About Guild

Problem: How do you build meaningful connections and business relationships in a digital world?

  • Social media is too noisy and poor quality
  • Hiding behind automation doesn‘t create real connections
  • But in-person doesn‘t scale and we work increasingly remotely

Solution: Make valuable connections through high quality professional digital communities.

  • These are private rather than public: safe spaces to communicate more openly and authentically.
  • Members have profiles and networking features to build real human connections rather than anonymous interactions.
  • Mobile-first and simple to use but with powerful data and integration capabilities for group hosts.

Our purpose

To build better relationships through the power of community

Our co-founders

Ashley Friedlein Profile Picture

Ashley Friedlein

Matthew O’Riordan Profile Picture

Matthew O’Riordan


Guild was co-founded by Ashley Friedlein and Matthew O’Riordan.

They realised that none of the messaging apps or social media platforms (Facebook owned WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and LinkedIn Groups being most common in the West) offer the right kind of environments for professionals to connect and collaborate. Their focus is instead on harvesting behavioural data to sell more ads.

Ashley and Matthew wanted to create a new kind of ad-free, private, professional digital communications platform. A safe space to communicate, connect and collaborate for people who value their professional networks and their personal data.

Read Guild: the founding story for more details about the origins and motivations behind Guild.

Our leadership team

Gregor Young Profile Picture

Gregor Young


Gregor is a product leader with over 15 year‘s experience from start-up to top-tier brands. He has previously been a product leader at Financial Times, Channel 4 and BT where he specialised in product growth, marketing technology, data strategy, digital design whilst managing various operations. Gregor is a strategic thinker with an uncompromising drive for digital excellence and brilliant customer experience.

Michelle Goodall Profile Picture

Michelle Goodall


Michelle has 25+ years of experience in marketing, digital and communications client-side, agency-side and as a consultant. Before Guild, she was CMO at Access Intelligence and prior to that a digital, marketing and communications consultant working with some of the world’s most recognisable brands, businesses and organisations.
Michelle is a recognised industry speaker specialising in Community and has created numerous best practice reports in key digital topics.

Interested in working for Guild?

We‘re building a platform that helps professionals make better relationships through the power of community. We‘re a small but ambitious collection of community and technology experts passionate about creating an alternative social media that is ethically designed and respects privacy. If that sounds like something you‘d like to be involved in then get in touch.

Contact us!
Interested in working for Guild?

Our advisory board

Guild is a tech business but actually we care most about people and behaviour and keeping things as human, thoughtful and elegant as possible. Our adivsory board reflects what really drives us.

Professor Robin Dunbar Profile Picture

Professor Robin Dunbar

Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology, Magdalen College, University of Oxford

Robin Dunbar is a world-renowned psychologist and author best known for his work in evolutionary psychology, and in particular for the concept of the Dunbar Number, which proposes a cognitive limit for humans of around 150 stable relationships at any one time.

His research focuses on the evolution of sociality in primates and other mammals. This has involved understanding the constraints on social group size, and the strategies that different species exploit to break through the glass ceilings these impose.
His books include:

  • Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language, Faber & Faber, 1996
  • The Trouble with Science, Harvard University Press, 1996
  • How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks, Faber & Faber, 2010
  • The Science of Love and Betrayal, Faber & Faber, 2012
Robin says:

Over the years, I‘ve been approached by many networking start-ups, but I have always declined to be involved because they all seemed to be simple market-places and lack any sense of a social dimension.
Guild is in a different league precisely because its focus is small scale and intensely social and pays much closer attention to the way natural human groups are organised.

Professor Julia Hobsbawm OBE Profile Picture

Professor Julia Hobsbawm OBE

Julia Hobsbawm is an internationally-noted Social Health pioneer and the author of Fully Connected, shortlisted both for the CMI’s Management Book of the Year and Business Book of the Year in 2018.

Julia has defined Social Health as the antidote to the Age of Overload for business, government and individuals. Her ideas are featured by the World Economic Forum and The OECD.

She is also a keynote speaker and consultant, an Honorary Visiting Professor at Cass Business School; the editor-at-large of Arianna Huffington’s portal Thrive Global; a columnist for PWC’s Strategy + Business magazine and a frequent media commentator.

She also founded the knowledge networking company Editorial Intelligence, the ideas conference Names Not Numbers, the media Comment Awards and Brexit response Networking Nations. She now executive-produces and co-presents the podcast series Human and the Machine.

Julia says:

Guild is the first app dedicated to creating meaningful networks which has caught my interest and I’m hugely excited to be involved at the outset. A human dimension to technology: that’s what we all need and want.

Annabel King Profile Picture

Annabel King

Annabel is an author and consultant who has led marketing and communications for a range of art and heritage clients including the Serpentine Gallery, Henry Moore Foundation, the National Art Collections Fund (The Art Fund), and the South London Gallery.

As part of leading arts PR consultancy Bolton and Quinn she worked on the launch of Tate Modern and in support of other clients including Rambert Dance Company, English National Opera, and the Whitechapel Art Gallery.

Annabel is the author of Pre-Raphaelites and their Followers (Brockhampton Press) and is a recent graduate of Curtis Brown Creative’s novel-writing programme.

She is co-founder of art profiling consultancy Detail and of the Cambridge Student Photography Awards, and was on the founding committee of the Renaissance Photography Prize.

A LAMDA associate, she co-established charity theatre company Wren Productions in 2007, and fundraises for the Cornwall Community Foundation and autism charity ADD-Vance.

Annabel says:

It’s interesting to look at the way spaces help us offer the best of ourselves to each other, whether these are digital or otherwise. We connect better if our surroundings support it. With that in mind, Guild’s team worked with Jamie Watson and Studio Small to create a rich and considered environment for Members to communicate in.