How we met Vauld
We were introduced to Darshan, the founder/CEO in July of 2020 through Jesus Rodriguez, CEO and founder of IntoTheBlock, another gCC portfolio founder/CEO and a prolific networker who we have known for many years. The company was originally called “Bank of HODLers” which we thought was clever, but some regulatory authorities have very specific requirements for calling a company a “bank” so the name eventually became Vauld.
We were immediately impressed with Darshan, the founder/CEO who had a great combination of technical expertise (with an engineering degree from BITS Pilani, a reputable Indian University) as well as relevant financial services experience in a private equity firm and with regulated financial products. We found him to be very smart, friendly and clear thinking and this got us excited about the prospect of working with him and his team more. We have mutual friends and something of a diligence network in India, so we were able to corroborate our positive feelings about his with our friends there. He truly showed us his dedication to his customer base by directly doing customer support, which at the early stages of product-market fit can be an essential source of information that can be instrumental in making product decisions. We liked his passion and dedication for his customers and his commitment to providing best-in-class support even as the company grew substantially in customers and revenue. We also thought that his approach to management would be conducive to scaling and he showed all of the appropriate sensitivity to regulatory issues and has strategically located the company in Singapore despite the majority of staff being based in India.
CeFi will end up onboarding a significant portion of users who interact with crypto, and Vauld will be at the center of this in many markets with a unique profile of customers spread across Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Europe, the US, and India, where most of the team is headquartered. What we really liked about this model is that it positioned Vauld for massive upside in the Indian market, without being reliant on that market for survival. We had conviction that with positive regulatory action (or the absence of negative regulatory actions) in India, Vauld could “turn on the gas” and leverage its competitive advantage in that market to capture a significant market share, but still be a highly successful venture-class business operating just in the European and Asian markets.