In a nutshell: SteelEye simplifies regulatory compliance for financial firms by bringing all their data together on a single platform and offering a range of integrated compliance solutions.


SteelEye transforms compliance through data innovation – making data that otherwise would not work together, work. This enables financial firms to comply with a range of regulatory obligations effortlessly and accurately, and ensures regulators have the data they need to effectively maintain the stability of the financial markets.


Amar: I remember talking to Matt about some of the challenges that we were looking to solve ‘when we used to work together at a previous firm across research, message and trade compliance. He is a very detail oriented person, which helps as a CEO. It is amazing what he has built at SteelEye in such a short space of time, with impressive growth in both clients and awards!


Amar: Can you tell us about your background and how you became a founder?


Matt: I have worked in financial services for over twenty years in various leadership roles spanning technology and operations. My journey before SteelEye took me from being the CIO of a global $100 billion trading company to delivering financial regulation and compliance solutions for one of the largest fintech and data companies in the world. 


In my roles, I consistently found that financial firms (that I worked for or serviced) grappled with how to effectively manage data for compliance. The issue was that there was no solution on the market that had the ability to bring together multi-dimensional data. So, in 2017, I got together with members of my old leadership team to build a data platform for regulatory compliance, and we started SteelEye. We had a vision of helping financial firms solve complex data problems and this is what we have dedicated the last five years to achieving.


Amar: What do you most enjoy about being an entrepreneur? 


Matt: The people I get to work with and meet. Throughout my journey I have been fortunate to connect with and be introduced to fantastic people. Every connection has brought me something new, whether it is advice, an introduction to someone else, funding, or friendship. In addition, I have had the chance to build a team of really talented individuals who I continue to learn from. We put a lot of effort into nurturing relationships within SteelEye. For example, we often get together to share meals and experiences. This gives us a chance to chat outside of the office which I think is an important way of really getting to know people. It is one of my favourite parts of the job and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do. 


Amar: What keeps you motivated?


Matt: Seeing how hard everyone at SteelEye works and how much they want the company to succeed is what keeps me motivated.


Amar: What do you worry about when it comes to work? 


Matt: There is always going to be a level of worry involved when it comes to running a company, and these worries naturally change over time. 


When we first set up SteelEye, the biggest worry was whether other people would buy into our vision and dream. When you first raise funds, all you have is an idea that you are asking people to invest in. 


Moving down the line, my worries changed to how we as a company were going to be able to grow as strong and stable as possible so that we could continue to grow and support our team. Just before our seed funding round, there was a moment when we were not sure if we were going to be able to make next month’s payroll and this is one of the worst feelings in the world. Thankfully, we were able to secure funding and the rest is history. Fast forward some four years down the line and we have raised $21M in a Series B funding and have over 100 people across our offices in New York, London, Braga (Portugal), and Bengaluru (India). 


Amar: What’s your biggest business learning?


Matt: It is so important to get out and meet people. When I started SteelEye I made a point to meet everyone and anyone. Even if they had no immediate interest in SteelEye at that point but were willing to talk to me, I took the opportunity to grow that relationship. Connections are very important and a big part of how SteelEye got to be where it is today.


Amar: What advice would you give new and aspiring entrepreneurs?


Matt: Early on, one of my very first investors told me “never stop moving” and this is what I would say to anyone who is an aspiring entrepreneur. These three words have stayed with me and still keep me going, whether it is solving a problem or making sure we are constantly innovating. 


Amar: Anything else to add when it comes to your experiences as a founder?


Matt: One thing I will say is that, while it is not always an easy journey, it is incredibly rewarding, and I would encourage anyone with an idea or a dream to follow through and never give up.


Amar: Who has inspired you through your journey and why?


Matt: I have always found Dave Grohl incredibly inspiring, and I relate to his journey. Setting up a business is very much like setting up a band – everyone has to play their instrument to perfection or else it just will not work. I also share Dave Grohl’s values when it comes to culture. If someone is an excellent musician but bad for the band as a whole, he gets rid of them, and I’ve had to learn how to do the same with unsuitable team members. I would recommend Dave Grohl’s book “The Storyteller” to everyone.


Amar: What would your dream job be if time, resources and location were no barrier?


Matt: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Formula 1 driver and I still think that would be a great job to have!


For more information on SteelEye, visit www.steel-eye.com. If you’d like your company to feature in our Argella Spotlight Series, get in touch at info@argella.co.uk.

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