“A lot of the innovation happening in fintech hasn’t necessarily been around discovering new industries or products, but rather taking financial products, which have traditionally been very unwieldy and confusing, and improving the user experience.”Why has technology disrupted the financial sector so abruptly? A lot of the innovation happening in fintech hasn’t necessarily been around discovering new industries or products, but rather taking financial products, which have traditionally been very unwieldy and confusing, and improving the user experience. Because of this dynamic, there has been an increase in awareness and enhanced accessibility. Then there are technological developments, like blockchain, that have found an initial home in fintech but have implications far beyond. Where do you see YieldStreet in a few years? I think there are a few broad expansion areas, but the most important is growing our audience. Unlike a traditional financial firm, we can reach millions of investors at once, something that wouldn’t be possible through just human interaction. I think we will be able to start serving investors earlier in their financial journey and the best way to do that is by building new products. What other tech companies do you look to as inspiration? Acorns has done a great job with its ease of use and interface. Companies like Fabric (life insurance) and Better (mortgages) have simplified extremely complicated services to the benefit of their users. Spotify has done remarkable work in customizing a product for a particular person by using behavioral data. Discover Weekly is an amazing product in terms of accuracy. Although not a fintech product, it’s a role model for how to use data to personalize a product. What do you like most about YieldStreet? The whiskey bar…but it’s really about the people and the culture. Everyone has such an amazing pedigree. From a working level, YieldStreet achieves the three things I find most important in building a product: it’s meaningful, it generates revenue and it involves interesting technology challenges. It seems obvious but it’s hard to come by all three. There is also something to be said about the experience of the founders. Michael and Milind have a dynamic skill set combo and have decades of complementary experience.
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