The Startup Playbook

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Ep142 – Al Bentley (Founder & CEO – Simply Wall St) on building your growth engine

My guest for Ep142 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was the Founder & CEO of Simply Wall St., Al Bentley.

Al started Simply Wall St (then known as Ninjavest) as a weekend project from a startup weekend competition back in 2013.

Fast forward 8 years later and the company now has more than 3M users and has raised $3.4M including it’s last round of $2.4M in funding that it raised from its own member base.

In this interview we covered a range of topics including:

  • How Al built an organic growth engine that allowed Simply Wall St to acquire 3M users
  • How to prioritise feedback on product requests from customers
  • How Al created scarcity when fundraising 
  • & much more!


  • 1.51 – Als’ story of starting Simply Wall St. 
  • 3.01 – His background as a Naval Architect 
  • 4.22 – Launching Simply Wall St. as Ninja Vest at a startup competition weekend 
  • 7.10 – The importance of validation and Als’ takeaways from the startup weekend
  • 9.35 – How Simply Wall St. was developed following the weekend
  • 15.29 – Finding a co-founder and why you need one 
  • 23.22 – Advice for founders about listening to customer feedback and making decisions on what is worth pursuing 
  • 27.27 – The importance of product market fit 
  • 32.48 – Focusing on building a quality team and bringing Mahesh onboard
  • 37.34 – Managing a growing team
  • 41.28 – How to identify the needs of the organisation when hiring
  • 42.57 – How and why Simply Wall St. co-founder Nick stepped back from the company 
  • 44.47 – Als’ approach to growth
  • 52.39 – Prioritising resource allocation and choosing focus areas 
  • 56.46 – Als’ recommended resources for founders 
  • 1.02.14 – The challenges of fundraising 
  • 1.09.52 – Questions you should be asking investors to ensure alignment 
  • 1.13.37 – Where you can find Simply Wall St. 

Links Mentioned 

Al Bently’s Links




Past Episodes

Special Thanks:

Special thanks to Nick van den Berg and Zac Brookes for their help with research for this interview 🙏 .

Feedback/connect/say hello:
@RohitBhargava7 (Twitter)
/rohbhargava (LinkedIn)
@rohit_bhargava (Instagram)
My Youtube Channel


Music: Joakim Karud – Dreams

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