Last week at the Palais Brongniart, after the Paris FinTech Forum, Stratumn was selected as FinTech Startup of the year 2018
Out of some 200 applications, a jury from the French FinTech ecosystem selected Stratumn, with Youse and Wefinup as number 2 and 3 respectively. We were honoured and excited to receive this award as it comes at an exciting time for us.
After a year of product development we are shipping our flagship product Trace to a group of close customers.
With early signs of tractions, we are ever more focused on the path ahead. With this focus we’ll be concentrating on our key strengths of cryptography, design and customer success. Over the next year, we plan increasingly to deploy Trace across critical business processes throughout our customers’ ecosystem.
During the award announcement, we participated in a short round table and were asked several questions:
You have experienced the stage of bootstrapping then the first fundraising; your startup has evolved and grown up very quickly, with a lot of organizational complexity and HR. So how do we develop a company in the long term? What pitfalls to avoid?
Stratumn is: 1) driven by a single, common purpose 2) a diverse, human organization.
Products come and go. Missions change. Pivots occur. But a common purpose lasts. As long as your team feels connected to this purpose, and shares this passion, all obstacles will pass.
For our Series A round, we grew rapidly with a mission in mind. From all angles it looked right, and we agreed. However, soon after we had a major realization about our blockchain strategy which required us to step back and pivot. The shock was painful. As a result, some people left the company.
For those who stayed, the dedication to our common purpose was evident. The strategy has passed, but they stayed for the purpose.
My advice is to know your purpose. Any startup has the potential to have a before and after story. In between the two is your organization’s purpose.
(Competition & defensibility) There is no successful startup without its share of competition - in an increasingly competitive and global context, how to ensure the defensibility of its model and become the reference? What barriers to entry or exit?
At the office, we have a saying: Enterprise software sucks… let’s change that.
Stratumn’s mission is to restore trust in the enterprise, between you and your customers, business partners and regulators. We believe trust is like an economic lubricant. It reduces transaction costs, improves cooperation and engages your customers. The better the conditions for trust, the better the conditions for prosperity.
With trust in mind, we first started with building a new protocol to help businesses to trust the workflows they depend on. We call it Proof of Process and it’s the core of all our products and services.
Our tools and services are specially designed for human interaction. We think deeply about the effects the technology will have on people’s business relationships. Our work is a response to questions like:
- How does traceability improve your customer’s confidence?
- How would your organization change if all its critical business processes were recorded, immutable and unfalsifiable?
- How can we streamline the friction in complex processes involving complex transactions?
- How will it improve trust between your employees, your business partners, your regulators?
These questions inspire us to build next generation of products that are intelligently designed and unlock new business potential, and always stay deeply connected to our purpose.
In that context, we are happy to lead as we challenge our competition.
Richard Caetano is Stratumn's CEO and Co-Founder.