In 2020, the spread of the coronavirus and the rise of the ‘work from home culture’ led many people to take up trading as a profession. These new traders included those looking for a new career after losing their jobs or those simply wanting an additional income.
It proved to be a fruitful time for b-cube.ai, which launched in January 2020 to provide trading bots that use technical and sentiment analysis and mathematical models to help traders trade on autopilot. It wanted to be the first in the industry to provide 24/7 customer care on social media with ‘real humans’.
Its CEO and co-founder Guruprasad Venkatesha started his first fintech firm Sharegiants Wealth Advisors Private Limited in Bangalore, India, when he was 16, managing an AUM of $2million and had a successful exit from the company. Later he worked for Morgan Stanley as an investment analyst and a trader, where he was in a team managing $50million.
He has 15 years of experience in fund management and defining trading strategies in equities, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. Here Venkatesha tells us more about the idea for bringing to life a crypto trading bots platform for individual traders.
Tell us more about your company and its offering
b-cube.ai is the ultimate all-in-one, AI-driven platform for retail and institutional to build, optimise, automate, rent, or buy custom-built crypto trading strategies and also use tools such as sentiment data and technical analysis screener to simplify the trading experience.
At the moment, we have created some trading strategies in the top 10 cryptocurrencies that can go both long and short, and can be customised based on your preferences.
We allow even third-party providers to post their strategies on our platform provided they pass our strict due diligence process. We offer Sentiment Analysis Indicators (SAI) which are totally in-house built and help retailers and institutions make informed decisions about their trading or investment decisions.
We are soon going to offer a new infrastructure where people can build and optimise their strategy using our platform by eliminating alpha decay which is the normal problem in the industry.
What problem was your company set up to solve?
Crypto markets trade 24/7 which makes it impossible for any human to sit in front of a computer and make an analysis to get the right trade.
The trading models lose their predictive power after a few months which we call Alpha Decay which is the most common problem in all the crypto trading bots marketplace.
There is no transparency in the reporting of the results of the trades and poor customer care. Only smart contract-based trading can provide transparency eliminating any trust issue between two parties.
There are not many regulated companies in this industry which makes it easy for scammers to rob money from investors.
Finally, there is no platform out there for crypto that gives trading tools for retail investors to institutional funds on one single platform.
We are solving the above problems
Since launch, how has your company evolved?
We launched the product in the market with just one single trading bot which was the result of two years of R&D in partnership with CentraleSupelec in 2020. We were three people at that time taking care of the trading models, trading infrastructure, website, marketing, sales, customer care, etc having zero revenues. Since then we have scaled to an 11 member team.
We ended 2020 with revenues of €150,000 and 2021 with €500,000. We have received JEI status from the French Government which is an official endorsement of our startup being in R&D. Until May 2021, we bootstrapped the company and reinvested the revenues that we generated. We raised €2.7million in May 2021 by conducting a token sale of $BCUBE.
The utility of the token is very unique as whoever stakes the token on a decentralised smart contract can get access to our products and services absolutely free of cost. The extent of the free access depends on the tiers to which they belong, the minimum tier is staking 7000 $BCUBE which is now worth $560, for this they can get access to one trading bot for absolutely free of cost as long as they keep the $BCUBE staking on our smart contract.
We then went on to build our own Sentiment Analysis Indicator which predicted the fall in November 2021 and TA Screener which makes it easy for a layman to study technical analysis. Now we are building the auto-optimisation platform for those who want to build their own bots and don’t want to take care of it later. Right now we have more than thousands of clients, have made a lifetime trading volume of $450million+, and turned profitable last year and have a community of more than 10,000 across social media.
What has been the biggest challenge or most ‘tricky moment’ to overcome?
The biggest challenge has been convincing people that we are not a hedge fund but a tech company which makes the work of a hedge fund easier by using our infrastructure. We spoke to a couple of investors and they soon concluded that we are a hedge fund when we clearly are developing tools that can actually help them. Secondly, marketing on social media has not been so easy as many platforms have banned advertisements related to cryptocurrency topics. So the biggest challenge to overcome has been to convince investors that we are not a hedge fund.
What are your biggest achievements or ‘proudest moment’ so far?
b-cube.ai was born to help retail investors with efficient financial products that were only reserved for UHNW investors in the past. We were successful in making it a reality with the ‘staking tokens to get free access to our products’ business model which was the first of its kind in the industry.
Even today we are the only player having such a business model. Almost 90 per cent of the token sale was conducted to our community which is a common man like us which has never happened in history. Normally token sale is done to institutions in the early round and maximum of 10 per cent will be for retail investors but we did exactly the opposite.
How would you describe the culture of your company?
Transparency, honesty, trust and innovation are the pillars of the company. Empathy is another thing that is deeply embedded in every person who works at BCUBE. We always serve our customers the best we can and always we go to lengths to solve the problems of our customers. We have a culture of friendship within the team as we speak, joke, and discuss everything openly without any hesitation of holding back in fear. We are focused on our goal to serve the common man with tools that were once available only to high-net-worth investors. At the same time, offering different products to institutions which is absolutely unique in terms of technology.
What’s in store for the future?
We are currently applying to get registered as a digital service asset provider (DASP) with the French financial regulator, AMF. This is expected to take seven to eight months so, in Q2 2023, we will be a regulated crypto company in France. Once we get this registration then we will be able to provide Market Making, Custodian and Brokerage services to institutional clients.
We have already many requests and inquiries from the institutions so this will help us to make headway in the B2B sector. We provide different products to B2C and B2B hence satisfying both the customers. This way we will be the first completely all-in-one AI-driven platform for both retail and institutions.
We will be launching the Build your own AI/ML bot where people will not just build their own Bots using Python codes but also with our zero coding platform, it will be possible for anyone with no knowledge in coding to build their own bots. Our AI/ML infrastructure will help them to optimise their strategy automatically hence the alpha decay won’t happen. This will be launched in Q1 2023.