Interview With Jan Strandberg, Co-founder and CEO of Acquire.fi – Crypto Business Show Episode 25
Rob: Hello everybody welcome to the crypto business podcast brought to you by TokenMinds. I’m your host Rob director of TokenMinds, we are a creative engineering company in the nft in crypto space helping businesses all over the world with their nft and blockchain development marketing and token sales strategy in this podcast we’re discussing any blockchain topic that is relevant for entrepreneurs and businesses today I’m talking to Jan from acquire.fi. Hi, Jan welcome thank you for being here.
Jan: Hey thank you Rob and thanks TokenMinds for having me here.
Rob: Yeah really appreciate having you here so let’s dive into the first question so first maybe you can do like a quick introduction about who you are for the audience.
Jan: Yeah for sure so my name is Jan I’ve been in crypto since 2011. I built two very famous crypto startups one of them was Paxful, was one of the original members there basically scaled up to more than 4.5 million users two billion dollars in volume then I quit after four and a half years I started something called yield app. Yield app is one of the biggest yield aggregators out there was there for two years and scaled up to more than 500 million dollars as it’s under management then eight months ago I quit then started building aquire.fi and now we’ve been building it for at least eight months three months ago we started our token race and it’s been going pretty good I would say.
Rob: All right excellent. So yeah you already told us kind of how you got into your crypto with aquire.fi but was there anything before that that actually brought you to crypto?
Jan: It’s a very interesting story actually I met Marti Malam, people who don’t know who Martin Malam is, Marti Malam is one of the original Bitcoin developers he was actually working with Satoshi I randomly met him in 2011 at a party, and he basically was pitching me about Bitcoin and from there on I’ve been very into crypto so to say I’ve been absolutely crazed with the amount of information there is and also what you can actually do with crypto. I’ve been traveling all around the world preaching and talking about crypto Paxful was very Africa oriented so we were traveling a lot in Africa teaching people how to use Bitcoin there but yeah it’s been a very interesting journey and I think the crypto market itself and crypto will be a very big thing in the future going forward, it’s changed a lot I can tell you that from 2011.
Rob: Yeah it’s amazing it’s like a decade, oh not just a decade a goal in that in that sense and about acquire.fi can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Jan: No for sure, so aquire.fi is an ecosystem where web3 founders can exit their web3 companies, retail and normal people like me can invest in real-world assets, and fractionalize them so be fractionalize different real-world assets, and then we have institutions and daos and other hedge funds that can buy these web3 companies out or they can grow themselves out a little bit more and basically there are two things in the simple way what we’re doing, we’re doing merchant acquisition for web3 companies we have more than 70 companies for sale at the moment and then we are doing fractional, fractionalized ownership which is basically crowdfunding, and that’s in a nutshell what we do and we’ve been growing quite a lot since we started doing this journey.
Rob: And how did it start, is there any kind of yeah story there?
Jan: Yeah, yeah that’s a good question. So during my time at yield app as I’ve been in this space for such a long time I know a lot of different founders, and last year I started getting a lot of offers from my other founders that they wanted to exit the web3 companies and they had nowhere to go and I was well connected with some tier-one funds tier-2 funds and I started doing a little bit of deal flow matching up people with each other and from there I saw the possibility and I wouldn’t say possibility but I saw the market need that there should be an open order book where people could post their web3 companies online and sell it and second of all I started getting a lot of real world asset offers like luxury cars, luxury watches and so forth, but me myself those some of these offers are very high level which means that it costs a lot to acquire a bay luxurious watch, so I started a little bit to ask my friends if they would be interested in basically pulling in to these offers and from there on I’ve been focusing on building aquire.fi and building those two things together.
Rob: Alright then and what are your other experiences with crypto and nfts I mean you told us a little bit about your history as well maybe you can share some of like your ups and downs there?
Jan: For sure so I’ve been an angel investor for a long time I have my own VC group that I talk to often, I would say I lost a little bit on this Luna crash so that was my I wouldn’t say up but let’s say it was my a little downfall and the upside happens being I travel all around the world and because of that I understand very well like what’s the use cases with crypto I think overall like if I would have not been in crypto I would not have understood like what kind of need there is for actually for crypto especially Bitcoin what else upside I met a lot of fantastic people I guess Rob you have also you have a lot of good interviewers here and I met some of my friends probably but I think overall the community is something that I adore but at the same time hate if you can say it.
Rob: Yeah and about Luna, I mean you’re a very experienced guy in the industry, how come you I mean I’m can I say mistake or like I think there are many that did the same but what is your learning from that experience?
Jan: Counterparty risk, there’s always a counterparty risk no matter where you put your money if you’re getting yield there’s usually a counterparty risk and that means that if you can’t call control the other counterparty, there’s always a risk so to say my biggest mistake was that I knew a lot of their funds, tier-one funds that were investing in Luna and I believed in the mission a little bit but yeah what can I say I learned from that mistake really well.
Rob: Right and in terms of learnings you know what can you share with like others like aspiring or current entrepreneurs in the industry in terms of crypto nfts adopting it or using it in their business?
Jan: I think you learn from creators quite a lot, it’s definitely a creator economy if you look at nfts at the moment but I think also like from the like what we do in crowdfunding, we fractionalize different items and we basically give nfts to our users so that’s one use case and I think this use cases eventually come up more and more the more this ecosystem grows I don’t think you should be shy as an entrepreneur or a founder, you should be trying out different things you should try out different methods to grow your community and ask from the community feedback because if you have a very strong community and you can get that feedback you can build a very product market fit product right away which I think is very important. But yeah like I think there are a lot of possibilities it all depends on which vertical you are in crypto and I think those verticals are just growing and growing and growing, the downside is don’t believe in good things like in crypto that’s normal, like don’t believe in over promises I think that’s very important because over promises is what usually breaks the system down right.
Rob: And with over, promises are you talking about like high yields are you talking about promises?
Jan: It can be high yields it can be high technology it can promise that was never fulfilled and so forth usually in this industry there are a lot of people promising a lot of cool stuff that will happen in the future but eventually what will happen is totally opposite thing or that fulfillment never fails right.
Rob: Right, right it’s kind of the road maps that most projects have they have obviously a lot of future plans. So what about your own future plans, anything that you have in mind or like you know it’s kind of like we can look forward to?
Jan: Yeah I think the industry itself is growing a lot there’s more and more like sophisticated players coming in I think from myself personal point of view I’m learning a lot from new players from traditional finance but at the same time I would say like there’s still these original people like OGs from 2011 2012 2013 that scene at all and despite the beer market there’s a lot of good players growing, and building and I would say like the biggest thing that I learned from looking behind the scenes and looking back is that bear market is where you actually build stuff and then on the bull run you start to market it, like as much as possible so my focus at the moment is only to build focus on the product and focus on the community itself I think it’s now it’s a great time to interact with the community because people are not expecting to get like a moon run right away so you can actually as a founder now focus on building getting feedback from the community and if you can do that right and when the bull market comes back up I think you’re in a very good position and also like if you have partnerships or you have already founders and partners that you already know start building relationships with those like more and more because the more you can interact with different communities the better and the more you can actually help each other and I think what I’ve seen now during the bear market is that there’s a lot of founders working together sharing resources for example, I think that’s fantastic I think that’s what the crypto community needs and I think moving forward hopefully also in the bull market that will happen.
Rob: Yeah that’s also I guess a great tip for entrepreneurs out there that this is a time to get those partnerships and get the community that actually provides you value and that’s it’s not just in there to make a quick buck but it’s actually interested in your product, so that’s interesting and that’s very kind of positive for the audience out there. Yeah, the final question in regards to investing do you have any kind of suggestions for people who want to invest in any crypto or nft projects?
Jan: Yeah I would say like this like from let’s talk first of all this investment like me myself I invested in BTC, Ethereum and then I have some other I wouldn’t call them shitcoins but let’s say other altcoins I am along BTC constantly like I’m a full believer of Bitcoin I think what we saw with tornado cash fit them basically putting up forth lists and so forth that will be a normal moving forward and I think Bitcoin is something that can resist I wouldn’t say the countries or limitations but it’s something definitely that will be here in the future and knowing a lot of tier-one funds and knowing a lot of let’s say hedge funds, BTC is going to be there like they’re betting big on BTC, and behind the scenes there’s a lot of OTC deals happening, it’s also the most liquid market from all the three top points even more than Ethereum and yeah I would if I would invest in something I would have a big position on BTC and rest in Ethereum and some other coins, on the nft sides, I think collectibles are the ones that are going to be very good like board ape club, I think Doodles maybe gonna be there, I think all of these brands that have already let’s say a seat when I say seat I mean they have already that community in the in the web2 era and if they can integrate that web2 community into web3, those are going to be the ones that I would better own like for example Coca-Cola that’s something, Nike for example I think Nike had the biggest sales sale on branding size so far all these are gonna eventually come to web3 and if you can find this like very well-known brands that are going into nfts I think that’s a very good bet.
Rob: Just like the recent Starbucks nft right it’s yeah that’s a role
Jan: Yeah, unfortunately, I do see some of them like wanting to just cash out or cash on this nft idea but I think there are some really good gems and if you can actually find a really good brand that respects their community I think those are the winners because nfts eventually are all like community ways of building your communities.
Rob: Right yeah what I understood so far is that it’s like a kind of loyalty system that they’re applying obviously. Starbucks is doing a lot of loyalty they do the stamps forever people, they know people love it so I think that’s one of their ways of using nfts yeah very interesting thank you so much Jan really appreciate it, and thanks everybody for listening and watching goodbye.
Jan: Hey thank you Rob and thank you for having me here.