Series V

Founder Diaries with VertoFX

VERTO is a B2B currency exchange marketplace for international businesses. Whether you are looking to pay suppliers abroad, collect payments from customers, or simply make FX transactions, do it with a global platform that supports your growth.

Founders: Anthony Oduwole and Ola Oyetayo

  • Funds delivered to 200+ countries
  • 12 full-time employees 
  • Over 300 companies registered
  • Earliest backers -Ventures Platform, Ycombinator

Let’s Dig in!

What important truth do you believe, that very few people agree with you on?

Ola: Most times, we create our own luck!
Anthony: Formal education is overrated. This is evident in a small startup where common sense (street smart), resourcefulness and perseverance can be the difference between failure and success.

What do you wish you had known when you started out?

Ola: It is very important to know the right type of person to seek specific advice from on business-related issues.
Anthony: Your network and narratives (vision & mission) are as important as the product itself. The bigger and more relevant one’s networks, the quicker one can get feedback on the initial MVP and products.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?

Ola: Assuming if you build a great product people will use it, I have learned you still need to sell and there is an art to selling!
Anthony: Underestimating the importance of trust and human psychology (consumer behaviors). I have learned to be patient and attentive, especially when you are disrupting a vertical and bringing in new changes.

As your company grows, how do you maintain organization, keep track and stay accountable for targets and deadlines throughout the company?

Ola: Constant communication, daily huddles, and weekly all-hands sessions.
Anthony: Every team member should have a sense of belongingness and accountability. We promote an attitude of “run with it”. This means, it is not good enough to find problems and report it; it is essential to find potential solutions and be comfortable at acquiring the necessary resources to build robust solutions.

What’s an experience that’s been particularly important to you?

Ola: Raising venture capital has been quite an experience, it takes a lot to convince professional investors to back your idea!
Anthony: Building a tech platform from scratch. Especially, when the focus is not only on the tech stack but also on the available infrastructures, regulatory and compliance restrictions, banking and payment processors partnerships, etc. Raising funds is also exciting, but that is a given.

What do you hate the most about building a company?

Ola: The number of mundane tasks you do on a daily basis.
Anthony: The never-ending processes one has to build to ensure operational efficiencies.

What’s one thing you’ve failed at and one thing you’ve succeeded at that has had a lasting impact on you?

Ola: Too many failures to count but I always learn from them. 
Anthony: I’ve succeeded in mastering my sense of purpose and beliefs. This has helped me to deliver time and time again on set objectives. On the other hand, I am continually working on mastering my sense of doubts; failure to do this usually brings some shortcomings. Unlike before, I now embrace my failures and learn from them.

Being an entrepreneur is stressful and uncertain, what keeps you going back to the office every day?

Ola: The potential of what we can achieve if we get it right.
Anthony: The big problem we are solving. And the potential benefits if addressed adequately to the underlying economy.

Who were your first investors and how’d you convince them to invest in you?

Ola: Ycombinator, essentially being honest about where we were as a company and highlighting the massive opportunity if we find product-market fit.
Anthony: YC – I believe we were able to show them the extent of the problem and the massive impact if addressed well also, that we are the pair of dudes to solve it.

If you had all the money in the world, and you didn’t have to work. What would you be doing?

Ola: Playing my way through the top 100 ranked golf courses in the world.
Anthony: Travelling the world and building communities where being homeless is a thing of the past.

What’s one thing you and your co-founder disagree on?

Ola: Mostly timing (when to launch, etc.) 
Anthony: Yeah, timing.

iOS or Android and why?

Ola: Android, it just so happened that my first phone was an Android and I have stuck with them ever since.
Anthony: iOS every day – better security, fluidity between devices, and amazing products.

When coding, tabs or spaces?

Ola: I don’t code but I prefer spaces when I type on the keyboard so I’ll assume the same as well for coding!
Anthony: Tabs – the line of codes is easier to read and flows better.

What’s the most expensive item, you’ve ever bought?

Ola: My watch
Anthony: Property

About VertoFX

VERTO is a complete FX and payment marketplace built for business. VERTO provides liquidity and price discovery tools for international businesses. The marketplace provides easy access to exotic and foreign currencies with seamless international online payment services.

Follow VertoFX on Twitter, Facebook, Medium, LinkedIn and Instagram and visit their website to keep up with their activities.

That’s all folks! If there’s any particular founder from our portfolio companies (please see a list here – [sidebar, we have 3 new entries]) you would like us to talk to next, please, drop a comment on our Twitter page or shoot us an email [email protected].


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