Early last week we blasted past our milestone of 100k daily organic impressions on our Twitter page, starting this week with over 150k potential users viewing our posts every day. These impressions come from the retail investor crowd, the ones who scour social networks for alpha, finding value in the data and hedging strategies we publicly suggest. This reach allows us to continue and rapidly validate assumptions and build a product our early adopters are eager to use. Last week alone we ran 3 feature tests bringing us to a total of three dozen different features tested through our app and social networks over the past couple of months. These tests include everything from the type of data our consumers want to see, to multiplayer strategies they are hungry to adopt, and investment strategies that resonate with them.
These feature tests enable us to focus our product and sharpen our go-to-market strategy. There are opportunities all around us in consumer fintech, but there seems to be specific VC appetite in social-investment apps (copy trading) and direct indexing. The seed stage VC-backed startups in the space seem to lack significant traction so time will tell if these sectors are merely a VC trend or a true consumer demand. As we kick-off our US regulatory approval process and continue to build our waitlist we have quietly rolled out an invite-only Crysp app on the App Store and Google Play Store so we can validate our traction over more than just social networks. Tracking our organic conversion funnel aside the feature tests, together with our early adopters behavior on the Crysp app drives us to ask the most important questions: what is our job-to-be-done?
In his book “Competing Against Luck” Clayton M. Christensen explains how while a milkshake’s competitors may seem like donuts or other sweets the true competition is in a completely different arena. Interviewing repeat morning milkshake consumers reveals they are “hiring” the milkshake to solve an entirely different task: a quick breakfast during the drive to work. During the afternoon rush-hour most milkshake consumers claim to be solving something else: occupying a child while driving. While the former milkshake competition may be anything from a granola bar to a banana, in the latter the milkshake’s competition is video games, music or mobile phones.
Interviewing our users, and tracking their behavior across dozens of feature tests led me to an interesting revelation: investing apps are the ultimate play-to-earn multiplayer game. The job our users “hire” Crysp to do is to entertain them in a social environment while making money. Sounds too good to be true? It is. The macro condition in 2020 had created the perfect storm for investing apps to overtake the adoption of any game by far. It is a game that’s relevant to every person on the planet, with lower entry barriers than most video games: it’s easier to deposit $5 on Robinhood than to learn the navigation controls of Call of Duty.
With Crysp, I want to bring back the thrill, excitement, learning and social interactions of the 2020 stock market boom - in a platform that is completely market neutral. To do this I’d like to focus on three key aspects that fueled what might be the greatest adoption of a Multiplayer Play-to-Earn online game we’ve ever seen: (1) fun (2) multiplayer (3) play-to-earn . While Robinhood already solved the problem of making investing fun with a great user experience, eToro and public.com have completed many of the heavy lifting required to introduce a multiplayer approach. What remains to be solved is the market neutral Play-to-Earn mechanics. Having built a quant fund in the 2020 storm, that has survived and thrived over the past couple of years, we are in an extraordinary position to tackle this problem and build the first truly-active investment management platform that lies on the intersection of passive robo advisors (auto-hedging) and active stock picking (curated social alpha feeds).
Crysp users land to a social feed that includes cherry-picked alpha from Twitter, Reddit, Discord and more. If they like a stock mentioned they swipe right to have Crysp suggest a hedged strategy that includes both long and short positions, and swipe up to execute the full position. The algorithmic layer of Crysp makes sure they are always hedged, building positions that are neutral to market movements and tailor-made for their specific assumptions. While we take inspiration from eToro, StockTwits, Robinhood and public.com to solve for multiplayer and fun we are left to focus on the toughest challenge: Play-to-Earn (rather than Play-to-Maybe-Earn-but-Probably-Lose that is the existing standard).