StormHedge fintech company in digital finance, web based, automated, smart
Please introduce yourself and your startup StormHedge to our readers!
Hello everybody! We are an Austrian fintech start-up founded in 2016 and provide mobile software tools to automate investment protection. In other words our intelligent algorithms either tell you via the net or initiate by themselves actions to safeguard your invested money when financial markets start to tumble, all based on real-time facts without time delay or second guessing, uncertainty, fear or panic reaction.
How did you get the idea to StormHedge?
Our CEO is a seasoned asset manager who had his best results in the crises years around 2008. He developed his private rule book and made money when others lost heavily during the downturn. So, he decided to cast his knowhow in a machine learning algorithm and provide it to the public. Since then, however more functions got added to the product now called the Financial Navigator, allowing also a seamless integration into risk management and trading systems for institutionals.
How difficult was the start and what challenges had you to overcome?
Like in most of the cases we soon got to the point where our private money was pretty much used up. So, we went on the standard route of looking for public funding, without much success. Our product was either mistaken for a capitalist tool to speculate like another hedge fund, or not perceived as a scalable instrument for a broader audience. In the meantime, reality overtook ignorance. Digital finance arrived at the consumer end.
Who is your target audience?
First of all it is the midsized asset manager, treasurer, family office professional or any investor who cannot afford expensive, stationary and large scale risk management systems. We also address the so-called High Net Worth Individual who, as a knowledgeable private individual, wants to have diversified decision support for his own value protection and wealth development.
We see a clear trend towards the unbundling of traditional banking services and products on one side and on the other side the transfer of wealth to a young tech focused generation with less inertia, a higher sense of self-determination and an ease to take up new technologies for mobile cloud applications in finance and robo advisory. And we are right there with our solutions to support them.
What is the USP of your startup?
Our approach is to provide affordable, easy to install, accurate and prompt 24/7 risk management support for virtually any investor in traded indices, fixed income papers, commodities and foreign exchange. Our “White Box” serves as a self-learning, self-calibrating and self-optimizing advisor and, if you want, also automatically triggered actuator for value protection. It gives you all relevant information on market trends and performances, anywhere, anytime, on your desktop, mobile device or via other means of communication. Triggers are fully documented, archived and time stamped for automated reporting purposes which is quite important for regulators and supervisory routines to be followed.
Can you describe a typical workday of you?
In fact, there is no typical workday. We are in Beta testing mode for the current version of the Navigator and follow closely our test sites for engineering feedback. At the same time, our engineers implement new functionalities for future releases.
At the front end, we are chasing investors and strategic partners, accelerator programmes and business-related events around the globe. We just returned from a one-month stint in Hongkong where we managed to build up our Asian network of beta users and partners who helped us a lot to understand the local dynamics in the fintech arena. The speed of development is amazing and not comparable to anything seen here.
Where do you see yourself and your startup StormHedge in five years?
As a startup we consider the next 12 to 24 months first since long-term planning is futile at this stage. Of course, we have a vision where we want to end up. We want to place STORMHEDGE Solutions as a leading fintech company in digital finance for web based, automated and smart products to help people keep their invested savings in critical market conditions.
What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
I can only talk about our business which is fintech.
Austria is not the ideal biotope for innovation in this category, so step out of your little front garden as soon as possible, join the crowd in the fintech hotspots which are outside Austria and probe the global markets with your ideas.
Do not rely on public funding as your only source of income. With very few exceptions, our local schemes seemed to us as too bureaucratic, time consuming and little knowledgeable to give relevant support.
Equip yourself with enough private money from friends and family to overcome the first hurdles and look out for an advisory body to avoid heading in wrong directions and wasting time and resources.
The most important, though is the selection of your team. Be sure to have a comprehensive set of competencies in your team with loyal, resilient and hardworking team members.
Driving a start-up is not a fashion game, it is hard work with sleepless nights and the constant risk to fail.
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