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Nowadays, Bitcoins (or virtual currency) are flooding the financial news boards, with most of the venture capitalists calling it the next big thing to look out for after internet. Number of  Institutional Investors and Startup Accelerator Programs are keen to try their hands at this not-so-mainstream crypto currency. After all, bitcoins have the hidden potential to revolutionize the traditional financial system. 

There are many BitCoin startups working towards spreading their ideas in terms of benefits and uses of this electronic money to the world. But only a few Bitcoin Service Startups have got  successful incubation & funding to support their efforts in this still very young industry.

Coinalytics is one of the few bitcoin startup company, which made it to the prestigious 9th Batch of 500 Startups. Click Labs caught up with Fabio Federici (Co-founder and CEO), who shared his experience and insight into the Bitcoin market, and how his company pitched for and cracked the incubation program.

coinalyticsLogo

 

About the Company

Q: Tell us something about your company.

A: Coinalytics is a young company, which combines the drive of young passionate entrepreneurs with extensive experience of industry experts in the founding team. We are passionate about Bitcoin and believe it to be the breakthrough technology of the century. It’s an amazing community and industry to be in.

Q: Every Startup starts with an interesting story. What is yours?fabio

A: Our story started at the Startup Weekend in Berlin 2013. After two days of hard work, we were awarded as the “Most Innovative Idea” and got lot of great feedback. It showed us that we were on the right track and maybe should dig deeper into the idea. We decided to bootstrap the idea and see where it goes. 

Q: Coinalytics’ concept of providing real-time analysis tool for Bitcoin is extremely useful, given the volatile nature of the market. How did you come up with this business idea?

A: The idea came up during the startup weekend. Our goal was to build something, which would be useful right away. We were well aware that Bitcoin was (and probably is) far from going mainstream.

Q: How do you aggregate heterogeneous, big data on Bitcoin?

A: The goal is to combine all the different events that influence Bitcoin and make them easily accessible. Currently we use inter day models based on the activities on the block-chain. Once we feel confident enough with our models, we will release the APIs and continue working on intraday analytics, where we will start fueling our models with real-time transactions and other sources, like sentiment analysis for news and tweets. 

Q: What are your strengths?

A: We operate in three different time zones, have four different nationalities and different backgrounds. I believe our diversity is also what makes us strong, as our skills complement each other’s and always give us a complete perspective of the challenges we’re facing.

 

Making Coinalytics a Brand

Q: What is the USP of Coinalytics?
a little title here

A: Being in this early stage I would define ‘our team’ as the USP. At this point there is still room for iteration of the product, depending on the feedback we get. The team is what stays the same and executes on the feedback. Having a strong team is crucial for the success of a startup.

Q: Who are your target audience and how did you reach them?

A: So far we got the biggest response from Bitcoin traders and investors, which is what we had expected. But other companies in the Bitcoin ecosystem are also interested in what we are doing, and we are happy to support our fellows in the industry. Additionally our data can be beneficial to traditional institutions that want to keep track of the global economy.

Q: Being the startup, how did you go about generating as well as increasing brand awareness of Coinalytics? 

A: The Bitcoin community is a very close community. Until we joined 500 Startups, we were bootstrapping the project, which didn’t provide much room for paid advertising or other ways of traditional marketing. Our main channels were Facebook, Twitter and (of course) the Bitcoin forums. It’s important to engage with your fans and followers, as it is all about emotions. Talking to our followers and showing them the human side of Coinalytics was very important.

 

Pitching and Cracking 500 Startups

Q: Congratulations for making it to the Accelerator Program of 500 Startups. We are keen to know about how you made it to the top 29 companies of Batch 9.

A: Usually there are two ways of getting into an accelerator, either you have exceptional numbers for your early stage or you have great personalities with a great vision. Again it’s about emotions and connecting to the person on the other side of the table. Show them you’re passionate, show them you can execute and you have the to courage to do what it takes. 

Q: What were the different steps involved in getting into the Accelerator’s Program, and how did you crack them?

A: In February I came to San Francisco for the LAUNCH Festival, as I wanted to immerse myself into the Silicon Valley startup scene and meet the local Bitcoin community. As part of this trip, I went
to the Silicon Valley Bitcoin Meetup in Sunnyvale, where I met Sean, Venture Partner at 500 Startups. He invited me to visit the 500 Startups office in order to learn more about Coinalytics. He told me that,
though we were at very early stage, he liked what we were doing and he might give us a chance.

Q: During the pitching process, what hardships and problems did you face, and how did you tackle them? And what did you learn from it?

A: Our biggest challenge was our early stage. After the meeting in Mountain View, I immediately talked to the team before flying back to Europe the next day. On the flight back to Europe, I came up with some simple mockups and sent them to Sean as soon as I got home. It was not totally aligned with what we wanted to build, but we wanted to show that we were able to execute. And around 10 days later, we had a beta version running, despite of working and studying besides the project.

Personally my biggest challenge was to leave everything behind and go all in. But in the end I really want Coinalytics to succeed, so
I decided to
take this step and move to California.

Q: Now what is the next step in 500 Startups, and how do you plan to go with it?

A: Our goal is to release our beta version of the platform as soon as possible, and start onboarding our list of early signups. At present we are doing weekly sprints, where we evaluate the current state and set goals for the next week.

 

Word of Advice

Q: What is the word of advice you would like to give to Startups who one day aspire to be where Coinalytics is today?

A: Never stop! It’s a long way, it’s a hard way, but it’s also a really exciting way. Believe in your vision and be ready to do whatever it takes to make the next step work. There will be lot of hard challenges you’ll have to face along the way; but if you have the courage to face them, you will get there.

 

Click Labs has a startup incubator lab where our team offers some great expertise to help your startup grow. Get In Touch with us to schedule a Free Consultation session. Alternatively, if you wish to learn more about our development services for startups and SMBs, browse through our Startups Solutions Section.

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