Pivot: The one where they got incubated

XP Invest
July 2, 2019

If you’re a fan of the TV show ‘Friends’, the word ‘Pivot’ has a special meaning in your life. I unfortunately, am not writing about the correct way to carry a couch up the stairs.

What is a pivot? — In a business, a pivot can be loosely defined as a fundamental change to the business strategy and approach. You’ve probably heard the term being associated more with start-ups more than with larger businesses. Probably because larger businesses have the luxury of just shutting a division down and focusing on one their other revenue streams.

What causes a company to decide on drastically changing their business model and strategy. Well several reasons.

  1. You didn’t find a good Product Market fit.
  2. A big bad competitor is coming to eat away your market share.
  3. Drastic change in the industry and market.

As unfortunate as the last two sound, they’re out of your hands. In the 2 years that I’ve been at FinFabrik, the focus for our team has always been to build Institutional Grade trading platforms. Software built by capital market practitioners, for capital market practitioners. This approach hasn’t changed. Given, that we were building products in the Digital Asset(crypto) space, I think it can go without saying that the year 2018 was a bit rough. Several institutional customers that we were working with decided to go back to traditional asset classes, some just went back to their old jobs.

This year has been very different. The team has been working on several very interesting tokenisation projects that you’ll all be hearing about very soon. But that’s not why I’m writing this, I’m writing to talk about our Product Pivot (well sort of).

Put one hand up if you work for a start-up with a B2B focus, put your second hand up if you spent most of your time after developing the MVP in meeting rooms convincing people to give you guys a shot. Now, join me in throwing them both arms back in despair and frustration because after several meetings you’ve just been told ‘they need to think about it’. For young companies, with a B2B focus, the first institutional customer is always the hardest. What I can tell you from our experience is that if you don’t have a large institutional customer live already, these might be some of the things that you’ll hear-

  • Brand is unknown
  • No guarantee of after sales service
  • Risk of company going under
  • High switching cost for institution

For a young company keeping a close eye on their burn rate, a long sales cycles can be painful. It was for these reasons (among a few others) that when we decided to launch a new product, some of us in the company felt that we should take charge of our own destiny and create a B2C product instead. Fortunately for those of us that had these feelings, we had two amazing founders who have been kind enough to support this desire. This is how XP Invest was born. A new B2C trading platform that will be incubated by FinFabrik. While FinFabrik continues to focus on building technology for institutions, a few of us are going to be moving a few doors down to work on this new idea. It’s not going to be easy, but then nothing ever is.

What is XP Invest: A trading platform that let’s users trade across different asset classes. We’re creating new trading pairs like NDX/BTC, AAPL/ETH and many more. If you’re interested to learn more about our product visit https://www.xpinvest.io. You can also get in touch with us if you’re keen on listing interesting new assets or trading pairs on our platform.