TrustChain – A startup story
How was the idea of TrustChain born? What were the key drivers pushing us to start? How did we eventually end up developing the Platform? - we raised these questions to Gergely Romhány, the CEO of TrustChain.
Let’s start at the very beginning. How did TrustChain start? What is the story behind?
We started like startups usually do: we found a problem where no one else before, and the opportunity was there in the problem.
What was this problem?
A part of it was a very specific case: it happened at the law firm of my co-founder, Dr. Gábor Fahn. He ordered 2 tons of cashew from China and paid 40% advance but the goods were never delivered. As it later came to light, the supplier gave false data and the money was of course gone.
Another part was that with our head of product development, András, both being lawyers we have seen that there are a number of problems coming from the corporate administration workflow:
late performance, unpaid invoices, performances questioned, with the only reason being the inaccuracy of data on the invoices, in most of the cases.
Anyway, it doesn’t make any sense to create all of our agreements in Word or Open Office, and then print them, sign them, scan them and send them back to the other party in e-mail and via post.
We keep tossing paperwork between online and offline world. Why not find a 100% digital solution instead? This was the basic idea of TrustChain.
And how did it all start, what was the first step after the idea came up?
We started planning in 2016. This is when I got to know Zsolt Kovács, head of Startup Campus and it soon became clear that we would like to work with them as startup incubator partners. We received our first investment from them. Thanks to this we could start planning the system in the summer of 2017 and developing the beta version by the end of the year. We entered the Czech and Hungarian market with the final setup on May 29, 2019 and from September Austrian-based enterprises can contract in the Platform, too.
Has it been your aim to penetrate the international market from the very beginning?
Indeed. We are involved in international trade so it was important to be present in two countries at least, already at the beginning. We focused on the V4 region because we know this market, we are home here. And also, these countries trade with each other the most, they have very active connections. And as a start, it was big enough.
On the other hand, a great advantage of TrustChain is to support companies in entering foreign markets. It was the other problem-opportunity pair.
We have seen what kind of difficulties – especially smaller – companies have if they want to penetrate the international market and if they don’t do so, they will be at a competitive disadvantage.
What are these difficulties?
Unidentified, unknown companies, whose reliability and even their mere existence is questionable or e.g. the limited availability of company register in certain countries.
In many cases it may take hours to get at least some limited data about a potential partner. And even after that we can only hope that the data found hasn’t been lapsed/changed. Half a workday can easily pass by and we still haven’t contacted the intended partner. This is what we will change.
From June 4 those using TrustChain Platform can make contracts with identified and double-checked trading partners, in a 100% digital way:
from handling the documents, through signing to finances, users won’t need to leave the virtual space even for a second.