Most successful entrepreneurs encourage others to invest financially in order to grow their assets. However, most people assume that investing requires a significant amount of money to begin. Matt Jones and Sam Nixon, founders of Whaley (formerly known as Mosaic), wanted to prove otherwise.
The duo met and worked together in a hackathon at Sydney’s inaugural Fintech Startup weekend in 2016. During the hackathon, they discovered that the problem behind the lack of wealth growth is that people didn’t have sufficient access to investing platforms. Thus, they built Whaley, a mobile app where people can invest in global markets with zero-brokerage.
“Our mission is to give normal, everyday people access to investing and in the wealth space, it’s dominated by ‘whales’ which are the big investors. We decided to play with that and make everyone a whale and so we found a name that was consumer-friendly: Whaley,” said Matt.
“We spent the next few months talking to customers and working on the ideal investing experience. In February this year, we decided to quit our jobs and apply for an accelerator to kick-start the business. Fortunately, a venture capitalist saw potential in our project and agreed to fund it,” added Matt.
To hasten the project, they hired an online freelance app developer from Freelancer. It was the best option as hiring locally was very expensive and would take too much time.
Because it was their first time hiring on the platform, Matt and Sam posted a series of simple app development projects to get the ball rolling. Out of the hundreds of bidders, Vietnamese app developer V.D. Nguyen was chosen. His eight years of experience was key in the selection.
Matt and Sam moved to bigger projects with V.D. since he surpassed their expectations. Their most recent project involved the building of several complex application programming interfaces (API) using the Ruby programming language.
“The API’s allowed us to make portfolio calculations without having to use a third party broker and as a result, allow us to bring this functionality in-house. Despite its complexity, Sam and I set a strict deadline for the project since we were eyeing another capital raise,” said Matt.
V.D. spent the next five weeks working on the APIs. Since Matt and Sam were based in Australia, the time zones weren’t much of an issue for both parties. Communications were constant all throughout the project which resulted in the well-made product and quick turnover.
“Whaley has experienced immense growth! We launched our closed beta at the Australian Stock Exchange to over 250 people. Currently, we have over a thousand more users on our waitlist. Our mid-2018 launch looks stellar!” said Matt.
Matt and Sam’s US$5,000 investment on Freelancer has resulted in Whaley’s steady growth and a great boost in confidence as they search for more funding.
“Freelancer has been incredibly helpful in kickstarting Whaley. We’re building a business in one of the toughest, most regulated sectors there is and having on-budget, timely support at the touch of a button has been fantastic,” said Sam.
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