May 13, 2022

181: Friends | Securo Finance and DeFi with Victor Lee and Alvin Foo

181: Friends | Securo Finance and DeFi with Victor Lee and Alvin Foo

On the show this week, we’ve got Victor and Lee and Alvin Foo, co-founders of Securo Finance (formerly DAOventures) who are building a compliant, secure and easy to use DeFi (decentralized finance) investment platform for regular investors.


This episode of MoneyNeverSleeps is sponsored by Philip Lee, one of Ireland’s fastest-growing corporate law firms and expert advisors at the heart of the Dublin and London start-up, fintech and crypto communities.

Securo Finance are the fourth of ten founding teams forming the Launchpool Web3 Techstars Accelerator Class of 2022 that we’ve got on the show over the next two months.

In this episode, Eoin Fitzgerald and Pete Townsend talk to Victor and Alvin about how they got together with their CTO Soon Lai to bring the Securo Finance idea to life, what Securo Finance is and how it works, what really matters when you’re bridging web2 investors into the web3 world, and how Securo Finance are going to make a big splash into the market in and around Palm Beach and Miami at the upcoming Permissionless conference.

HIGHLIGHTS:

 Victor Lee on his journey into crypto and web3:

“I was a product manager and entrepreneur building products for more than a decade.  Being enthusiastic, making and building stuff, and having the engineering trait in my heart brought me to crypto and the concept of web3 in 2016 when Ethereum was still in a nascent phase.

“I explored cryptography, proof-of-work, Ethereum mining, and really did a deep dive into the technology. That brought me up to 2018 when I realized that this industry is the next evolution of how technology will disrupt the world and I went full force into the industry.”

Alvin Foo on his journey into crypto and teaming up with Victor:

“Before I started my first internet company in 1997, I had gone through a lot of trials and tribulations where I failed several times.  But by 2006, I had grown that into a sizable company and then I found myself in China as an accidental tourist in the AdTech business for companies like Nokia, Velti and Google.

“Victor and I were working together back in 2016 and we spent a great deal of time talking about crypto.  Victor told me ‘We’ve got to get into this, I’m going to buy a mining machine,’ which he did.  Then he told me ‘I’m going to jump ship, move back to Singapore and do crypto.’

“Then in 2020, Victor said to me, ‘Alvin, I think DeFi is going to explode,’ and I didn’t have a clue in the world what DeFi was!  So the learning curve for me was very steep, but at the time, Victor was like my DeFi guru – he knows a lot. After reading a lot and immersing myself into DeFi, I joined Victor’s business, which at the time, was DAOventures

“I thought that this was going to be a real game-changer because I came from advertising, the internet, the mobile era, e-commerce – I saw everything.  When I look ay crypto, blockchain and web3, I see another era similar to the internet and eventually the mobile internet and how it took off.  That’s why [I joined up with Victor], and I haven’t looked back.”

Victor Lee on Soon Lai joining the team as CTO:

“Soon Lai had joined me one startup before Securo Finance, so we knew how to work with each other, and we have the skill sets that complement each other.  That just brought us to the next level and gave us a very strong composition as a founding team.

“Alvin is strategic and understands how the market and business work, while I’m the hustler who brings everything and everyone together.  Soon Lai executes on the tech side, you just give him the requirements and he gets it done – Solidity, full stack, all of the blockchain programming.

Alvin Foo on the learning before pivoting DAOventures into Securo Finance:

“We launched our tokens and the DAOventures product, we saw TVL (total value locked) going up and then we also saw a few problems before we stumbled onto the bottleneck.

“We realized that for us to scale we needed to focus on becoming more compliant, more secure and responsible as a provider and that was how we saw the need to pivot. We saw the need to get into a space where there’s more loyalty, compared to what we used to be, where the focus was very much on the ‘degen’ crowd where there’s very little loyalty.

“Over the last year, we have learned a lot on getting the technology right, we have the right key metrics in place, the product is ready, and we’ve got the team in place.  What we have to do now is focus on scaling, get our regulatory license and become a more responsible service provider to address a more advanced segment with small to medium-sized fund managers and family offices.

Alvin Foo on the target user experience for Securo Finance customers:

“We are trying to achieve simplicity for the user – something as easy to use as Robinhood, but for DeFi.  While on the backend, Securo Finance is decentralized finance, but to users, it’s simplicity.  It’s going to end up being a marriage of web2 and web3, as to the users, most of them don’t care about your back end.”

Victor Lee on the overall Securo Finance value proposition:

“We need to be a compliant, secure, and easy to use DeFi platform for regular investors. If we were just to offer a DeFi solution with a very high yield, but unsustainable and unregulated, history has demonstrated that a lot of investors might not be able to invest with us.

“Our aim is to have a licensed business to help investors to invest responsibly into various digital assets in DeFi and web3. This will bring in a new breed of customers to DeFi and web3, and this is what is severely needed in the industry for us to continue to scale it.

“But to scale, we need to go through the right process.  We need customers to have security and peace of mind, exceptional customer experience, and good customer support to ensure that the customers feel that their money is safe.

“These are the basic things required to actually bring in the confidence so that industry will continue to grow, and that is what Securo Finance is going after.”

LINKS:

Connect with Victor Lee and Alvin Foo and learn more about Securo Finance (rebranding from DAOventures)

Episode title inspired by ‘Friends’ by Nas & Damian Marley and ‘Friend of Mine’ by Alan Tam

Victor Lee quoted in American Banker’s post: ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Centralized

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Victor Lee Profile Photo

Victor Lee

Co-founder and CEO, Securo Finance

Alvin Foo Profile Photo

Alvin Foo

Co-founder, Securo Finance