Founder Spotlight: Valentin Wallyn, Findymail, and Why to Start Selling ASAP

We’re back with the fifth installment in the MR4S Founder Spotlight series! Today I (Nick) interview Valentin Wallyn, founder of Findymail, a tool designed to help B2B salespeople build leads faster and more effectively. I’m especially interested in his advice to start selling as soon as possible.

Valentin! Let’s start with a bit about you. What are you about? What’s your background? Why did you launch Findymail?

Hey! My name is Valentin Wallyn and I’m the founder of Findymail.

I’ve always been a builder. I made my first money online at 16 selling the digital currency of a video game against cash to some Chinese reselling websites. I was generating those in-game currencies by automating tasks in-game using bot software. Eventually, the bot shut down but I started learning programming so I developed my bot software and made it available to the botting community.

This was my first product experience, with people requesting features, reporting bugs, etc. The software was free and I was only making money through donations (and using the software). Then I released a paid version of the software with a paid subscription. At this stage, I was selling desktop software as SaaS wasn’t as popular as it is now. Eventually, I got bored and shut it down, moving to other ventures while enjoying college.

I tried many things in the MMO (Making Money Online) space, some of which did make some money and many others that failed to make any. Some of those projects included having a website and as I wanted to get traffic to them I got introduced to SEO and learned how it worked. But I was still very much a builder and I wanted to build software, not just websites.

So I started my first SaaS in 2020 in the SEO space, SEOwl, an SEO monitoring tool. That was my way of mixing a niche I liked (SEO) with my programming skills & interest but I struggled with getting solid traction and MRR growth was slow. Although still running, this adventure led me to start other business ideas on the side at the beginning of 2022.

Around February/March ‘22 I started Scrapybird (a Twitter email scraper) and Prospecdit (a Reddit outreach automation tool). Of the two, Scrapybird quickly gained traction but I rapidly realized that it was somewhat a “niche” product. With the recently earned knowledge around the lead generation space, I saw an opportunity for an email finder that doesn’t suck and started doing just that. That’s how Findymail was born and became my current focus.

Great! So what exactly does Findymail do? Who did you build it for? Why should anyone use it?

Findymail is a high-quality email finder tool with an automation layer designed to help B2B salespeople build lead lists faster for cold outreach. Basically salespeople spend a lot of time doing prospecting and going page after page on Sales Navigator and other websites in order to find emails.

On top of that the data they get is often invalid as vendors try to inflate how many emails they can find by providing “guessed” emails. Findymail aims to solve those two painpoints by providing automation and high quality email data.

Did you do market research before launching Findymail? If so, what kind? And what did you learn about your market?

I didn’t do any market research because this particular market has already been validated. A lot of competitors already exist in the space and are established so I know that there is a need and that people would pay for it.

The question then becomes instead: How to make it better?

To close, what’s one thing you’d tell a first-time founder trying to build and launch their first product?

Start selling as soon as possible! Even before your product exists, you will learn a lot about your offer if you try to present it to people.

Are they interested to jump on a call with you to talk about it? If not, then maybe your offer isn’t that great and there’s no point pursuing as is (need to pivot, change messaging or do a complete change of trajectory).

Selling as soon as possible is a powerful way to get the feedback you need to optimize your product or messaging.

Thanks! Bonus question: Imagine you’re required to take a month-long vacation. All-expenses paid. Where do you go? What do you do?

Depends what time of the year but I’d probably go to Ireland. Just love the Irish people and nature is great there!

Did you enjoy this post? Here’s another founder spotlight featuring Sarah Johnston.

Inspired by Valentin’s story? Launch your own market research survey today. Every successful venture begins with feedback from real consumers. Let’s get building!