Meinhard Benn (CEO) and Alexander Wilke (COO) © Anne Schönharting
What inspired you to found your startup?
When Meinhard discovered Bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology in 2011, he quickly realised its disruptive potential and began researching start-up ideas. Being frustrated by the bad user experience micro-payments on the web have, he decided to apply blockchain tech to this growing industry.
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
For myself, the only thing I ask for is not to go crazy under the pressure a start-up founder faces. 😉 For the company I expect high transaction volumes and becoming the go-to place for easy nano-payments – and all that comes with it in team size, valuation and funding.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
I would not start a company again without having personal savings. This leads to dependence on external funds too early on.
What problem does your product solve?
Small payments on the web are incredibly cumbersome and require registrations, logins and redirects. This led to many failed attempts to establish pocket change like shopping behaviour, despite the fact that users are willing to pay small amounts. SatoshiPay built a solution that makes the payment process frictionless.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
Within a year we will roll out our technology to several big digital publishers’ websites, in 5 years will be profitable and in 10 year we will hopefully be considered the PayPal of purely digital micro-payments.
How are you different?
Contrary to other micro-payment solutions, consumers do not need to log in or create an account at each website they want to pay at. We also combine payment and content retrieval in one single click, and the system works in two way, meaning websites can also pay users, for example for filling out a survey.
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
If a consumer regularly reads paid content, we would facilitate daily transactions. Publishers will typically check their purchases in our merchant backend once a week or once a month.
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
By allowing publishers and authors to create income streams beyond advertisement financed content, we support high quality journalism and content creation. This will lead to a less noisy and clickbaity web, with fair compensation for everyone and less need for publishers to collect and sell on user data. Allowing website owners to easily pay their users for small tasks, no matter where they are in the world, will create microjobs in less privileged economies.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
We saw a massive injection of capital and the subsequent hiring spree (ha!) in the last years. Fintech and Blockchain became a big deal in this fair city. 🙂
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
Pros: solid infrastructure, space, creative and diverse crowd, low prices
Cons: seed capital tight (we raised most of our funds in London), tech hiring becoming harder, good office space scarce
Bonus Question: Anything else that we need to know about you?
We are often considered a “FinTech” start-up, but we don’t feel this term applies to us. We work with technology that leapfrogs or bypasses traditional finance, because it was built as a safety net, for the time traditional finance fails (again), preventing billions of Euros being “lost”. We are pirates of finance! 😉
SatoshiPay was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.