We have decided to call it a day for Bitcurate startup. The journey was bittersweet and startup are, by nature, extremely risky! I wish to express my gratitude and thank you for those who have supported Bitcurate through and through. I’m grateful for my team, investors, and our community for support over the last 3 years. No words could express my feelings and thoughts for this incredible journey, but alas, we reached a dead-end and have no more options but to end it.
Let me recap what we went through over the last 3 years of Bitcurate journey as an early-stage technology startup. This journey started in August 2018.
- We started with the idea, that the cryptocurrency market is the future and market data is in terrible shape. We couldn’t believe that any investors will make the decision to buy or sell crypto based on manipulated and untransparent prices. We are our ‘own customer’ as we ‘burned’ during the ICO days when most projects are working with the model of ‘pump and dump’.
- We started with a simple prototype and got accepted into LEAN Startup ventures in Shanghai, China. We participated for 1 month and decided that it wasn’t the right fit for us. We continue to build an MVP and got it to market by Nov 2018. We did our public launch in WeWork Shanghai. It was a great day for us.
- But the crypto market was in terrible shape at the end of 2018. Bitcoin was hanging around USD$4000–6000 and market sentiment was shit. My team quits due to a lack of cash flow. I sold my house to continue the startup.
- Things got better. We received small angel investments from 4 angels with who we are friends today. I used the funds to continue the development and re-vamp the product based on potential customer’s feedback. We continue building it with better backend server architecture that is scalable with Kubernetes and microservices. We built machine learning models to understand market data with LSTM sentiment analysis and price prediction with reinforced learning trading agent. Everything was moving at light speed.
- Things got worst from there. Despite having launched a proven MVP with data science and a scalable data model, paying customers is not coming in and money was running out fast. I tried fundraising with crypto groups in Singapore, KL, and China. Investors always need the ‘next thing’, the next milestone, the next paying customer, etc. Bills unpaid, server bills mounting, teams breaking apart again due to cash-flow.
- We received too many fake ‘hopes’ and fake ‘promises’. Signed investor term-sheet means nothing, crypto funds promised to invest was just a big scam, accelerator signed agreement was misleading with just ‘promise to invest’ and so much more nightmare in the Asia fundraising scene. Everyone was just hustling to get $ from each other’s pot. I even paid for a pitching slot in a crypto-fund raising event that was recommended by a friend.
- We ran out of $ in early 2020. We continued with whatever that is available from any token sale, crypto leftover, and flash-sale to continue while trying to get some paying customers, applying for incubators and accelerators. All of the above just managed to bring us for another month over month extension and accelerators are not buying our business model as well.
And here we are, in the midst of the Covid19 lockdown, recession, and market uncertainty, except for the bubble of the US Equity stock market and the bullishness of BTC, we decided to end our journey here and move on. We still believe in the crypto market and the future of blockchain applications. But data analytics is not a sexy business model nor attracted the right customer and attention from investors.
Last but not least, we’re thankful for all the support, energies, times, capital, and wisdom received from my family, spouse, team, friends, investors, and communities. I really wish I can do more for Bitcurate but I believe I have exhausted all my options available.
To end this chapter with Bitcurate on a positive note, this is not the end but a new beginning for each and every one of us. Thank you, over and out.
“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” — Lao Tzu