Interview With Sebastian Kirsch
Describe your product or service:
“SNYKZ is a first mover for a social trading app that will change everything in terms of investing. SNYKZ combines the functionality of a trading app with a lifestyle product to become a better investor. We are building a TikTok for social trading. It is very simple: instead of text messaging in ‘tweet style’ — we believe in short videos. Share your trading knowledge with the entire SNYKZ community with a short video.
SNYKZ is a platform with commission-free trading and fractional US stocks, fractional cryptocurrencies. It is a platform where family, friends, financial [enthusiasts], influencers, and anybody else can invest together, sharing their investment knowledge and experience.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“SNYKZ is on a mission to pioneer a whole new trading category to make trading more social. It is designed from the ground up for a whole new user experience for the investment and trading community. The SNYKZ social platform is for everybody and provides a safe, secure, and regulated platform to exchange ideas, portfolios, and information that empowers anybody to invest. With our social functionality as group chats [that can] post SNYKZ videos or discussions of the latest market news on the life videos — we will give our community that safe, regulated trading platform and trusted app that today’s millennial and Gen Z investors want and need.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“SNYKZ is bootstrapped to date. I financed the startup with my money from previous exits.
We will start our first funding round in January of 2022 and welcome anyone who wants to work with a young, hungry team and shares our passion and vision for the future of trading.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“SNYKZ is an international team of six members. The team has come from leading financial institutions, investment firms, and huge fintech companies. Our founder Sebastian has worked for the largest banks, founded multiple startups, and sold them. In 2022, SNYKZ will be hiring highly-skilled and experienced talent to further advance our rapid growth.”
How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!
“Our whole team are retail investors, and the pandemic created the perfect requirements for investing, as many people launched TikTok trading channels. But honestly, TikTok or Reddit is the wrong place to talk about such a serious topic [like] trading and investing. It is easy to fake success and fool or scam other investors on TikTok. Many Gen Z and millennials started to think about their financial future and exchange ideas with each other, and [they] look for very simple instructions and information on how and where to invest.
Many existing retail trading apps do a good job, but consumers will increasingly look for new and better ways to invest.
I came up with the idea for SNYKZ, the first social trading platform in TikTok style, in the middle of the pandemic. We wanted to build a regulated, one-stop-shop between trading and social media. SNYKZ solves many issues with retail investors from ‘fake news’ … to the knowledge gap for first-time investors. We strongly believe that SNYKZ will change how Gen Z and millennials invest and trade.”
How did you come up with your startup's name? Did you have other names you considered?
“SNYKZ is a powerful name and reflects the trading and social aspects of our app.
NY= New York, because our HQ is in New York
K= Kozy, with K because it looks better … Our users should be able to feel cozy in our app
Z= Gen Z because this is one of our target groups”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“Yes, I had several experiences with my own startups, which fortunately have always run positively.
I come from an entrepreneurial family, and it's in my DNA.”
Did you encounter any roadblocks when launching your startup? If so, what were they and what did you do to solve them?
“Yes, Like most startups, there are always going to be hurdles and issues to deal with. It is part of building a business — anyone who tells you there are no issues is not telling you the truth. As a good CEO, you have to work through them, rely on your advisors for input, and go right at the problem.”
Who is your target market? How did you establish the right market for your startup?
“SNYKZ welcomes everyone, although we know that Gen Z and millennials will be more comfortable with the social media aspect of our platform because they have grown up in this space. First-time investors, influencers, or experienced investors will also love the platform. Many users of existing trading apps will probably want to switch to SNYKZ because of its features, our unique toolkit, and social experience too.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“We have many marketing strategies, but our most important strategy is the referral. For every referral, our customers will get $10 worth of stock. To get early access, you need to refer at least five new pre-subscribers. The rest is our special sauce.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Via social media platforms, we have a waitlist of a few thousand subscribers. In early 2022, we will start our private beta.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“There are a few, but our most KPIs are our pre-subscribers. With these, they confirm that we are building something breathtaking.”
What's your favorite startup book and podcast?
“My favorite book is ‘Blue Ocean Strategy,’ which tells you that it's unnecessary to compare your own business all the time with your competitors. It makes no sense.
My favorite podcast is ‘Fintech Growth Talk Podcast.’ They have so many great insights, and I very much like the host.”
Is there a tool, app, or resource that you swear by to help run your startup?
“Not really. We are always trying new tools. That's because the older business tools unfortunately don't offer what the modern platforms require.”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“We are reading all the time the success stories of startups, and we are comparing ourselves with your chapter one and with chapter 20 from a successful entrepreneur or startup.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“I am newly engaged, so my fiancé regularly asks me to not work so hard and long. I really enjoy building companies and don't think of it as work life. To me, it's almost all life.”
What is a strategy you use to stay productive and focused?
“Coffee, coffee, and more coffee (just kidding a little). I follow the principles of ‘no tickets, no task.’ It helps me to stay organized and will not work on more than three tickets at the same time.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“Yes, post on social media. Normally I am not that guy who posts anything or comments on something. I have changed my mind and post regularly on social media to stay in touch with customers, partners, and all the different ecosystems.”
What was your first job and what did it teach you?
“My first job was in a bank at the front. It taught me to understand the financial world, understand customer satisfaction, and that an old-school bank is not necessary anymore.”
More on SNYKZ
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Sebastian Kirsch of SNYKZ that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.