I’ve always wanted to build a startup – tried and failed at least ten times since college! I worked in cyber security for over a decade and launched a security consulting company in Web2. I had also been dabbling in crypto since 2013 and believed in a Web3 future. Around 2019, my consulting firm was trying to help a Web2 bank, where the work was more about managing bureaucracy than doing actual work. This naturally led us to work in Web3.
We pivoted to focus purely on Web3 companies. Celo/cLabs hired us to perform security audits of their validators – a first for a proof-of-stake network. They were truly passionate about their mission of bringing prosperity to everyone through crypto, which is what attracted me to it. I helped build the cLabs security team from the ground up and was privileged to work with some of the smartest people in crypto.
In February 2021, the Reddit r/wallstreetbets (WSB), with a vengeance, started squeezing the billion-dollar hedge funds that were shorting Gamestop stock. The SEC, Robinhood and even Discord stepped in to stop WSB. The incident emphasized how market traditions excluded ordinary people. That’s when I came up with the idea of Kresko – a solution that upholds individual choice and gives market access to people who don’t have it.
I researched the available synthetic asset protocols - protocols that enable people to trade derivatives in the form of synthetic stocks on a blockchain. These are crypto-backed assets that track the price of physical stocks, giving people access to the price of that stock. None of the existing solutions offered what I envisioned; they weren’t capital-efficient, and they weren’t accessible to underprivileged and non-technical people.
A few of us degens got together and created a novel design for a synthetic asset protocol, much better than the existing protocols. The Celo blockchain is designed to be mobile-first so billions of people can manage their wealth with just their smartphone. It was the perfect platform for our solution as our mission was to help anyone, anywhere grow wealth. We are mission-oriented degens!
We were thrilled to join the Celo Camp accelerator and showcase our vision to the community.
Celo Camp Highlights
What did you build during the camp?
At camp, we built an end-to-end product, including the protocol design, code, and front-end, that worked on a testnet. Watch our testnet demo here.
How does your app change lives? Who do you hope to impact?
Kresko’s mission is to help people grow wealth. We plan to start with a simple solution - access to U.S. and international stocks, ETFs, and commodities in places where people don’t have it. In the last decade, global markets have grown 50% and US markets by 186%; and only a tiny fraction of the population has benefited. We want to help underprivileged and disenfranchised people participate in this growth story.
Our solution will allow fractional asset ownership. If Amazon is trading at $3,000 a share, for example, you don’t have to buy a whole unit. You can buy $5 worth of Amazon stock (that’s 0.00167 of a share) with just $0.015 in fees!
What are some important things you learned?
The session on the Mom Test really stood out for me: how to talk to users to identify a need or demand. It helped me understand product development, and I routinely use those lessons when talking to users. To discern what people want but don’t explicitly articulate is a very useful skill, one I use when interacting with my team, interviewing job applicants, and talking to investors.
What were your most memorable moments during the camp?
Alon and Rachel have created an amazing, safe and conducive environment for entrepreneurs to build their vision. They introduced us to other builders, mentors and investors. I’ve met so many great mentors. Shout out to Ken from Electric Capital – our discussions about the crypto industry, our vision, and how to make it a reality have been invaluable.
What do you plan to achieve moving forward with the tools you received at Celo Camp?
We want to contribute to solving the problem of wealth inequality in the world. We will start by creating a trading platform. Our goal is to solve the many design challenges, technical shortcomings, and financial inefficiencies in the crypto industry.
Our vision and values resonate with you? Come build it with us!
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Author: Deepak Nuli, Founder at Kresko Labs
The Kresko Team