Check out our interview with Rakesh Naik, the Executive Chairman and founder of moolyacoin. moolya.global is the World’s 1st Comprehensive Global Digital Startup Ecosystem which is a culmination of an interaction network, marketplace and on-demand service platform for the startup ecosystem community. To learn more, visit https://www.moolyacoin.io/ today!
Hello, my name is Jason and welcome to ICO Spotters Podcast where we interview new ICOs, cryptocurrencies and innovative blockchain projects to help you learn more about crypto.
Before we begin, this is a paid sponsored Podcast where we interview cutting-edge blockchain companies that we think will be the most interesting to our listeners. We are not recommending that you invest any of these ICOs. This is not financial, investment, or trading advice. Be sure to consult with a financial adviser before investing in the cryptocurrency space.
Moolyacoin ICO Interview
Jason: Today we are joined by Rakesh Naik, the founder of moolyacoin. Thanks for joining us today Rakesh.
Rakesh: Thank you very much Jason for having me there.
Jason: Yeah, of course. I’m excited to learn more about what you’re working on these days, but before we get started on moolyacoin can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience that led you up to working on this project.
Rakesh: Sure. I’m basically a BS in electronics from Bangalore University in India. I have about 25 years of experience working around the world mostly in the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pac. I have a mixture of technology, business domain skills and entrepreneurship. These days, the last five years, I have been pushing the concept called integrated incubators for startups, so my forte in the last five years has been building and you know exiting companies mostly SaaS platforms, that’s what I do. So, the last five years have been very interesting in our entrepreneurship. It’s already very interesting with the crypto blockchain. I think you know we are in interesting times, and I’m finding myself in the right place at the right time.
Jason: Yeah definitely. I noticed a lot of different companies that you’ve worked for or helped start on LinkedIn seems like you’re pretty experienced in terms of like the entrepreneurship area.
Rakesh: Well yes, I was lucky enough. I did dabble with a lot of entrepreneurship in my previous companies. A Japanese company I worked for gave me a lot of options and in the last six years I have founded about six to seven of them and a couple of them we did a very good exit, so yes experience does help in the areas of entrepreneurship.
Jason: Sure. Tell us a little bit about moolyacoin, what’s it all about?
Rakesh: Moolya is a flagship product which I am building right now. The name moolya basically in Sanskrit means intrinsic value of something. These days it also is accepted in the English vocabulary as money. Since entrepreneurship startup ecosystems these are all around money, investment you know making wealth, we thought that would be the apt name for our platform which is actually around startup ecosystems and named it as moolya. Now what is moolya? Moolya is the world’s first digital platform for startup ecosystem user, soft institutions, ideators you know startups, investors, companies, service providers and other enablers like anchors and you know advisors, gurus to be able to explore, corroborate, conduct, transact, trade, synergize, and you know get together on a time-tested concept of clusters, chapters, and subchapters. So, in short we emulate the offline model of an ecosystem and model it up to be presented as a digital rendering of ecosystem of ecosystems. In one single line if you ask me to explain what is moolya, it is the world’s first digital startup ecosystem that tries to bring all the six communities of startup ecosystem on a platform, a truly corroborative platform.
Jason: Got you. That’s really interesting. What are the problems that moolyacoin is trying to solve?
Rakesh: That’s an often-asked question. I can go on. I have a lot things to you know discuss on that. I think the first and the foremost is it tries to bring all the players on a digitally connected marketplace. There isn’t any which is trying to address that. It helps you self-discover and you know seek and get service as you need it. It tries to present an actual ecosystem of ecosystems. We did a lot of research in our days of ideating moolya. We realized that for an ecosystem to be really successful all the six elements of the community members need to be properly critically massed and not having that is certainly a problem so we think that for ecosystems to succeed, a startup ecosystem to succeed, they need to leverage the network externality effect well and that’s what is moolya. There are lots of use cases of moolya. For startups, it gets you to easy capital. For the service providers, it lets you interact on a corroborative platform. In short, it’s trying to democratize the networking, mentoring, advisory on a digital platform and these days we are trying to bring in a very innovative concept of digital incubation onto moolya. What pain does it solve? It tries to actually offer a single platform for startup ecosystem members, the six community members I described so that they can conduct on it fully digitally.
Jason: Sure, so you have pretty much every resource available in one spot to be successful.
Rakesh: Right, that’s the main aim and that’s how the product has been frame worked.
Jason: Got it. Tell us a little bit about the team and what kind of makes them qualified to be not only working with this ecosystem but also with the blockchain.
Rakesh: We popularly call the team behind moolya, Team M. They are the core of the idea moolya. You know the idea started with me wanting to converge all the ecosystems stakeholders on a digital platform so that the sea of possibilities can be opened. You know the whole idea came from the thought that you know – it was triggered by my travel sometimes as I started up in India. The present form of moolya has ample contributions from various team members. It’s a product which has a lot of ideation and has been perfected and then validated with solid domain expertise from marketing. We have a fantastic team that certainly is an envy of any startup around the world, so that’s one of the core aspects of a successful product that we have built up in moolya. The team emphasizes the critical mass that is required to ideate, validate, incubate, mobilize startup businesses using technology in an environment that is normally not that friendly to the sustenance of most startups, so that comes in from the team. Since we have experienced that we have built up the team with that understanding and we probably have been able to frame it up in the product as that. So the coming together of such a talented team of technology and the business experience for a single idea I think is the foremost reason for us to believe that startups can succeed despite the goings on they see in their native ecosystems.
Jason: Who is the target market for this product?
Rakesh: I’ll be very frank. The product moolya as a platform is a multiyear, multistage platform product. The roadmap is very wide and deep. The present state we are in we have only been able to get to the MVP and beyond were live. The identification of models of fulcrum in the six community members is still not decided. We work on the concept called Metcalfe’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law says until you arrive at the critical mass of all the six community members you wouldn’t be able to identify around which the product is built, so our focus right now is try to get the offline components of the ecosystem onto an online model, get the users to accept and adopt the product. The six community members which we described the co-functioning of that is startups so I think I’m starting to believe that it’s either the startups or the investors who are the fulcrum of the product but only due course of time will tell whether I was right.
Jason: Gotcha, okay. That’s pretty interesting kind of trying to figure it out along the way who that real core target market is going to be. Great. What geographic areas are you guys focused on right now?
Rakesh: This product operates on the concept of clusters, chapters and subchapters. Clusters are you know country specific. Every country would have a cluster. Chapters and subchapters are the cohorts and cohesion of similarity that we try to bring in on the offline system to an online. The product has been scaled in such a way that it is glocal in nature. It can be as global as you want and as local as you want because it has a mix of an offline and an online model that it works in. So what is it aimed at? Any place which has a concentration of startups is the right place for moolya to be. To start with we went with India because of the cost reasons but we are slowly moving to the US so that you know most startups – the acceptance is far wider there but to answer the question, yes, any place which has startup concentration is where we would want moolya to be.
Jason: Gotcha. You said that you have like these different chapters in different countries. Can these different chapters communicate and work together or invest in other chapters, how does that work?
Rakesh: Okay, I’ll try to explain a little bit of what we mean by a startup ecosystem. We went to a very deep level to define that for an ecosystem to be successful it has to have support, regulations, learnings, market, lots of value adds that come in from the cohesion of these six community members opportunities and wealth unless and until you have amount of these traits of an ecosystem it’s not called a successful ecosystem. In some of the popular offline ecosystems that we normally know are in Silicon Valley, Bangalore, London, Singapore – you know on moolya we have tried to digitize the ecosystem. Now what we tried to do is we tried to converge these startup community players six community players of institutions, ideators, startups, companies, and service providers and investors into a time tested and accepted concept of concepts of clusters, chapters, subchapters, teams, networks, offices, branches, and incubators and partners. The product has been digitally architected with these concepts by the understanding that subchapters are subgroups and formal associations of people who are gathered together to increase their cohesiveness. So, yes anyone can be in any subchapter. They can be as private or as public as they want to be on the product and people have different avatars which they can adopt, so I could be an investor in Bangalore but I could be a startup in New York or I could be a service provider in Singapore so it’s possible.
Jason: Sure, okay. I think you mentioned that you already have the MVP created. Can you tell us about some of the progress that you guys have made so far?
Rakesh: Well we are beyond the MVP. The product has been in the making for the last three years. It’s a very tightly integrated architected product. It’s engineered by a team of 100+ people from around the world. We are majorly headquartered in India for purely cost reasons, but the bulk of the technology comes from the west. The product is licensed Jan of 2018. We are testing POC chapters and subchapters and then finding users across the world. The product is pretty much available for anyone to sign up. It’s just going a little slow because of the crypto reasons. We are yet to figure out where we have to base our operation center once the crypto ICO thing is finished.
Jason: Got it. Why do you think that your platform is better than what’s already out there and better than your competition?
Rakesh: First off, it standardizes lots of things for everyone. Not everyone is as glib as – you know take the concept of pitching. It’s very difficult for a startup entrepreneur to pitch in two minutes or a couple of seconds an idea which he has been ideating for over six months, so we try to create a portfolio of the users who sign up on the platform, prepare them, mentor them. I think the democratization of availability of quality resources is one major US piece of moolya.
Jason: That’s great. It seems like there’s just so many different areas of the platform that are geared towards helping new companies be successful. What kind of fees are going to be associated with your platform?
Rakesh: Well our revenue model is very complex. We have a premium model of user charges. For most users we adopt the premium model and there is a transaction fee we have for anything that has a monetary value, a small percentage of what monetary transactions take place, the varieties of subscriptions. There is concierge services we are bringing in their subchapter and white labeling pieces. There are a lot of ways in which the revenue model of moolya is built in but suffice it to say that for most startups its virtually free. There are lots of packages and subscriptions that are charged based on the need of having to bring in experts and mentors.
Jason: How many users do you guys currently have on the platform now?
Rakesh: That’s a difficult question to answer for any startup platform or an idea. We purposely – the product moolya has been built by investments from the management and the initial promotors are the ones creating the urgency to actually scale the product for faster adoption. We wanted to ideate the product pretty well before we go to the market so the focus was not on user signups and I said we depend on Metcalfe’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law states that until you have all the six community members signed up to reach critical mass you wouldn’t be seeing the traction but to just prove the point that we could be profitable we did a POC of a subchapter which I run myself as an incubator and in the last quarter we did about 150K of revenue with just about five to seven startups offering them various kinds of services.
Jason: Wow, that’s great.
Rakesh: That was good but there is a lot of work. There’s a lot of touchpoints we have in that. We are trying to go touchless.
Jason: What’s moolyacoin’s strategy in getting more users on the platform across all these different chapters?
Rakesh: The adoption of the product comes in from proving that it’s able to achieve what we really intended it for. One of the critical business workflow processes that we try to achieve is incubation. These days we are working on a concept called digitala incubation trying to bring in very complex incubation processes onto a blockchain-enabled model. I perceive that the acceptance of this product of the concept on the platform would actually bring in a lot of visibility. We have a very good presence on the various social channels. We are very very educated on what we do. We write a lot of blogs. We are adopting a very nice go-to market strategy once we finish our fundraise. We would be signing up with popular chapters and subchapters across the prominent locations of the startups and then yeah, we have a marketing strategy which would take about six to eight months to actually get the head start we need on our user adoption.
Jason: Okay, and then can you tell us a little bit about some of the partnerships that you guys currently have?
Rakesh: Okay. Well a concept like this, Jason, requires a lot of partners and enablers. One of the key partnerships we are working on is with technology companies like Amazon, IBM where we have signed up with them for you know clouding our product. We have immense expertise in technology but then we realized that to scale up on a global level we need partnerships on technology. Second, we are signing up with a couple of very popular VCs, very renowned VCs who would be partnering with us, lending their name as partners to get the acceptance to the concept of the incubation we are bringing in. Third, we are finding out that the beautiful aspect of moolya is it doesn’t compete with anyone because even our competitors can sign up on the product and be our partners. So at this stage at which we are we are partnering with anyone and everyone who can bring in value to us.
Jason: Yeah, totally. Why did you choose to build on the Ethereum blockchain?
Rakesh: Okay and that’s an interesting story. We didn’t start with Ethereum in the beginning. We had our own blockchain offering but because of the involvement of the technology the amount of spend that goes into bringing that product out on a native blockchain model we were a little late and also the rush of the crypto did not let us actually pursue that thought. Ethereum is something which is very similar to what we want to do. The blockchain option of our product is not just for fundraise. There are lots of features like transactions you know conversations that we are blockchaining, we are lifting and shifting entry and exit of investor on a blockchain as a timeline feature so lots of these features require a very thorough understanding of blockchain principles and their options. We just temporarily put it in a (inaudible) and then we chose Ethereum as the fundraise platform and also the smart contract feature of Ethereum is a very good model which lowers our costs so we actually thought it would be easier for us to go there initial stages and then later on morph it into what we want.
Jason: Yeah, so are guys open to building on different platforms or potentially moving to your own blockchain?
Rakesh: We would move to our own blockchain but if there is someone who is offering us in partnerships a ready platform which can let us scale up, we are open for it.
Jason: Okay, and how are you guys ensuring that the code is safe you know smart contracts are working properly all that stuff so that your users are safe when using your platform?
Rakesh: Well, Jason, we are a technology company. We have worked on lots of products. We have done global projects. We understand what is security, what is data sophistication, we understand what is data separation. The architecture of moolya itself is enterprise grade. It’s been done by industry leaders. It’s been audited. It’s an iOS certified platform. I’m not just talking of smart contract, I’m also talking of my own code. It’s an enterprise-grade data center. We do a lot of auditing. We do a lot of backups and then frequent checks to see the data is safe and as such we adopt the best of the industry practices to ensure that the data is never stored with us. We just do API based calls so data especially GDPR and all that I think we are very very secure on those aspects. We have learned this as data experts ourselves doing this kind of activity in the past. On these smart contracts, the smart contract is open, it’s audited. It’s a very unique smart contract we have, a couple of modules. These are well audited by industry leaders — out in the open for checking.
Jason: That’s really good to know just to have that assurance that you guys are taking all the right steps to be sure that your smart contracts are safe, no one is going to lose their money, and no one is going to get their information leaked because that kind of just looks bad on everybody involved in the crypto space. What can we expect from moolyacoin in the next year or so?
Rakesh: In a year or so yes I’m very sure that moolya would be a recognized name when you think about startups. We are really working hard to bring some of the best innovations that are possible in that space. As I said, we are talking to some of the largest VC s to bring out the digital incubation concept of a completely digitized way of doing incubation is still a new concept that is being spoken about so I think we would be the leaders in that but then suffice it to say that whenever you think of startups you would think of moolya. That’s what we are trying to imagine.
Jason: Yeah that would be fantastic. Are there any new features that you guys are planning on implementing on the platform in the near future?
Rakesh: Well the product itself is very engaging. It’s got hundreds of features that are very very complex. On the product, per se, we don’t want to you know complicate it any further but yes a couple of things that we have got from the market is we would improve on the user experience. We would probably try to see the adoption of the product on all the latest technologies that’s one of the things we are seeing and of course being probably more compliant and regulated is one of desires even though we are on crypto space.
Jason: In regards to your token sale, how much are you guys trying to raise, what is your soft cap, your hard cap, and why do you need all that money, where is it going?
Rakesh: Okay. Before I part with that the whole purpose of the fundraise is not to build the product, the product is already built. We have invested our own funds to the tune of about 3 to 4 million dollars. We haven’t even counted it properly so the product is ready. The fundraise is basically to scale it up the marketing and the sales aspects of that, the product improvements, the adoption, bringing in lots of events and other things which is very expensive on a global scale so that’s primarily the reason for which we went with the initial coin sale. The soft cap is about 3 million dollars and the hard cap is 25 million dollars. We have already crossed well past the halfway mark and we are halting the further sales of the product because we are now bringing on the platform a highly regulated security token called Intocoin. It would be a very unique platform which offers two coins, a transactional coin and an Intocoin. We want to be as compliant as possible so we are going a little slow on how we want to sell. We are not in a rush. Since we don’t have the need to actually take the money to build the product, we are not in a rush. We want to do the best, and I think our coin site is pretty informative on what we want to do.
Jason: Yeah, that’s super interesting. I mean you already have a working platform, you’re just kind of using the ICO as more of a marketing effort. Talk a little bit about who can participate in the ICO, what are the restrictions. Are you guys using like the AML or KYC?
Rakesh: Even though it’s an ICO, it’s a transactional coin. We are more like an STO. We highly regulate it. We are based in Estonia. We have a legal opinion in hand. The ICO itself is very very compliant in terms of KYC and AML both. We want to track both the source of fund and source of users so we aren’t accepting anyone who is not doing KYC. I think we rejected about 75% of the backers of the product in the ICO. We are very safe. Some of our largest investors are very compliant so we are lucky on that aspect, and there are some restriction areas like US and China which are not allowed South Korea.
Jason: Great. It sounds like you guys are being very safe about things really like well thought out so that you don’t have any issues further down the line which is really important. When can we expect moolyacoin to be on an exchange? That’s a pretty popular question I’m sure you guys get a lot in the Telegram group.
Rakesh: True, true, true. We have a couple of exchanges already signed up. We have about three to four of them signed up and ready to get us live but we have a unique way of addressing our coin value. We don’t want to rush to the exchange. Because it’s a platform it has a wide option and then it has a wider usage value of the token. There is no need for us to rush to the exchange to dump the coins so we have a lock-in period of about three months on all the coins sold from the end of our ICO which is January of 2019. I think we would be listing only in April but then we have slightly changed our strategy. We might buy back all our coins because we are trying to swap moolyacoin into an STO. The strategy is still being worked out but we do have acceptances from most of the exchanges without any payments to actually list as freely; that’s a good thing for us.
Jason: Yeah and would you guys be buying the moolyacoins at the original value then?
Rakesh: I think we assure you the minimum value at the least but there would certainly be some increase in the value because we have some thoughts on how we want to swap it with the STO.
Jason: Interesting. Yeah, so we’ll definitely have to keep an eye on you guys and see how that turns out. What are you personally excited about in the crypto space right now?
Rakesh: Well it’s a pretty innovative way to raise capital, blockchain adoption. It gives me a true sense of community feeling you know working with some of the best in the world in crypto space but to be very frank it’s very scary. You always have to be on your watch.
Jason: Yeah that’s true. I mean they always say we’re kind of in a trustless technology but you’ve got to do your own research. You’ve got to know who to trust.
Rakesh: That’s ironical yes.
Jason: Where do you see the space going in the next five years?
Rakesh: I think it would be well-regulated. I wouldn’t call it regulation I think probably a self-conduction that might come in from most of the participants. I think it’s here to stay. Probably five years is a good time to give it for mass adoption. I think regulations from top countries like US, mainland Europe would actually give it chance. I think it’s here to stay. It’s here to stay. It’s a popular way to raise money. You know blockchain is a technology which has been well-accepted. I think it’s simmering down and then stabilizing.
Jason: Where can people learn more about moolyacoin? Tell us a little bit about where you guys are most active.
Rakesh: Well, we are most active in marketing the product. Since that is a fun question we are open. We have a presence on social channels Telegram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook we’re very popular there. We have our coin site which is very very good. We do a lot of AMA sessions, ask moolya anything sessions. We do have a lot of YouTube videos that are going on and then we’re also coming to the US on the public television and then in other spaces. We are being signed up for some of the smart shows which are very popular for this. I think in the coming days we would try to bring out more of these for a larger involvement of the community.
Jason: Sure, and are there any shows that you could give us like a sneak peak on or any more details on or should we just kind of stay tuned on your social media channels?
Rakesh: I think the social channels would give out that information because we haven’t yet finalized them, but there are quite a lot of them which are mostly US focused.
Jason: Great. So anything else that you want to mention about the product or get out there for people to know?
Rakesh: Yes. I think I would ask your audience to check all the products for themselves, sign them up and then leave the comments for themselves, sample it out.
Jason: Sure. Yeah, definitely. Great well thanks a lot for coming on to talk about moolyacoin. I think it’s a really interesting project. I’m definitely excited to see where this goes and thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure talking with today Rakesh.
Rakesh: My pleasure. Thank you very much to you and your audience.
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