Why we are closing our doors for pre-revenue Startups

For years, we have been advocates of sharing information and educating everyone for the greater benefit and good of society. This includes individuals, startups, would-be-entrepreneurs, incumbents, colleagues, professionals in the field, etc.

However, this open-door policy has started to take its toll on our resources – specifically human resources – and the available time we have.

It is with regret that we now inform our patrons, that we will not be onboarding any new pre-revenue clients (or startups that are pre-revenue).

Allow us to explain our reasons. 

Every single day, we get between 5 -10 relevant leads – on many days, the numbers are much higher. A vast majority of them start with “I would like to start a X-Business” where x=money transfer, neo bank, cross border payments, crypto, blockchain, bitcoin trading, e-wallet, EMI, PSP, merchant processor, etc.

The sad truth is that most of these inquiries will never become functioning businesses mostly due to financing (or the lack thereof).

Most of these inquiries involve asking a myriad of questions, trying to get educated, and validating their various business ideas for free. While we have always welcomed enthusiastic new entrants to come and “pick my brain”, it is becoming increasingly difficult to entertain them all. 

Having done over 7,500+ calls, we’ve noticed the following patterns (not all may be applicable to you).

  • Unwillingness to spend 50, 100, 200 or so hours in learning about their business vertical even though they have never done the business before
  • Almost everyone seems to have “a big idea” for becoming the next neo-bank, the next large money transfer company, the next big bitcoin exchange, yet, they struggle to even read 5 pages of condensed material
  • Their “business” is still in the brainstorming/ideas stage and they have no idea how to proceed with any of the pre-requisites but are still unwilling to read or learn about it
  • Basic company formation is not even started and licenses are yet to be applied for
  • Most of these entrepreneurs/startups, don’t read the resources we have provided or watch the instructional videos, even when prompted to do so
  • Their collective research on the subject/industry is very limited
  • Spending time in reading and understanding written material is frowned upon
  • Most will argue and try to bend official rules (because they have a limited understanding of the laws and regulations)
  • Far too many people fudge the information on their application forms
  • Very, very few people can actually make a financial model for their proposed big idea
  • Even fewer people can make a legally compliant flow of funds
  • Almost no one has undertaken even the very basic anti-money laundering training – we have been in countless completely fruitless conversations trying to explain what needs to be done, etc.

However, the most important three points:

  • It is a thankless job
  • No appreciation for our time
  • Not having the courtesy to reply back to emails, once information was gained from us

With that in view, we have decided not to offer our services or schedule calls with pre-revenue entrepreneurs/startups.

We are sure many of you would find this distasteful, but we would urge you to understand that we are taking this step after a lot of deliberation and hard discussions. It feels unfair to our paying clients if we continue to waste time with non-serious leads who have no intention of moving forward with us. We believe it makes more sense – for our business and our mental health –  to prioritize those who appreciate the assistance we provide and who have a strong probability of becoming a paying client.

However, we are not shutting the door on you. If you believe you are a startup, even pre-revenue, but can demonstrate your understanding of the business and proof of funds, please contact us so that we may discuss further. We do this via a paid consultation, and pre-paid for 1 hour (1 hour or calls and up to 1-hour of non-call reading/consulting), for US$ 1,500 only (pre-paid).

This page was last updated on January 16, 2023.