I Launched An App To Help People Find Financial Freedom

Published: September 9th, 2021
David Martínez de Lecea
Founder, Exirio
from Dubai - United Arab Emirates
started September 2020
market size
starting costs
gross margin
time to build
210 days
growth channels
Direct sales
business model
best tools
Salesforce, Google Drive, Wave
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
39 Pros & Cons
2 Tips
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Hello! Who are you, and what business did you start?

Hello, my name is David Martínez de Lecea. I’m a keen tech entrepreneur and investor with Computer Science and Economics degrees as well as an MBA. I have spent many years working in the technology and finance sectors: as a management consultant for banks and other financial institutions, and as an entrepreneur in fintech and AI ventures.

Exirio is a wealth tracking and insight app, designed to make life easier for anyone wishing to monitor their wealth and investment portfolio. The app aggregates all a user’s wealth in one place and gives valuable information on how their investments are performing. The way we see it is simple: Exirio is the first step to better investment decisions in the path towards financial freedom. It gives everyday people the ability to understand their wealth better, not just those who have huge portfolios.


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

The idea for Exirio came to me during the lockdown days of 2020. Many of my friends and colleagues had a particular pain point: they were spending far too much time creating and updating complicated spreadsheets to track their assets. I thought there really ought to be an app to do this for them, something to provide even better insights into how investments are performing and ultimately how one’s wealth is growing. Why shouldn’t everyone have the opportunity to plan for a life of financial freedom? And so it began, I went about creating something that helped people track and fully understand their investments, and allow them to plan better.

Why shouldn’t everyone have the opportunity to plan for a life of financial freedom?

What Exirio offers is a unique and robust product that has been built from the ground up, with key features coming first. I began by building a team of dedicated and passionate professionals across half the world (Dubai, the US, India, Lebanon, Spain & Vietnam) to help deliver on Exirio’s vision. The team combines investment professionals, marketing specialists, UX designers, and, most importantly, tons of developers that build and maintain the very sophisticated infrastructure that powers our application.

Since then the team has done an incredible job of constantly rolling out new features, and they’ve achieved a lot in a short period of time.

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

We think that quick releases and iterations are the way to go. We didn’t wait until we had a perfectly built app before making it live, we just jumped right in and continued to build, adding more features as we went. In fact, we launched the product when it was not much more useful than a beautiful spreadsheet. Rather than wait to have the perfect product or the perfect moment to launch, we felt it was better to just launch with our most basic version, and then improve, improve, improve.

Since we went live, we’ve talked to users weekly to find out the most important features and focus on those. The goal is to make an extremely helpful, secure tool that is a pleasure to use.

Describe the process of launching the business.

The first thing was to assemble a development team, many of which are also going to be company shareholders, and start working on the MVP immediately and iterate constantly thereafter. After that, we started increasing our marketing efforts: website, social media, PR. We hardly do anything else but the bare minimum accounting and legal work (mainly data protection and privacy), to ensure all our i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.

We want to focus on building the product and delivering something that users will find useful.

The product was launched through various online communities including Product Hunt and Crunchbase but we mainly talk about the product through our social media channels. Initial feedback from our early users has been very positive, and we continue to work closely with our users to improve the app and add more features. This will never stop.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Organic growth through personal recommendations is still our main channel (growing at ~10% weekly). We also use organic social media to communicate and interact with our current and future users. The main channels we use right now are LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook plus we get involved in other interesting communities like on Quora and Reddit. These methods have brought on users who were on the hunt for a product like Exirio: they enjoy using it and it makes their life easier - our ultimate goal.

We are starting to mix in some paid content but the focus is still mainly organic growth. The paid content we have implemented so far has been some basic Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn ads. We are just testing right now to see what results we achieve and which channels are most successful, before refining our strategy.

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

The goal is to make an extremely helpful, secure tool that is a pleasure to use. We consider everything else a source of the noise. We will keep this strategy relentlessly, adding product features for the next 18-24 months.

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

We have learned that there is much more demand for this type of tool/service than we originally anticipated. Everyone seems to be using a spreadsheet to track their wealth which requires a big effort and normally doesn’t provide as relevant information as Exirio does.

Our strategy to put all our money and resources into building the best product is a strategy I’m really happy with. As I said, everything else is noise, we want to deliver the best product first and foremost!

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We use several different platforms and workspaces to keep things in motion. Google Workspace and Discord are probably the most used by the whole team. We are a ‘work anywhere in the world’ type business so easily accessible online workspaces are key. Below is a more detailed list of what we use for various parts of the business.

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

I read and listen a lot! It keeps me sane and keeps me learning, always learning. Some of my favorite content stops are whatever Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan, and Paul Graham produce.

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

There is just no replacement for taking a leap of faith and doing it. Only then one finds out what the real challenges and problems to be solved are. A 3-6 month period before as a side gig is acceptable. After that, just do it, what’s the worst thing that could happen? That you have to close down the business and do something else? Life’s short.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Yes. We are always looking to increase the team, especially our technical development team. We have a long list of features to add to the app!

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

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