It's Blockpit's first birthday! Last August CEO Florian Wimmer and four co-founders started to set their idea of a seamless crypto tax reporting and monitoring tool in motion. One year later, our team has grown by more than fifteen employees. As a young company, how do we deal with rapid growth and a difficult market?
Our founding team has been active within the cryptosphere for several years and has tried out mining, day trading and investments in ICOs. When they first contemplated if their crypto assets were taxable, they came to a bitter realization: In Austria, every single trade is taxable, even between different cryptocurrencies. However, with hundreds of transactions across multiple exchanges, it was hardly possible for them to maintain an overview. First attempts to calculate their realized gains via Excel or other software failed miserably. "We quickly realized that we're certainly not the only ones facing this challenge," says Florian, "and banks require proof of origin if you want to deposit profits as a crypto trader." For this purpose, too, a complete documentation of all trades is necessary.
This is how the vision was born of a tool that gives a clear overview and imports all types of income automatically. "Three of the co-founders and I myself have a background with Big Four auditor KPMG, so the expertise on tax legislation was there from the start. That's why we decided to create a solution ourselves," says Florian. To this end, he brought Mathias Maier on board as a fifth founder and CTO, who is responsible for the technical development. In August 2017, Blockpit gets its entry in the commercial register and just a few months later, the platform goes online as a beta version. The first full version will be available in early 2019. In order to enable the further development of the tool and to expand worldwide, we are currently running a tokensale, which is expected to bring in up to 12.5 million Euros.
The Blockpit team has grown considerably
How to avoid tunnel vision
Due to the volatile crypto market this is an ambitious undertaking, but Florian isn't too concerned about the situation: "The market is still young and corrections are inevitable. But a good product will always have its place. Hardly anyone denies the enormous potential of blockchain applications anymore." International corporations such as VW and IBM rely on the technology, Stuttgart stock exchange wants to allow for traders to trade in crypto and McKinsey estimates that 90 percent of all banks in Europe, North America and Australia experiment with blockchain. Silicon Valley-based incubator 500 Startups also jumped on this bandwagon with their first-ever blockchain accelerator, to which Blockpit was admitted among only five other companies. However, he does not take this as guarantee for Blockpit's breakthrough, says Florian. "Question everything, choose your companions very carefully and listen to your gut feeling", the CEO sums up how he has successfully mastered his challenges as a startup founder so far. "In addition to a concise goal and a motivated team, the right partners are certainly the most important factor for long-term success."
To handle the tokensale, we rely on Bitcoin broker Coinfinity from Graz, for example. "With its existing business model, Coinfinity maps many technical aspects very well when it comes to crypto payments. Therefore, they are an ideal partner for us to implement the necessary structure for our ICO," says Florian. "In addition, feedback from external partners is extremely important in order to avoid tunnel vision," adds co-founder Mathias. Within its own organization, Blockpit strived to establish structures that would enable sustainable growth right from the start.
If you want growth, you need scalability
As an agile startup company, we benefit from being able quickly react to changes. To ensure that projects are handled efficiently and that new team members can be productive quickly, it is worthwhile to work in a structured manner. "We document processes as neatly as possible, because this is the only way to identify areas of improvement," says CMO Lukas Krainz. As an example, he names the interactive map for cryptocurrencies, which is an world map that displays specific tax information for each country. Users can participate in the project by submitting missing information. "Without tightly knit communication and knowledge management in the background, we would never have been able to implement the map as smoothly as we did," adds Lukas.
"In most cases, organizational structures can only scale if they were designed to do so right from the start," says Lukas, "and you should always bear that in mind. But in the end, it is the team spirit that drives us here at Blockpit. In the same way we face our challenges together, we're also celebrating Blockpit's first birthday together." May the next year be just as exciting!