Startup Focus: Velmie

We spoke to Slava Ivashkin, CEO and Founder of Velmie to get an insight how they're changing the future of the industry.

Date: 21 December 2022
Author: FINTECH Circle

Velmie is a financial technology provider that has been on the market for more than 10 years delivering back end, mobile and web solutions to enterprise financial institutions and entrepreneurs. 

How would you describe your business in one sentence?

Velmie is a technology company that helps its clients to reduce go-to-market time and launch scalable and secure finance/ banking products using in-house pre-built software.

Tell us why your company is a game changer for our industry?

Velmie aims to design financial products comparable to the top industry players – those companies invest millions into technology, staff, etc. Velmie partners with businesses that can’t afford it, but have some cool ideas and might change the industry or make the finance system of a certain region or group better.

How? Velmie benchmarks a few selected industry leaders, and delivers solutions using a similar technology stack.

Velmie is aligned with industry changes. As an example, we offer solutions for traditional money and digital assets like cryptocurrencies and tokens.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Velmie does not pursue formal industry recognition yet. I guess we should change this approach for reputation reasons though we all know how it works. Every week I get a couple of e-mail messages with the proposal to ‘recognize’ Velmie or its CEO.

What we have accomplished so far:

  • sophisticated in-house technology,
  • loyal talented team that gets along pretty well,
  • industry partners we rely on to deliver solutions,
  • some following of clients that believe in/ sticks to Velmie

We view it as a solid foundation to expand into other areas.

What has been the greatest challenge leading a start-up so far?

Multiple challenges. A few to mention:

  • Building a great team: people who want and can deliver, who are ongoing learners and mentors, who are loyal to the company and stick to it in good and bad times. It is a big challenge for technology businesses.
  • Learning curve for the team that is entirely technical, not the finance industry focused. Originally Velmie was a technology provider building solutions in many industries. Moving everyone into the fintech domain took quite an effort and time and there were errors and significant losses.
  • COVID and remote-first business model introduction. Unlike two years ago, the team operates from four countries now and it is unclear yet how to manage it properly – operations, culture, etc.

What’s your typical day like?

  • Wake up around 5AM. Process email messages and plan the day schedule.
  • Home workout and breakfast around 7.00AM.
  • If the kids are at school, I can work morning hours at home. Otherwise walk to the office
  • The workday typically ends at around 5.30 – 6.00PM
  • Dinner, kids, movies, music…
  • 1-2 times per week have night calls with partners and customers in the North America time zone
  • Go to to bed at 10.00PM

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from your fundraising journey?

We are self-funded so far. Hopefully, we will approach the fundraising milestone in the near future.

Your advice to anyone starting out as an entrepreneur?

Start as early as possible. 

  • Define your business goals and do regular checks (are they valid yet? Do you progress as planned?).
  • Create an ongoing learning system that works for you.
  • Hire talented and loyal people.
  • Delegate.
  • Listen to experienced people, but do not copy blindly.

Slava Ivashkin, CEO and Founder of Velmie

You can connect with Slava Ivashkin on LinkedIn