On Disrupting Fintech & Building A $2.6M/Year Digital Wallet

Published: October 3rd, 2022
Punit Thakker
Founder, Finvault
from Dubai - United Arab Emirates
started June 2021
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi everyone, my name is Punit Thakker and I am the CEO and co-founder of Finvault – the digital wallet that’s on a mission to financially connect the world. Finvault offers a unique value proposition by letting our users manage all their bank accounts and crypto, in one place. You can remember us as, “One app for all your accounts.”

We are currently in the pre-launch stage and will be available shortly to customers in the UK and Europe. In our initial offering, we will be launching with our core features; connect and have an overview of all your bank accounts and crypto wallets, access to a super simple and easy-to-navigate crypto exchange, buy crypto with your connected bank accounts, exchange crypto between crypto and withdraw crypto into your bank accounts.

The goal is to make Finvault the perfect place for people to start or continue their crypto journey. While we do have a focus on helping more crypto beginners access and understand cryptocurrency, it’s also a platform that even the most crypto and tech savvy will appreciate, as there’s not much else on the market that lets you connect all your bank accounts and manage your crypto in the same place.

We will be rolling out lots of other features in time, for example, payments, rewards, remittances, and more, and we will also be available to other global locations. Initially, Finvault will be available as a desktop version (which is also mobile-friendly!), and our app version will closely follow.

Once we do launch the app, there will be educational snippets to help users learn more about the crypto basics. Like most businesses nowadays, we are becoming a bit of a media company, with upcoming webinars and a podcast being released soon, with hopes of simplifying what we believe to be the future of money.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Coming from a fintech background, I knew the importance of building a solid foundation for our product, to fulfill the basic needs of a customer, in a simple way.

My co-founder Christian Papathanasiou and I both worked in the fintech industry for a long time before starting Finvault – so we knew what was missing. This is why we wanted to develop our idea that aims to completely reshape the existing financial infrastructure.

We knew that bridging the gap between traditional finance and Decentralised Finance (DeFi) and making it as accessible to the masses as possible, would make for a more equitable financial ecosystem. As well as this, we wanted to make it easier for businesses to open bank accounts as we knew that this was a massive pain point in the industry.

I have a strong background in the payments industry and was one of the first employees at PayPal and Checkout.com and held a senior position at PayTabs. Chris is an expert in cybersecurity, previously holding senior positions at Citi, DarkMatter, and Careem/Uber. He is a blockchain thought leader and speaks at multiple industry conferences and events.

Coming from a fintech background, I knew the importance of building a solid foundation for our product, to fulfill the basic needs of a customer, in a simple way.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Chris coded the very first prototype of Finvault over a weekend and a lot of work has been done since then to make it into the product it is today! We now have a full team of highly skilled developers and data scientists, building our tech 100% in-house. We also have an incredibly talented team of UX/UI designers who have brought our idea to life.

Because the industry we operate in is highly regulated, we have had to obtain lots of licenses. Although this has meant we have been met with fairly hefty setup costs, we wholeheartedly believe in the importance of legality and fully support and champion the need for high regulation in the financial services industry, as it ultimately benefits our users and ensures their safety.

We have gone through multiple rounds of user testing until we have gotten to the point where we can bring the best initial offering to market.

Some of the early team meetings:



Our desktop version of Finvault that will be launched first to market:




Some screen grabs of the app version that is currently being designed and built:







Describe the process of launching the business.

We have been building the bulk of the tech behind the scenes now for just under a year, and throughout this time, our target market, demographic, and focus have changed quite a bit. Through market research and testing, we have shifted our focus as we have learned that as a business, you need to be open to changing the direction if it’s better aligned with what customers actually want and need.

Chris and I have bootstrapped the company thus far and our launch strategy is set across two phases. The first phase is going to be the launch into the European and UK markets, with our initial features. The second phase will see the rollout of our app and additional features with a focus on new markets. The reason we are doing it this way is so we can scope the market and do some A/B testing with our first launch phase.

We want to have an open feedback loop with our customers that will help us make continuous improvements. Reid Hoffman famously said, “if you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late,” and this is why we want to get an MVP out there. We know it might not be perfect the first time around, but we believe the only way to improve and make it perfect for our users, is to get it out there.

We have really been focusing on partnerships and organic marketing for the first launch. This is because we plan to allocate the majority of our budget to the second phase of our launch - which is another reason why we are doing it in two phases, so we can see what works well and what doesn’t and ensure we spend our limited budget in the best way possible.



How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Our crypto exchange is currently in beta testing for friends and family and is running at a profit so we are really excited to see the margins once our full product is open to the general public. Our projection for customer acquisition cost is approximately US$10.75 with a customer lifetime value of $4800 (based on a 2-year lifecycle assumption). Our target number of customers per market in year one is 20,000.

Right now, we have a waiting list on our website that users can sign up for and as soon as Finvault goes live in their region, they will get an email notifying them that they can create and activate their account.

We are planning our first phase launch for September and the second phase will be the end of this year/early next year. We have plans to expand globally with hopes of growing our team even further.

My main hopes and goals for the business are as follows:

  1. To bring cryptocurrency into mainstream use so that the masses can access the benefits of crypto, in a supported way. The aim is to do this by providing a simplified user experience and empower users with the ability to navigate DeFi and crypto, without the complexities.
  2. Create a financial ecosystem that bridges the gap between traditional and decentralized finance. With blockchain technology at our core, we want to become the go-to platform for everything money and crypto, globally.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Starting a business is a continuous process of innovating, growing, and making fast decisions. The key thing to remember while growing a business is to focus on one problem at a time.

I’ve learned that it’s important to get your product out to the market and launch it rather than wasting time and waiting for everything to be absolutely perfect. Keep the MVP and Proof of Concept (POC) simple and don’t wait forever to launch. What I have found to be the most helpful criteria for successfully growing the business, is to take feedback at every step of the way - both negative and positive.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I have read many books and listened to lots of podcasts that have truly inspired me but the resource that has had the biggest impact on my entrepreneurship journey is the book by Reid Hoffman, ‘Startup of you.’ It motivated me to take a leap of faith to build my own business. He’s definitely an idol of mine and I would love to learn more from him.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

  1. Keep hustling and never give up on achieving your dreams.
  2. Always be passionate about what you are building.
  3. Be very focused on doing one thing at a time.
  4. Believe in yourself and don’t compare yourself with other people or companies.
  5. Manage and empower your team - hire people who are willing to go an extra mile and are passionate about what you are trying to achieve.
  6. Motivate the team by giving them autonomy over their area of expertise.
  7. Don’t spend investors' money blindly - be very calculative.
  8. Learn from the mistakes of others.
  9. Use other successful people as inspiration but remember to never compare yourself. Instead, look at their strategy and find areas for improvement that you can implement into your strategy.
  10. Always be committed to, honest and transparent with your peers.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

We are currently looking to hire a Risk and Compliance Officer and are always on the lookout for exceptional talent to join our growing team. If you think Finvault is up your street, you can send your CV to [email protected].

Where can we go to learn more?