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Conversation
Highlights

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Agapitos Diakogiannis, Co-Founder and CEO of Seafare, a maritime recruitment platform that has raised $6.5 million in funding. Born and raised in Greece, a nation renowned for its maritime heritage, Agapitos brings a wealth of experience from startups, consulting, and venture capital to address the pressing needs of the maritime industry.

  • Global Vision from Local Roots: Agapitos’s journey from Greece to the global stage, encompassing roles in startups, consulting at BCG, and venture capital, before founding Seafare.
  • Rocket Internet’s Influence: His tenure at Rocket Internet taught him operational excellence and the importance of fast execution, qualities that now underpin Seafare’s operations.
  • Inspiration Behind Seafare: The realization that the maritime industry, despite its global scope, was underserved by modern HR and recruitment technologies, sparking the idea for Seafare.
  • Transparency in Recruitment: Addressing the maritime industry’s transparency issues by verifying seafarers’ claims about their experiences and qualifications, thus ensuring shipping companies hire qualified personnel.
  • Marketplace Dynamics: Successfully navigating the classic marketplace challenge of balancing supply and demand by initially focusing on building a seafarer database, then tailoring the platform to meet shipping companies’ specific needs.
  • Adjusting to Market Realities: The strategic pivot from promoting Seafare as an innovative disruptor to focusing squarely on solving shipping companies’ most pressing pain points, reflecting a deeper understanding of the target market’s preferences.

Actionable
Takeaways

Emphasize Operational Excellence and Fast Execution:

Drawing from his time at Rocket Internet, Agapitos learned the importance of operational excellence and the ability to execute quickly. Founders should cultivate a culture that prioritizes these aspects, enabling their startups to adapt rapidly to market

Solve Real Industry Problems with Technology:

Seafare's focus on bringing transparency and efficiency to maritime recruitment demonstrates the impact of applying technology to solve industry-specific problems. Identify pain points in your target sector that are ripe for innovation and develop tailored tech solutions that address these issues directly.

Understand Your Audience:

The strategic shift in how Seafare communicated with shipping companies—moving away from highlighting disruption to focusing on solving pain points—underscores the importance of knowing your audience. Tailor your message to resonate with your customers' needs and concerns, rather than pushing innovation for its own sake.

Build a Sustainable Business Model:

In light of changing venture capital markets, Agapitos emphasizes building a business that is not just about rapid growth but also about sustainability and profitability. Founders should balance growth with financial health, focusing on creating value and ensuring the long-term viability of their ventures.

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