Every superhero has an origin story. Rand is no different. The story of Rand begins two years ago with our founder Pol Martin in Barcelona, Spain. Pol had been interested in being an entrepreneur from a young age and had already created several small enterprises by the time he was 18. Pol started to invest and experiment with crypto trading and investments. He was excited by the technology and the possibilities it offered to young people and investors to grow their wealth.
Like many GenZs, Pol and his friends talked about moving to New York to live abroad. In trying to figure out the finances of moving and renting an apartment, Pol quickly realized that his friend did not have the same level of financial understanding or resources that he did. He was surprised to learn that not only did his friends not save money or invest money; but instead they either ‘bet’ on crypto currencies or gambled to get rich ‘quick’ including buying lottery tickets each week or betting on sporting events!
Pol thought there must be a way to invest and save that money safely in DeFi, and maybe it could generate passive income to pay rent in New York as well as their shared expenses using one simple app. It was his first-hand experience watching his closest friends struggle to safely generate passive income or returns on their savings without extensive knowledge of financial instruments or crypto markets that inspired him to build Rand. It was this desire to be the change and help others that is central to everything we do at Rand.
Pol never moved to New York. He began building Rand in 2020 in Barcelona by looking for investors to fund his vision for Rand. Pol contacted a couple engineers he knew in the space in Barcelona to figure out if it was possible to build what he envisioned. They thought it was a great idea, the only problem was finding funding for his project.
So Pol scoured the internet for lists of investors and VCs in the blockchain/web3 space. He started manually creating lists of emails, doing his own personalized investor outreach. This involved spending sometimes 10 to 12 hours every Saturday and Sunday creating emails to investors. Pol wanted them to be relevant and personal to the investors and VCs he was targeting to improve his chances of getting replies from interested investors. His hard work paid off in an amazing conversion rate: 10% of those he contacted replied! And of these, 20% agreed to have calls to discuss his project.
This led to winning his first investment of $50,000 from a VC incubator in Barcelona in January 2021 and a trip to ETH Paris funded by his overdraft! Over half of this initial investment was spent on legal advice to set up Rand from a legal and regulatory perspective. For many start-ups, legal advice and the costs associated with this are the biggest drain on financial resources. Securing funding is imperative to overcome the regulatory and legal hurdles of structuring a business.
Pol credits his early success to mentors who connected him to other investors, gave great advice, helped him pitch his ideas successfully and eventually led him to Outlier Ventures in the summer 2021 where he was accepted into their summer intake.
OV’s Bootcamp helped Pol build out his project: the whitepaper, token economics and most importantly his pitch deck. This gave Pol the skills he needed to explain his concept to investors, how to ‘sell’ his vision, and allowed him to meet many great teams working in the space like Polkadot and Acala.
Even in 2021, DeFi was not well understood and 80% of investor calls were spent explaining and teaching DeFi and 20% about Rand as a project! Outlier Ventures’ network helped Pol to raise the first round of investment at $1.0mil in August 2021 and the second pre-seed round at $2.2 million (which was oversubscribed) in December 2021 to build Rand.
These funding rounds enabled Pol to start actively hiring and building our team. Starting with Sergi, our CTO who built and designed the first MVP of RandApp, the Rand team has grown in strength to 20 people including tech, product marketing, and investment teams as well as operations and HR. Rand’s North Star has always been trying to hire and build the best team of people working in the space.
Pol’s journey over the past two years has made him a better leader and builder in web3; it is after all the journey that matters and who we meet along the way that makes all the difference to our success.
At Rand, we have a vision of building a world where everyone has access to smart financial tools that improve their quality of life — regardless of income or knowledge. We want to help you grow your money 50x faster.