“Working for oneself is freedom and responsibility”, – Ivan Yevtushenko, co-founder of the website about finance and investments MinFin.com.ua and CEO of the Treeum FinTech product company
Photo: HB / biz.nv.ua
Ivan Yevtushenko is a co-founder of the finance and investment website MinFin.com.ua and CEO of the Treeum FinTech product company. From a small business founded by three friends, MinFin has grown into a million-dollar business.
On the air of the Big Fish Youtube channel, Ivan spoke about the approach that made the company successful, what services MinFin sells to banks and what attracts customers.
ABOUT THE APPEARANCE OF MINFIN.COM.UA
It all started in 2008. Two friends and me came up with a financial website, because we all had a financial background and we understood that there were not enough projects in Ukraine. Starting with friends turned out to be a mega-correct decision.
We have chosen a successful trend – currency. The crisis and devaluation have just begun, so interest in financial topics has grown sharply. At some point, we realized that we would build a service history and should not rely on the media.
ABOUT THE SUCCESS OF THE PROJECT
It is important for clients to have independent information about banks and their products, owners and branches. This is how the audience of banks came to us. All information was structured in such a way that the client found it faster than on the bank’s website.
We had independent reviews and we started to monetize everything we did: we came to banks and offered subscripts. The average check is 15 thousand dollars a year. The package includes information updates, the ability to respond to feedback and questions from the audience. In total, MinFin.com.ua collects about 5 thousand reviews per month. The team employs 300 people, and the revenue is several million dollars.
ABOUT THE POINT OF BREAKTHROUGH
MinFin.com.ua reached the break-even point in 2012, other projects – in 2018. The reason for our success is that we constantly reinvested. Until 2018, we did not take a dime from the company. We worked for the future and capitalization of the firm, realizing that there will be more opportunity to spend. We were motivated by the launch of new projects.
Today we have entered the retail banking business from all sides and now we manage clients not only of banks, but also of MFOs, insurance companies such as OSAGO, CASCO. We are the entry point for the client and standardize the experience in purchasing bulk products.
ABOUT WORK FOR ONESELF
I have never worked for another company. It would probably be great if I went into big business to learn a certain style of thinking. But when there is no experience of working for others, you are out of the box and act outside the box. Working for oneself is freedom and responsibility. There are a lot of uncertainties, and I deal with them thanks to positive thinking: if you see a trend, you will always find a solution, an implementation in business.
We have teamed up with the SalesDoubler affiliate network. We had good connections with banks, they had good expertise. SalesDoubler gave us money to develop the project. We saw our business as a platform for segmenting customers so that each bank received relevant leads. And each client, accordingly, could use the services of the bank.
In 2014, we went into deposit lead generation and started attracting customers using cashback: if you choose a deposit at a partner bank, we increase your percentage. The bank gave us money, we gave part of it to clients, and part of it we kept for ourselves.
In total, we brought more than UAH 5 billion into the system. Now the deposit is no longer an instrument of accumulation, it is used rather to keep the inflation rate. Foreign currency deposits are unattractive today and people are switching to demand accounts.
ABOUT WORKING WITH PERSONAL INFORMATION
By markers, we can assign a client to a specific category. We understand who he is and what he is interested in. After that, we enter into personalized communication and online merchandising. We collect customer information through a smart system.
We do not just give the bank a lead, but we participate in the operation, as much as possible going into the processes of the bank. Our task is to make the client’s onboarding super easy. Because a customer who leaves with a completed task is a happy customer.
ABOUT PARTNERSHIP AND INVESTMENT
Now Mono is our partner. In 2018, it became clear that the business has achieved such indicators that make it interesting for large players. We have many business areas at the start-up stage. We have delivered high-quality management accounting and developed indicators for finding partners. In the future, we want customers to be able not only to choose services on our website, but also to receive them.
But we are not talking about turning into a bank. The bank offers a product to one person, and we want to give our clients a multi-choice. Many cool products aren’t digital yet. Therefore, we will digitize them and deliver them to customers without providing loans and deposits, without turning into a bank.
ABOUT PROTECTION AGAINST HANDLING
Nobody knows the market thoroughly. Of course, the NBU has more instruments of influence, but even they cannot predict everything. Our task is to provide the client with transparent tools and indicators. Special algorithms cut off extremes in currency offers. We remove all attempts to lead the market “the wrong way” and show the corridor in which the trades take place.
ABOUT BUSINESS PLANS
Our goal with partners is to get out of this business sometime. We want to build a 9-digit company. We are not in a hurry with the sale yet, because we are growing by 40-50% per year. If we do not have organic growth, we look for opportunities for inorganic growth: we acquire other companies and services.