The Boost VC Podcast

Ep. 74: Fintech Applications & Cryptocurrency in Emerging Markets with Helghardt Avenant of REHIVE

Episode Summary

Helghardt Avenant is the co-founder and CEO of Rehive, a platform working to help founders and businesses rapidly build, launch and scale fintech products by providing the necessary building blocks. Users mix and match a core set of features to their specific fintech use case, much the same way Shopify serves the eCommerce industry. Though Helghardt is based in Silicon Valley, 80% of Rehive’s engineering team works from his home country of South Africa.

Episode Notes

If you want to work in the cryptocurrency or fintech space, there is no doubt that Silicon Valley is the place to be in terms of access to opportunity, financing and a network of peers. But what if your home country happens to be an emerging market like South Africa? What is it like to be part of a foreign national startup in the San Francisco Bay Area? And how do you effectively manage a distributed team working from a different time zone?

Helghardt Avenant is the co-founder and CEO of Rehive, a platform working to help founders and businesses rapidly build, launch and scale fintech products by providing the necessary building blocks. Users mix and match a core set of features to their specific fintech use case, much the same way Shopify serves the eCommerce industry. Though Helghardt is based in Silicon Valley, 80% of Rehive’s engineering team works from his home country of South Africa.

Today, Helghardt joins us to share the idea behind Rehive and discuss the startup’s many iterations as well as its ideal customer. He offers insight around emerging markets like South Africa, explaining the country’s current crypto economy and what is necessary to inspire widespread adoption. Listen in as Helghardt describes the draw of Silicon Valley for aspiring engineers in the cryptocurrency space and learn how Rehive is streamlining communication among its distributed team!

Topics Covered

The idea behind Rehive
WordPress for fintech applications
Use available building blocks

Helghardt’s introduction to the crypto space
South Africa had limited online payment options
First experience moving money online = Bitcoin
Fascinated by promise of ‘better money’

Helghardt’s insight around emerging markets
Immediate needs don’t require advanced tech
Hard to generate interest without clear idea of value-add

South Africa’s crypto economy
Run by mining or traditional retail, banking
Success stories = EC2 and Naspers

Helghardt’s take on the draw of Silicon Valley
Access to opportunity, deal flow
Requires mental shift (cultural differences)

What South Africa needs to promote widespread adoption
Educate potential crypto distributors on volatility
Begin in areas where end-consumer comfortable

How to get people away from traditional currency
Enterprise tools for banks, governments and retailers
Issue digital denominations (bring into operational flow)

The ideal customer for Rehive
Brands with established user base
Retailers who want to play in financial space

Helghardt’s advice for aspiring crypto startup founders
Get to Silicon Valley for immediate support network
Find token sale, blockchain foundation looking for talent

The many iterations of Rehive
Stable wallet (hedging mechanism)
Bitcoin, Coinbase for South Africa

Helghardt’s tips for distributed teams
Establish guidelines for communicating on Slack
Work in sprints (3 months together for alignment)

Helghardt’s definition of success
Freedom to cross borders easily
Tap into other’s time and energy
Achieve things can’t do yourself

Connect with Helghardt

Rehive https://rehive.com/
Rehive on Twitter https://twitter.com/rehivehq?lang=en

Rehive on GitHub https://github.com/rehive

Helghardt on Medium https://medium.com/rehive-blog/fintech-platforms-b8b0238427ee

Helghardt on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/helghardt/

Resources

Amazon EC2 https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/

Naspers https://www.naspers.com/

Tencent https://www.tencent.com/en-us/

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Life-John-Rockefeller-Sr/dp/1400077303
Slack https://slack.com/

The Settlers of Catan https://www.catan.com/game/catan

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts https://www.amazon.com/Shantaram-Novel-Gregory-David-Roberts/dp/0312330537

Connect with Boost VC

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