Change is a leading proposition in the Fintech sphere, using blockchain technology to reinvent banking and offer a all-in-one proposition for finance. Not only disruptive in the fintech sphere, Change is set to create a revolution in the entire financial sector.
check out https://getchange.com
Kristjan KangroFounder & CEO
Gustav LiblikProduct Owner
Now a bit more in their own words.
Kristjan Kangro, the CEO is sheding some more light into what Change is and how it works.
What is the problem you are solving?
Banks from all over the world are letting their customers down. High fees, slow and outdated processes, and lack of transparency result in a poor user experience. We believe people should have the power over their own finances and be able to manage their funds and investments in a seamless way. We believe that we can make money simple, and that is the biggest contribution we can make to the world of modern finance.
Describe your solution
Change is an all-in-one application for personal finance. On top of making cryptocurrencies spendable through our digital wallet and globally accepted debit cards, Change is building a new age financial platform that will bundle high-performing FinTech companies from all around the world into one platform. We’ve seen that these FinTech companies often outperform banks in providing specific services and our goal is to create an ecosystem where the user can easily access all these services on a global scale.
Describe your target market?
We target young men and women with high financial ambitions that feel disconnected with the way banks operate.
Why are you different from the competitors?
We are focused on creating a simpler financial solution for the world, providing all the services a traditional bank could but in a much more effective way and most importantly, putting the user in charge of their own finances. Combining crypto- and fiat currencies this cohesive all-in-one solution does not exist today.
Who’s in your team?
Our team has founded and led startups in Singapore, Dubai, Silicon Valley, and Estonia among others and we also have an extensive background in venture capitals, unicorn Fintechs like Transferwise, regulatory bodies, and also big financial corporations. Although the latter may seem the extreme opposite of startups, we have the personal experience what to improve.
How your business is doing?
So far, we’ve raised over 17 million dollars, grown our team to over 20 members, and grew a community of over 30 thousand people around the world. We’ve launched a seamless and easy to use mobile app that enables individuals within the European Economic Area to access cryptocurrencies.
What are the goals for the near future?
Our short term goals are to enable everyone in Europe to buy, manage, convert, and spend virtual currencies inexpensively, with a tap of a button or swipe of a card. In long-term we aim to also enable access to a variety of financial services like investments, insurance, and loans through integrating successful Fintech companies into our App.
What are you looking in your tech candidates?
Currently we’re putting together our core team, meaning that everyone is also personally responsible for the future of Change. We’re looking for engineers who go beyond writing code, show a great interest to make a difference in the world, always put the user first and aim to unleash the potential of other team members.
We strongly believe in autonomy and complete ownership - everyone takes full responsibility for their teams KPIs. So instead of a complex corporate hierarchy, we work in small independent teams. And every team is fully responsible for their decisions. Teams figure out what they want to build, validate the ideas, set the KPI-s, and track them. With great power comes great responsibility, so this doesn’t work for everyone, but we’d love to hear from everyone who value freedom, stimulating challenges, and self-governance.
What do you offer to people who are joining?
I think the main value proposition is the opportunity to reimagine modern finance and having a strong individual influence on this process.
Right now we're in a rather unique position of having 17M dollars in funding before a launch, which enables us to really test and try different options to reach product-market fit. We're in the very early stages of building Change, so it's a chance to have a say in the direction of our future and also building the rest of our team.
For example, we're expanding our engineering team by 5x just this year, and everyone in the current team is involved in hiring these people.
For me a big motivator is also the working environment itself. This includes everything from team members who inspire you to be a better version of yourself to complete independence, lean working principles, and great focus on personal and professional growth. Of course we also have the small important perks like free food, books, and team events.
And also very important, it never gets boring. The opportunities as well as challenges in our industry are huge, so there's not a single dull moment or lack of interesting problems to solve in our daily life.
Growth in understanding how to validate your ideas by building and learning.
Engineers want to know, what is in your stack?
Let's start off with some general knowledge books:
Pragmatic Programmer - Good book about software development fundamentals, not specific to any language, recommended but not mandatory
Clean Code - This is something we try to base most of our decisions on (while of course trying to be pragmatic). I think you should be
already familiar with Uncle Bob and his views
The Lean Startup - And of course this one as the first step to customer development world
The backend technologies we use:
- Java (1% of backend code)
- Kotlin (99% of backend code)
- Spring Boot
- JDBC with Spring JdbcTemplate
- Kafka for messaging (using Spring Cloud Stream)
- Hazelcast for distributed caching (Spring Cache)
- OAuth2 for authentication (using Spring Security)
- Vaadin 8 for backoffice UI
Frontend technologies, which you can also check out from our open-source frontend client:
- React with create-react-app
- Redux Saga
- Redux Saga Routines
- Jest, Enzyme for testing
- Storybook for UI deveopment
Services we use from AWS:
- Elastic Beanstalk for backend services
- CloudFront for frontent deployment
- RDS for databases
- ECS for containers
- CloudFormation for deploying Confluent platform (Kafka)
- Route53 for DNS
- We try to document our infrastructure in AWS using Terraform
Other useful services:
- Sentry for exception monitoring
- NewRelic for performance & health monitoring
- CircleCI for continuous integration and deployment
- GitHub as version control
Can you describe your recruitment process?
We believe that you can only build a great product if you have an amazing team. So, we put our heart into recruitment to find the best people who share our spark to make big things happen. The recruitment process includes 4 steps:
- The first step is a video chat with our recruiter to cover candidate’s motivation, personality, main achievements, ambitions in life etc.
- In the second interview our engineers are screening motivation, tech capability, product thinking and teamwork skills
- Third step is the product interview, where candidate’s product mindset and thinking is evaluated.
- Final interview is a chat with our CEO to map overall match to the team
More about our engineering culture can be found in the blog post here: http://goo.gl/qkXUND