Our new Disruption by Blockchain series aims to highlight companies that are leveraging the incredible potential of blockchain technology to disrupt and revolutionize their industry. Through one on one interviews, we'll speak directly with industry leaders to cut beyond the hype and get directly to the heart of practical use cases and examples of how it will change the world, one industry at a time.
The following is an interview we recently had with Ruslan Tugushev, CEO of Storiqa.
1. What’s the history of Storiqa? How and where did you begin?
RT: I spent more than 10 years in business development of SME. Their core competencies were different but the problems are quite similar. Since I have gained enough experience and put together professionals from different fields, I realized that it is time to establish a global company which helps any SME to expand business internationally and start trading worldwide in 1 hour.
By and large, the preparation for the token sale took 6 months and just in 9 weeks with Storiqa's team $25 million was raised.
The idea itself of the global marketplace was based on a previous experience of crowdfunding.
2. Who are the founders and key team members?
Ruslan Tugushev is the founder of the first crowdfunding platform in Russia – Boomstarter (analog to Kickstarter).
Evgeny Gavrilin is an entrepreneur, founder of more than 10 companies. Co-founder of the Boomstarter platform which has already helped in fundraising of 1548 projects in various fields, such as business, technology, books, traveling, cinema, music, and events.
Andrian Galkin is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, have been studying and interning at Stanford University and also Institute for the US and Canadian Studies.
3. What problem are you solving?
RT: There are a few problems in global online trading. Shoppers are specious about reviews honesty. It's pretty easy to make fake reviews. Sellers encounter high barriers when penetrating the market. Unknown brands require support especially in terms of global online trading. Thus, Storiqa helps SME (like family business) start selling globally in 1 hour.
4. What is your solution to this problem?
RT: Storiqa implements blockchain in its marketplace and thus, it becomes an unusual marketplace with outstanding features for both buyers and sellers. Blockchain assures the transparency in terms of honest shopping and safe business. Shoppers will be able to leave a review only after receiving ordered goods, it means no fake feedback. Sellers will be able to cooperate with bloggers and get free promotion from them. Traffic owners (bloggers) will be able to monetize their reviews through the affiliate program.
5. Why is your industry ripe for disruption?
RT: The overall capacity of e-commerce is growing. By 2019, it is estimated that there will be 224 million digital shoppers in the United States. Blockchain implementation in online retail business is rather emerging wave of 2018. It’s relatively a new idea for this industry because yet none of the companies use it fully. However, blockchain solves persistent problems in e-commerce. Online global trading implies long and costly transactions. The fee for transferring cryptocurrency is much lower than with fiat money. Cross-border payments will be faster which means that sellers receive money quicker to the account.
Moreover, blockchain brings cryptocurrency to common usage in online trading. Every shopper who has cryptocurrency can purchase goods via the platform, for example, Storiqa.com This is a completely new audience for e-commerce and the purchasing power of them is pretty high. Between 5.8 million and 11.5 million wallets are estimated to be currently ‘active’. By and large, blockchain positively impacts e-commerce and geographical borders in terms of trading vanish.
6. What's the future of your industry?
Prediction #1: Blockchain changes e-commerce. Gradually this technology will be implemented in different marketplaces. Storiqa implements this technology in order to create basement for honest reviews. Blockchain allows leaving reviews on a product only after order delivery.
Prediction #2: Business will be more tokenized. Platforms will implement their own token and offer more inner services which will be paid with platforms' token.
Prediction #3: Online shopping will grab more and more attention. There is a potential to grow. Shoppers with cryptocurrency belong to an untapped market.