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Startups in times of COVID-19 – AE Ventures

How the current crisis has changed our startups work

Ellie Geo

Covid-19 has had tremendous influence over most businesses around the world, so we decided to dig into the startup ecosystem, talk about the ups and downs, and see how people perceive Blockchain during a global pandemic. We have gathered 6 startup founders from a variety of Blockchain fields to tell you how they cope with Covid-19 and believe us… we were not expecting this!

Jason Eisen from UTU

UTU serves up personalized recommendations for trusted service providers on sharing platforms to drive conversion, satisfaction, retention, and viral acquisition. The startup is working on bridging the gap between how people trust companies in real life and how they are asked to do that online.

Currently, Jason explains their business is growing and the quarantine gave them the opportunity to develop Covid-19 responses to provide critical services. Moreover, UTU is also integrating its own trust infrastructure into a global crowdsourced disaster management platform for better trust in Covid-19 reporting. He does see a shift in people’s perception of data privacy and therefore in Blockchain as a mechanism to deliver that.

Iliya Petrov from TraDexSocial

TradeXsocial is a platform for mining cryptocurrency that can be used on any smart device. It calculates the time people spend on the platform to determine the amount of cryptocurrency they get. Iliya shares the main goals of Tradex are to shorten the time of people’s mass adoption of cryptocurrency and help them see how easy it is to enter the Blockchain industry. He believes the Bitcoin price has a lot to do with the interest in cryptocurrency, so the more it increases, the more curious people will be.

During the quarantine, Tradex has been working hard on achieving their goals, although their funding got affected even before Covid-19. They decided to turn the situation into an opportunity and enrolled in the US accelerator Newchip, which aims to help projects find the necessary funding. They just got accepted and have a personal mentor, with whom TradeX practices daily to improve their product.

Nemanja Avramovic from Cryptic Legends

Cryptic Legends is a mid-core game that allows players to collect heroes, configure their own teams, and equip them with items. Each hero is unique and is stored on the Blockchain, which enables players to trade them or even sell for actual currency to other players. Nemanja explains their main idea is to have a large number of people play the game and discover Blockchain through it. Being able to trade heroes will be their motivation to use Blockchain and ease its adoption.

As Cryptic Legends is not live yet, Covid-19 has not affected them much, except the usual decrease in productivity we all felt in the beginning. The team is working hard and sees this situation as an opportunity since more people are staying home now and able to play games.

Martin Ploom from SmartCredit

SmartCredit is a startup offering low collateral ratio crypto loans to the borrowers and tokenized and transferable crypto loans to the lenders. They have recently just switched to Ethereum mainnet and went live at the end of May. Currently, they are also organizing free weekly webinars for finance and Blockchain, where they touch upon what is going on in the crypto economy.

Martin believes that Covid-19 will have a very positive impact on the crypto economy, as people are becoming much more digital, which raises the probability of using crypto. What’s more, due to the increased money printing by the Central Banks, people will start losing trust in the traditional monetary system and start looking for alternatives.

Tito Titov from Weidex

Weidex is a startup creating cross-chain atomic swap protocol, so people are able to exchange one coin for another. Its unique feature is the ability to swap between different Blockchains, instead of using only one, and as Tito hopes, that one day Weidex’s protocol can become universal and connect all Blockchains. This is what they have started doing with their recent project — Jelly.

During the quarantine, the team has been working as much as possible and developed a lot of new features for its product. They believe the Blockchain technology is maturing much more now than a few years ago and are hoping to see even more investors coming in to support it.

Emiliyan Enev from Recheck

Recheck provides solutions for protecting data, secure exchange, electronic signing with digital Blockchain identity. Their goal is to provide efficient practical solutions to companies and users that would like to control their data and enable them to transact in a secure way. Emiliyan explains they are creating a new digital infrastructure, where people and companies have high level of control over their data and are able to do business risk-free.

Regarding the pandemic, Emiliyan shares it boosted their business, as it is now becoming much more obvious how important it is to secure data when working remotely and how essential the tools Recheck offers can be. He believes Covid-19 has started a new world order, in which some processes that used to be on paper or required physical interaction between people are now being digitalized, so European institutions and governments are more open to explore and use Blockchain.

With so much negativity in the news lately, it was amazing to talk to those teams and learn how positive the pandemic is affecting the digital business. We cannot wait to see their progress over the next few months!


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