Tell Us About the Business, How Did it Come About?
The idea behind Glint actually started during the last financial crisis. I saw the devastation and panic as many people lost everything as Lehman Brothers and, here in the UK, Northern Rock, collapsed wiping out savings and causing huge financial turmoil. For the first time I realised that storing our wealth with banks may not be as secure as we think.
As people have done for thousands of years, I turned to gold for the solution. Unlike fiat currencies, gold holds an intrinsic value and many believe it has proven itself over time as the ultimate long-term store of value. Gold had one major problem, it couldn’t be used as an everyday currency – I sought to solve this by digitising gold and unlock access to it so gold can once again be used money on an everyday basis.
What Have You Learnt So Far?
The consumer appetite for alternative currencies has proven that there is a real desire and need for a viable alternative to the current monetary system. Whether it’s through gold as money, cryptocurrencies or a combination of the two, consumers are searching for more control over how they save and spend their money and wish to retain some independence from the financial institutions.
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What Challenges Have You Overcome? How Have You Responded During Covid?
We recently held a successful crowdfunding campaign in both the US and the UK simultaneously. Choosing the correct platform was a challenging and time-consuming process which is one of the reasons why we settled on Republic in the US and Seedrs in the UK. Partnering with two country-specific platforms was vital and both possessed the necessary experience to help us break new ground, appeal to a wider investor audience and, ultimately, secure more funding than anticipated. This also marked the first time that the platforms had hosted a joint fundraising round and it has been a resounding success raising over £3m ($4m) – 152% of our initial target – and remains open to US investors.
Just as importantly, these crowdfunding rounds allowed us to communicate with a wide network of investors and savers who have been searching for alternatives to the incumbent monetary system.
Building interest amongst crowdfunding investors is always a challenge so it is a testament to our product and team that we surpassed our funding target and received so much support from clients and new shareholders all keen to extol our virtues. It was humbling to hear the belief they have in Glint and this will spur us on to ensure we fulfil our potential and create a payments network that truly allows everyone an equal opportunity to prosper.
What Are Your Plans For Growth?
We’ll be continuing to develop our movement to unlock access to gold as money. 2021 has already seen rapid growth. Glint has seen a surge in clients, a jump of a third since the start of the year and we recently passed a major milestone, processing over $250m transactions since launch.
After successfully closing our crowdfunding round with Seedrs for all non-US investors – fundraising remains open via Republic for US investors – we’re ready to take the next step and enable the development of new products including more currencies to further expand our payments offering and to provide consumers and savers with even greater control over their finances.