Will we one day trade in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with the same familiarity that we reach into our wallets for cash or credit cards? About the only thing that seems certain at this point concerning the place of cryptocurrencies in the financial industry is that the people drawn to the marketplace know how to embrace risk.
Of course, the future must seem a little more certain when Goldman Sachs becomes your client before you’ve even finished your product – or so Prashant Sugand hopes, as he continues to build Quantave, a platform aimed at bringing cryptocurrencies to mass market. Prashant, Co-founder and Business Developer at Quantave, tells us more about the unfolding revolution:
What’s your company about? What do you do? Who are your customers?
Quantave is a pioneering platform, empowering traders with unparalleled access to unique market data and insights – bringing Bitcoin to the forefront of analytical prowess.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website? Why is it better than the competition?
We are bringing Bitcoin to the masses by providing real-time news feeds and data APIs. Institutional investors, hedge funds, and other companies involved in the financial sector will finally be able to get on board with cryptocurrencies.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
The “quant” is derived from quantity – indicating that we offer the possibility for investors to execute high-frequency trades in real-time. The “ave” is derived from wave –indicating the wave-like nature of financial markets.
What was your first computer? How old were you when you first got on the world-wide web?
Windows 95. About 11/12 years old.
What time do you usually start work each day? How many hours a day do you usually work?
[I work a ] full-time job: 9.00 AM – 6.00 PM. After that, I work till 2.00 or 3.00 AM on Quantave.
When’s the last time you went on vacation and where did you go?
Marrakech (Morocco) the first week of February.
When do your best ideas come to you?
When I’m traveling in the underground or when I’m discussing emerging technologies with other individuals.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
We started the company with 9 individuals. Currently, all individuals are still with us.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually go after yours?
I consider myself to be a gambler – I either go all in or don’t go in at all.
Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through.
We’re currently starting up and still have to overcome hiccups. So far, the journey has been a roller-coaster – we experience serious highs on some days and many lows thereafter.
How do you handle frustration? What has been your biggest professional frustration?
Meditation and focus are the keys. It’s very easy to get distracted with matters that are not relevant – thinking of the big picture motivates to keep going ahead.
What’s your office environment like? Do you listen to music? Watch movies? Play video games?
We all work from home.
The Quantave Team (Prashant, 2nd from Right)
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
We offer two services, a free trading platform for traders and data/news feeds for investors and investment firms. In 5 years, I see us executing a large proportion of crypto-related currency trades through our platform and also being the Bloomberg for cryptocurrencies.
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Quotes? Running? Video games? Snack food?
“Treat the stock exchange like a cold shower (‘quick in quick out’)” – Baron von Rothschild.
How’d you fund this venture?
We’re self-funded but in the process of getting seed funding through startup incubators and VCs.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Start early, iterate often, focus on core features and avoid the fancy stuff.
What other advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?
The sooner you start the better. Even little progress is better than no progress. Timing is critical, and once you understand when to get in and out, that will drive you to work.
What would you do if you had a year off and $500,000 to spend (on something other than work)?
I’d re-invest it into a variety of assets. There’s no such things as vacations for me.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur? If not, what’ll make you feel successful?
Yes, I sold my first company when I was 19.
Top 5 websites you couldn’t live without and why?
- Y Combinator – A gold mine for information.
- CoinDesk – Need to keep up to date with latest trends.
- AngelList – Great site to keep an eye on emerging trends.
- The Economist – Macro-economic news which is beneficial to make more informed decisions.
- IG – CFD Trading (increases my wealth and encourages me to take risks).
What is your music streaming player of choice, and what are you listening to right now?
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet? (And why that country?)
USA, San Francisco. (It’s quite obvious).
Three people (other than you) we should follow on Twitter and why?
- Hiten Shah – Very useful advice and a gold mine of knowledge.
- Joel Gascoigne – Good advice and generally a great person to follow.
- Eric Ries – I’m a big fan of the lean startup; there’s no better person to follow.