Welcome to our first Vivid People blog post! In these articles, we want to give you a peek behind the curtain at Vivid, how we work, and what our lives are like.
The strength of any startup comes from its people, starting with the founders, who form the foundation and heart of their companies. Today, we want to introduce you to our founders Alex Emeshev and Artem Yamanov.
What inspired you to found Vivid?
Artem: Money is a very interesting thing. It’s a huge motivator for people. It shapes how they behave and perceive life. We believe that certain changes in habits related to money have a lot to do with the changing society. That is exactly why fintech for me is extremely attractive. The product that we offer goes completely in line with these changes of habits.
Alex: Finance is a universal topic that everybody needs to take care of. What I really like is that financial products can serve big masses. I like this feeling of meeting random people somewhere in the park or restaurants, sitting at the nearest table, talking about your product. In the beginning you are kind of afraid and thrilled at the same time because they don’t know you are nearby and they for sure express their honest opinion about your products.
That is why I am so furious when I see that our product doesn’t work as expected. And also it feels great to hear when someone says good words about it. It is indeed a dopamine rush.
How does Vivid change customers' banking experience for the better compared to other products?
Alex: There is still more to come, but from what you can already see, we have built a very powerful tool for customers to manage their personal finances in many different ways. When it comes to the others, they are doing good only with one pillar of the personal finances field: either banking, investing or crypto. Our idea is to make great things covering all financial fields, with very smooth integrations, moving money between pockets, for instance. And again, there is a simple story behind: a customer can easily invest in one tap in Apple and in one second get it back if they wish. This is a clear example of how smooth we like our product to be. There is a lot of compliance, legal and technical work behind the scenes that makes it happen. That is exactly what we are doing differently from others: money is always above your thumb.
Artem: I really like the simplicity of the product and the fact that it can be used easily together with other individuals, so I adore the fact our product promotes socialization. It is awesome as well for me the fact that Vivid allows you to take care of personal finances actions at the same time: manage accounts, payments, transfers, investing and crypto.
What do you want Vivid to have achieved in five years?
Alex: I want millions of active and happy customers, making use of the app for every single financial issue they need to deal with! I also expect that we will cover the entire European market. These are our main goals. We can talk about boring stuff like numbers: we’d love to be profitable and sustainable, but the fact is that if we have millions of happy customers using our app everyday, then that definitely will happen. If customers are happy, we will be able to innovate even more.
Artem: We want to build a kind of great company with a great culture, first of all. We believe that only talents who want to change the world can make it possible. The main goal in five years time is to bring as well a lot of talent to the company. For me, having tons of happy customers is a result of having great people with a strong and unique culture.
How do you think the fintech landscape will evolve over the next 20 years?
Artem: The speed of development and changes are so quick, so for me 20 years is quite difficult to predict. But for sure, the essence of money will change in the next 20 years. At the moment we already have digital currencies, crypto and live exchanges. These are already getting recognised from the regulators, so it is becoming more and more normal. Fintech will be disrupted a lot by blockchain and by the race of artificial intelligence. In the next 10 years, we can predict that a lot of changes will be happening in terms of how we manage money. People are changing how to drive a car, for instance. Now you can drive your car with autopilot with Tesla. I assume it is going to be possible to manage your money with some sort of autopilot applied in the fintech industry. Probably users will not know where the money is at that time because the user’s real portfolio will be always evolving due to algorithms. Similarly, users will only take the basic decisions but not even do real trades.
What three essential tips would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start their own business?
Alex: Don’t start… Just kidding!! Building a company is not something that you can force yourself to do, you either have this instinct or not. Therefore, my piece of advice is asking yourself: “Can you live without it?” If you can, do not do it. It will be a tough job for the next few years. If you do not have enough motivation and internal energy to handle all the issues and problems that come with it, especially in the very beginning, you will never survive and be successful. Also, as you can read in every business book: decide carefully what people you want to have on board. You will lead these people for years, and you will spend so much time with them, so you have to be able to rely on them and have fun with them at the same time. If you are having fun, it will help you in the bad times which you will face. At the same time, you will have really great and happy moments.
Artem: My tip would be to start it if you wish, at least it is good to try. Even if you fail, it is kind of a cool experience. I do not think that you should be really worried about if you are ready or not, especially if you are young. Secondly, start your business in an area you have some experience or you spent some time studying about - so you know the pain points and see how you could contribute to it. Thirdly, I would be focused and would take it seriously: if you want to start, you have to be serious about it to succeed.
If you were to choose a different role within any other team at Vivid, which one would you pick and why?
Artem: Personally, I think I would go for a product manager role in customer service. Customer service is a very important part of the product and it is often undervalued by startups and fintechs. To me, it would be cool to create great customer support and to understand how to serve customers better.
Alex: I would say the same. I would like to take part of the customer care platform team. I think we have plenty of things to do there. That is essentially where we come from. It is always cool to listen to customers and try to serve them best. We always have plenty of ideas: if all our ideas were able to happen immediately, we would be together with Artem the quickest entrepreneurs in the world, because we have plenty of them.