Denmark, famously dubbed as one of the happiest countries in the world, had nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce as of 2017. Richardt Deleuran, fearlessly convinced that, unlike himself, children of divorced parents don’t necessarily have to undergo trauma and they indeed can “bounce back” to having a normal life, founded Teamwork Family in 2016. The startup, based in Copenhagen but aiming to support divorced couples worldwide, developed an objective web and app platform that navigates divorcees through their difficult and important choices. Valuer supported the company’s goal by guiding their way towards a strategic partnership with Danske Bank.
It’s challenging, or even impossible sometimes, for a startup to get through the thick walls of a blue-chip company. Having someone that’s accredited to enter those doors will in some cases make or break whether a startup will succeed. In many cases, such a small company needs a ‘sandbox’ to grow their client base and to get some accreditation within the market. Big corporations can give startups the much-needed credibility and the marketing platform.
What happens when sensible parents decide it’s time to rethink the divorce culture with all its built-in rivalry and financial excesses? What if there is a chance for a less challenging, less corrosive option of putting the end to a failed marriage? In 2016, Richardt Deleuran divorced his wife in a process which proved that ending a marriage does not always have to mean putting an end to a healthy co-parenting life.
Inspired by the idea of sharing his positive experience with those in similar situations, that same year Richardt founded Teamwork Family. By the end of 2018, the startup developed and launched a portal that guides couples through the many difficult and important choices before, during, and after a divorce in an attempt to maintain peace and avoid the typical “zero-sum game” divorce scenario. The web/mobile app is offered on a subscription basis, takes care of all the agreements made between the ex-partners, and helps them keep track of their property and ongoing financial collaboration regarding their children.
Essentially, the co-parenting platform is a legally binding agreement combined with an economic tool and a dynamic calendar. By offering a one-stop-shop for taking care of all related expenses and legal issues, the app helps users establish the framework for a fair and controlled division of their common life, property, and children. Respectively, it comes with four main features: (1) Parental agreement, (2) Division of property, finances, and (3) Expenses, and (4) a calendar based on the parental agreement.
As a divorce-child who lost contact with his own father for over 10 years, Richardt Deleuran – now himself a divorcee that managed to build a positive co-parenting relation with the mother of his two children – dedicates his time to helping ex-couples avoid conflicts by staying transparent, instead of fighting for the “biggest piece of the pie”.
“We can predict roughly 80% of the conflicts in a divorce. And when you can foresee it – you can also guide the parents around most of them. It’s a tremendous joy to see a broken family build a bridge instead of float apart from one another” shared Richardt Deleuran, CEO at Teamwork Family.
He strongly believes that his fight – driven by the pursuit of a more stable and happier future for all divorce couples and children – is a global one and shared with numerous other companies, among which banks and insurance companies. And in order for him, and other similar startups, to reach their potential and audience, Richardt suggests a partnership with other organizations, especially with large corporations, in which both sides play to their strengths.
In order to find those best-fitting organizations that share the startup’s values, Teamwork Family works with Valuer as a startup-corporation-matchmaker and as Richardt puts it, a “door-opener ”.
In April 2019, Teamwork Family and Danske Bank entered into a strategic partnership. Richardt, who has already had his eyes on Danske Bank as a suitable partner at the time, stresses the importance of Valuer’s role as a liaison service that put his startup on the corporation’s radar. Today, Teamwork Family is Danske Bank’s official recommendation as a service that helps their clients get through a divorce and avoid the possible conflicts that might arise.
According to him, some of the strongest benefits of the partnership for his company is:
“Of course, Danske Bank’s remarkable PR strength and client base, but even more the credibility that we get. Having such an organization vouch for you answers the questions whether you’re just a garage startup, an unreliable ‘one-man band’, and gives you the leverage to communicate with other large corporations. It also helps with reassuring and giving a sense of reliability to the family going through a divorce.”
Regarding Danske Bank’s benefits, on the other hand, Richardt believes that letting Teamwork Family be a “middleman”, sort of speak, for a solution that limits or reduces conflicts, sends a strong signal that you’re a company who takes care of their clients, regardless of where they are in their life. It shows that they take customers’ lives seriously and are always ready to help, while simultaneously improving the retention rates.
Valuer’s modus operandi is designed in a way that, even though both corporations and startups benefit equally from the matchmaking process, all costs are covered by the corporations. Which, according to Teamwork Family’s CEO, is logical and entirely justifiable.
“Having the expenses on the corporate side makes perfect sense for the whole ecosystem. They are the steady ones, the ones with the capital and capability to invest, and they want us, startups, to bring on fresh, smart products and ideas. Startups need to see Valuer as an extended arm in the battle to gain the bigger crowd. And even more – a free extended arm. Valuer is working as my best liaison officer, at the highest level.”
One of the perks that startups get from working with Valuer and becoming part of their platform, according to Richardt, is the comfort of not being bound or restricted into entering any partnership that you don’t see fit.
“If Valuer came to me with a suggestion of marriage with a corporate organization that I happen to dislike or I believe doesn’t match my strategy I will kindly say ‘Thank you very much, but no thanks.’ I mean, you have no power over my strategy or decisions. I’m not giving you any money for it, I’m not promising anything. So I can see it as nothing else but highly valued marketing and liaison services to parties which might be difficult for me to reach by myself, if anything, because it will take me too much time.”
Valuer’s goal is to enable such partnerships by informing corporations of their best-matching startups and the cluster of innovation cases they represent. We help them discover each other’s values, realize what exactly they would gain from the partnership, help the corporation track a startup’s development, and offer them valuable insight.