1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, both at work and leisure.
I am the CEO of Kaiko, an enterprise-grade market data provider in the blockchainbased digital assets industry. Prior to joining Kaiko, I spent eight years at HSBC in London and Paris, structuring equity derivatives and equity-based financing solutions (first in Global Markets, then in the Equity Capital Markets division). I have a passion for world-changing technology, have personally invested, early on, in 3D printing, AgTech and Blockchain technologies. I am also keen to participate in the political life of France/EU and am an active member of the Scientific Committee and Board of the Fondation Concorde, a renowned French think-tank, where I have been leading a working group on blokchain-based transformations of European capital markets.
2. Which services do you sell and who are your competitors?
Kaiko provides institutional investors and market participants with enterprise-grade data infrastructure. We collect, normalize, store, and distribute digital assets market data via a livestream WebSocket, REST API, and cloud-based flat-file Data Feed, to which clients connect to build data-driven applications. Our raw trade data, order books, and aggregates cover 10,000+ currency pairs across 50+ exchanges, with new markets added every day. With over five years of historical data, Kaiko provides the most extensive digital asset datasets in the industry. We cater for the market data needs of professional investors, academic researchers, regulators, security issuers, third-party platforms and exchanges. Our competitors are any provider of digital assets market data!
3. How did you get your startup idea and how did you go about launching it?
I actually acquired the company from its original founder, Pascal Gauthier, back in 2017. Pascal founded the company in 2014 and is currently CEO at Ledger. The combination of my background in equity capital markets and my personal interest in blockchain technologies helped me foresee the importance of reliability and consistency of seamless access to market data.
4. How did you finance your startup, and what learnings would you like to share from the fund-raising journey?
Post acquisition, we initially managed to bootstrap the company by selling access to historical data at a point in time where financial investors required it and we were the only ones with a long standing history. Since then, we have closed two successive round of funding (pre-seed and seed) with top tier European and US investors. One learning: choosing your investors is as important as choosing your co-founders!
5. What areas within FinTech do you personally find most interesting and why?
Blockchain and in particular, DeFi- the blockchain tech initiatives that are working on the decentralisation of finance, through open-source protocols for the creation and issuance of digital assets, amongst others enabling investors to access yield and borrowers to access new pools of liquidity.
6. What opportunities do you see for FinTech startups in Europe, and how can we help?
The regulatory landscape in Europe is relatively friendly for startups and we have absolutely brilliant engineers. The opportunity to develop tech products, services and applications both leveraging and disrupting on the existing financial system is there and the large players are now willing to experiment and interact increasingly with startups.
7. What tip would you like to give FinTech entrepreneurs?
Don’t give up. Improvise, adapt, overcome!