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About Goldie Tech
Hello Amari, thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Amari. I was born and raised in Cologne, but now live in Berlin where I’m one of the three founders of Goldie Tech. Following my career as a professional soccer player, I founded my first start-up, Amparra, focusing on the sharing economy, in 2014. Ever since, I’ve got hooked on founding companies so to speak. I’ve engaged in very diverse areas – ranging from the sharing economy to additive manufacturing and now fintech. In my private life, I love spending time outdoors with my girlfriend and our dog, but I’m also pretty keen on wild nights out in Berlin.
As the name suggests, Goldie Tech is all about gold. But what exactly does Goldie Tech do and what motivated you to found Goldie Tech?
The idea for the company was inspired by the career of my co-founder Patrick Zimmermann, who has a strong background in investment banking. He was involved in major corporate mergers and never lost sight of the capital market during that period. Eventually, he became convinced that gold could be the best asset class for the majority of the population provided that access to gold and the whole procedure changed completely – in ways never seen before. That’s where my other co-founder Marcel Schilling comes in, who studied with Patrick in Amsterdam. Most recently, Marcel was involved in setting up an integrated data warehouse – from which all relevant risk systems in bank management can be supplied – for about 400 banks.
In short, these activities resulted in a gold account that banks can fully integrate as a white label. The customers of the banks who use our service are able to buy and sell gold in any denomination and with maximum flexibility through a simple transfer to a sub-account.
Target group and business model of Goldie Tech
Who is the target group for Goldie Tech’s products?
We are targeting all banks that have finally decided to get rid of their outdated gold savings plans and wish to pave the way for a new, innovative, secure and, above all, highly profitable product – after decades during which there was little innovation. We need such innovations in order to allow the general public to safeguard their wealth in challenging times (not only from a fiscal perspective).
Goldie Tech’s business model is based on a B2B2C solution. What are its special features?
There are already many good solutions in the B2C sector. People with access to capital markets are generally very willing to take risks. Aside from gold, thousands of stocks, ETFs, cryptos, NFTs, etc. are available there. We, however, deliberately steer clear of them. We firmly believe that the majority of people do not require another fancy product which nobody really understands.
In addition, numerous products are associated with an issuer risk (this also applies to the gold segment). Many investors are unaware of the implications this has with regard to the stable value of an investment product – especially nowadays. Access to the capital market is usually a basic prerequisite in order to have the opportunity to enter the dangerous jungle of financial products. In the end, you can only hope that you don’t get lost or lose money there.
In our opinion, the only reasonable alternative is to invest in physical gold. We believe that B2BC2 offers a fast lane – compared to other e-commerce models – to reach 85% of the people living in Germany (i.e. those without access to the capital market) and to greatly reduce the effort for everyone involved (except for us).
At the end of the day, what is special about Goldie Tech is the fact that bank customers have the opportunity to buy/sell gold in their familiar environment, i.e. in their online banking platform or in the app. Our solution eliminates unpleasant elements in the overall process (e.g. high fees, the need to change media when ordering, safe deposit boxes, etc.) for the end customer.
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Gold market: Chances and challenges
Global gold demand declined significantly in the second quarter of this year. How do you assess the impact of the current market environment and the prospects for Goldie Tech?
To say the least: governments were already highly indebted prior to the coronavirus pandemic. There is not only the problem of the low level of the key interest rate, but also the fact that central banks are relentlessly printing money. Banks have to find extremely creative solutions in order to be profitable at all. And to top it all off, there is a systematic devaluation of the euro. We should recall that since its introduction in 1999, the euro has depreciated by 85% – and that was even before the issue of inflation arose. I don’t wish to talk about the geopolitical situation here, which always influences a large part of the market environment, or elaborate on the fun fact that before the euro we already had innumerable other currencies. To put it simply: even if occasionally there are a few months in which demand may fall, demand has continuously existed since 4300 BC. The past 6322 years sum up my personal assessment. Gold is about safeguarding and building wealth over the long term for generations.
What has been your greatest challenge since you decided to start Goldie Tech?
As a matter of principle, our client segment (banks) is very demanding, which evidently has to do with their line of business. Essentially, it’s all about the money of their customers and the bank’s reputation, which is of utmost importance – especially in financial matters. Therefore, we have to meet the highest standards (e.g. technical infrastructure, IT security and contract law). But anyone who knows us will know that we in the management team have always been seeking such challenges (even before Goldie Tech).
And which major issues is Goldie Tech currently facing?
We are currently putting out feelers in the Emirates and the USA. At the same time, several integration projects are underway in Germany and Austria. The big challenge at the moment is to keep our focus on the really important things and not to lose sight of them in this exciting time full of opportunities.
Wow, that sounds like a truly fascinating development. Let’s return to you personally, what were your biggest challenges in founding a company and how did you deal with them?
A major challenge definitely was – and still is – to meet the right people within the banking world. As a fintech company, looking at it from the outside, it’s also incredibly difficult to understand the complex political situation. Having fallen behind a few times, experience was and continues to be our greatest teacher.
Thanks for the interview Amari. We wish you and Goldie Tech all the best for the future.