great place as a startup to tackle the next growth phase and the challenges that come with it. The last two years were a testing phase for our product and team, and now we’ve proven we’re ready to move on. Our next big challenge is expanding Noii to other cities beyond Zurich, starting with other cities in Switzerland, and then internationally to Germany or Austria.

Additionally, we want to push the trend in the dating world towards deeper, meaningful connections through real-life and offline interactions instead of just online ones.

Do you have any final advice for our readers?

Just do it. It might sound cliché, but taking action is crucial.

Thank you Laura for being a woman who inspires us! 💛

Author: Corinne Ruckstuhl

Women Who Inspire Us

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