Office Hours: I raised $4.2 million to fix workplace misconduct reporting and pioneer TrustTech. I am Neta Meidav, CEO of Vault Platform.Featured

Hi Everyone! I’m the CEO and co-founder of Vault Platform. Vault is a fast-growing and venture backed startup that innovates in the field of misconduct reporting at work. Vault features an innovative app which enables people to report internally any type of misconduct (from harassment to fraud) with increased confidence and psychological safety. It also gives employers the opportunity to investigate and reach resolution - fast. Previously, I had a career in the British Government and was privileged to do some very cool work such as climate change negotiations. I never thought I'd become a tech founder but the idea of Vault was stronger than me so I was left with little choice but to do it. And I never looked back! I live in London with my husband & co-founder (“how is it like working with your husband?!” oh, I’m not working with my husband. I’m married to my CTO co-founder. There’s a difference :)) and our two wonderful pre-startup little girls. Together with my butt-kicking team in London and SF, we’re on a mission to make workplaces better, safer and more diverse worldwide. We want misconduct revealed, and ethics to prevail.I also aspire that Vault will become the poster child of extremely successful impact-driven businesses. It’s time that we stop thinking they are mutually exclusive concepts.Ask me about building impact startups, fundraising, pivoting your career, being a founder mom, improving workplace culture, and Trust-enabling technology.
What a brilliant business idea!! Thank you for bringing this service into the world. As someone who spent 15 years in corporate America and witnessed retaliation, fear, inaction, and regrettable talent attrition- I wish I had access to Vault! As a fellow social impact tech founder (@TiLT we are revolutionizing leave at work to remove bias, non-compliance, cumbersome and cold processes to bring the human into leave) with selling into HR, how have you overcome 2 barriers- 1. investors who don't like HR tech or see it as a 'niche' and 2. HR leaders who have 'other priorities' and don't think this is at the top of their list. Thank you!
Thank you @jenniferhenderson, this is the kind of support that makes it all worth while! Tilt looks awesome, BTW. You've hit the nail on the head with your question about HR. Agree that it's a struggle, both from the VC and the buyer persona perspective. At Vault, we sit on the seamline between HR and Compliance / Legal, and actually found that the latter makes more of a market for us. I see that Tilt has a compliance angle as well, and so maybe this is something you'd like to explore or try. If that's not right for you, just make sure to present it to investors as "future of work" solution instead of HR. The former means hype, the latter is a saturated market. Semantics can make a difference :) As for your HR buyers, a trick I can recommend is to distinguish between progressive and "old school" professionals + organizations by looking at their title: Progressive ones usually don't call themselves "HR", they would be known as "People" (Chief People Officer...etc) or "Chief of Staff". Hope this is helpful!
This may be some of the best, most actionable advice I've received to date! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and share your ideas- I'm so grateful!
So glad you found it useful! Anytime :)
Hi Neta!I am very interested in your thoughts about 'being a founder mom'.- What was the discussion like, behind the scenes, when you and your husband decided to have kids?- My partner is also my tech expert as I try to build a software product MVP. How did you convince your partner to join you as CTO on this adventure? Or vice versa.- What does the 9-5 look like, OR, is there really no 9-5? Thank you in advance!-Weiting
Hey @wbollu thanks so much for this question. My husband and I thought of the idea of Vault together, so it felt quite natural for us both to pursue it. W/regards to having kids: the honest answer is that we had our girls before the startup, when we were both employed by large organizations. (with all the perks and flexibility that comes with that). I wish I could tell you I have a user manual (a-la-Sheryl-Sandberg) for being a founder-mom, but the truth is, I'm no supermom and no superwoman. The only superpowers in my household can be attributed to the laundry machine, and I feel very accomplished on the days I get to do the laundry :) The reality is, there's no 9-5 at all. Running a startup is an all-consuming experience, and it means making sacrifices and compromises that are really painful. HOWEVER! I'm not regretting my choices and I take comfort in the fact that my girls see their mommy and daddy working equally hard and equally fulfilling their calling. I hope I'm raising strong, independent girls that would grow up to be strong and independent women.
Strong and independent women, 100%!!! Thank you very much for the reply.It's comforting to know that we don't have to be supermom or superwoman to still do a fine job. Laundry machine, dishwasher, microwaves for the win!😆
Love your company--it's in Gender Fair's list of best practices vendors, as we just added a metric to our rating system to track whether companies have effective 3rd party reporting mechanisms.What have you learned about selling to big enterprises? Especially about something that isn't as fun like "women's history celebration?" Having more reporters will help, but can HR departments still sweep it under the rug? What would be the ideal scenario after getting reports?
@amycross thanks so much for including us! Would love to learn more about Gender Fair. You're so right to be asking about sweeping problems under the rug. In fact, we built Vault with a view to make it very difficult. Our "Go Together" feature means that people can report under the condition they're not the first or only ones impacted by the same perpetrator, which means, companies simply can't sweep it under the rug - it gives the employee more comfort and more power, as they know they are part of a group. Ideal scenario after getting reports is reaching to swift resolution (we strive to shorten that nerve-wracking process from months & weeks to days through the use of our Resolution Hub, which enables chat with reporters through our app, even if they're anonymous!)
I haven't logged into elpha for a while. That's great detail that i'll add to our files. How does your platform differ from tequitable?[email protected]
Hi @netameidav! Vault is a much-needed solution! I’m curious how you navigated the decision to target enterprise level companies as customers? Larger companies have robust HR teams and can manage harassment reports. Was there any iteration of the product where your team considered playing a role in responding to reports yourselves?
Hi @LaurenPatti, great question. We mulled on the optimal account size question for quite a while, but decided to land on enterprise due to three considerations:a) the bigger the company, the more users could benefit from Vault, the more impact we could have from the get-go.b) One of the main unique features that Vault has is our "Go Together" technology - the ability to report as part of a group, to alleviate fear. This feature works better at scale. c) we strive to reduce the friction between employers and employees and that means fixing problems for the corporate as well, by introducing efficiencies in their resolution process with our technology. These operational pain points usually manifest themselves in larger organizations. No, we never considered being on the receiving end of reports. In fact, we are very clear about the fact that we're a pure tech play, we're not a consultancy or services company. We believe that trust needs to be rebuilt from the inside of workplaces, and that HR / legal teams should not outsource the problem (or the mandate to resolve it) to any third party. We're the technology that underpins internal trust.
Shalom Neta! What an inspiring story and such a wonderful role model! I also stumbled on the startup idea that was stronger than me and I left my executive job at Intel to pursue it, I also felt like I had no other choice but to do it. You are so lucky to have an awesome CTO in-house! I am still on the look for a CTO/tech founder to join me.I wanted to ask you about finding advisers and fundraising. At what stage did you start fundraising and what type of investors did you start with? How did you find your first advisers to help and support you? Toda raba!
Shalom @Renata! Way to go for leaving Intel. Big big step, that takes so much courage. I know how it feels ... May the force be with you :) W/regards to investors, my advice is:- find your CTO / engineering lead first. Serious investors would be reluctant to invest unless you have in-house technical capabilities (unless we're not talking about a software-centric product?) - Once your idea has matured, you have a pitch deck ready, a business plan and preferably a demo / mock-up, you need to get some proof that your product will have buyers or users. It's important to achieve that proof before you go on talking to investors. - You completed the above? start approaching them! for a pre-see investment, you're looking for angel investors or funds that invest at pre-seed stage (usually, these are smaller, less known funds. Not the big brands) - Approach it as sport: the more you talk to them, the better you get at pitching to them. And of course iterate on your product and business model in between meetings, to take feedback on-board. W/regards to advisers:- You can try to get the best names in your industry, but remember, they are busy folks and won't be able to work with you on a day-to-day basis. Don't have that expectation of them. - So in addition, you want to find mentors on an operational level. A good accelerator or startup program can help. Good luck!
Thanks so much, Neta! I appreciate your kind words, feedback, and wishes.
Hi @netameidav! How did you get users to trust your product? What tactics worked? Which ones did not work?
Hello @rachelbell, yes we certainly got users to trust our product. With a sensitive topic such as misconduct reporting, you can't get to 100% of trust, but we managed to increase the reporting levels in comparison to our clients' previous or other reporting channel, and that's a great trust metric for us. The tactics that work for us are to do with a) our approach to privacy and access to data (giving the employee full control and exclusive access), and b) we put a lot of emphasis on company launch, and the messages that the company conveys to its people.
Hi! Love the idea behind Vault. I'm wondering about your process in deciding to raise the amount you did at the seed stage, and any advice you'd have for founders about the size of the seed round. Thanks!
Hey @Kerrie40, great question, but slightly difficult to give advice here without further context about your business and circumstances. In our case. we made the decision based on the amount that we needed in order to give us enough runway to hit the milestones required for the next funding event. (That's a golden rule - there's no use in building a bridge if you don't have enough material to get you to the other side of the river!)
Hello! I am interested to learn more about trust-enabling technology. Where do I start? Can you mention companies in other sectors/industries that use it?
Hello @Olesia, we love describing ourselves as trustech. What a cool category, right? In our world, being trust-enabling means that we use technology to help overcome the friction between employer and employees. More common understanding of trust-enabling technology happens in the GRC (Governance, Risk & Compliance) market, such as vendor trust, KYC technologies, and other forms of risk mitigation and fraud control.
Thanks so much for joining us, @netameidav. Elphas: please reply in the comments with your questions for @netameidav before this Friday. She may not have time to answer every single question, so please emoji upvote the ones that interest you most. Thanks!!