Ms. Daria Dubinina is a Co-Founder and serves as Chief Executive Officer and Board Member at Crassula. She co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer at Payment Ninja. She also serves as a Managing Partner at FinHubGlobal. She has dedicated more than 10 years to mastering payments, e-commerce and business development. Leading strategist and entrepreneur, she has also led major partnership deals with top international companies. Her expertise and specialization are in payments, strategic management, international business development, financial technologies, and international regulations.
Mr. Alexander Novozhenov is a Co-Founder and serves as Board Member at Crassula. He is a Co-Founder of Payment Ninja. After seven years of working at a large international bank in product development, Alexander started his entrepreneurial activities in the field of IT and Internet technologies. He received a master’s degree in computer science from the Latvian Institute of Transport and Telecommunications, graduated from Stockholm School of Economics in Riga under the Executive MBA program.
Mr. Vladislav Nikolayev is a Co-Founder and serves as Chief Technology Officer at Crassula. He served as Executive at Payment Ninja. Previously, he served as a Senior Software Engineer, Technical Lead at RBK Games Limited. With more than 8 years of software engineering experience, he has been leading the development of complex financial products, design and implementation of multiple marketing and payment services. He has a deep understanding of the development process, planning, organization and reaching business goals. Result-oriented and strong team leader with a technical mindset.
Why was the Crassula started? And how did you expand your company and its offerings over the years?
We started with a simple idea – to provide the fast and easy yet product-rich technological core for launching FinTech businesses. Initially entered the market with one product and gradually added products and features one-by-one. Today Crassula helps companies to build and launch Banking projects, PSPs, NEO-banks, Wallets, FX services and other FinTech products in a cloud in days.
How successful was your first project roll on? Share the experience.
Co-founders started business in 2015th offering PSP services to merchants internationally. In 2016th we started to receive requests from our network to sell our product as a White Label. After launching a successful pilot in 2016th, the founders decided to restructure the product into a software platform and in 2017th launched the business under Crassula brand and started to build banking services on the platform.
What kind of mixed responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?
Our customers are the main reason company exists. We have the best businesses among our customers that contribute to Crassula platform development every day, adding new functionalities, usecases, integrations, features. They are grateful when Crassula product helps them grow and understanding if things don’t go as planned.
What challenges did you face in the initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
When you are building a company from scratch, every day is connected to overcoming obstacles, solving problems and making decisions. Sometimes the decisions are right, but sometimes they are so wrong that can throw you back for months.
For us, one of the most important discoveries was connected to fundraising. In our early days, we’ve lost several months of searching for the right investors. This led sometimes to frustration, but the most painful was that it stole a lot of time that could be used for growing the business. However, focusing on business and putting fundraising on hold was the best decision that we could make – it taught us to survive difficult times, do big and beautiful things with very limited resources and actually earn money.
Fostering a culture of feedback is crucial to the success of every organization. How is this true with your company?
We have a unique culture in Crassula – we call it freedom and responsibility. We value in our people prudence, communicability, proactivity, striving for development, creativity, decisiveness. We embrace these qualities and develop them by providing constant education opportunities, helping each other in day-to-day work and always trying something new by developing new products, trying to implement new solutions and constantly doing something that we have never done before.
About the adaptability, how do you stay relevant to the consumer interests and needs in this high volatile market?
We seldom develop new products abstractly. In 90% of cases the product offering is shaped according to customers’ requests and market trends. It allows us not only to stay up-to-date, but to connect with customers offering flexible platform that can be configured and shaped according to the needs of the business.
If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?
- The main Crassula’s value is our people. Always has been and always will be.
- Customers – as mentioned before, customers are the reason company exists.
- The goal of the Crassula team is to constantly develop and improve the product. We value the elegance of solutions and everything related to their quality.
- Partners – the fuel of out business. As a Core Banking System, Crassula products are sitting on top of banking and payment services.
- Ambassadors & agents – there are people and companies that promote Crassula products and services on different markets and with different clients. We are really grateful for the contribution to the growth from them.
Customer service varies, but companies can still be successful. How do you maintain the quality of your services?
We never think that our services are perfect and constantly improving,relying on feedback from customers. We believe that this is the only way to go.
What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation?
We believe that trust and transparency is one of the most important things that bring value to our reputation, since we are helping to build the products for launching the financial services.
How do you and your company contribute to the global IT platform and society at large?
We live in times of total platformization. The FinTech industry is very fragmented, but each element is somehow connected to another. On one side we have large and mature financial institutions – they have history, trust, reliability. At the same time, they have legacy, bureaucracy and low speed of innovation. On the other side, we have young companies which are able to disrupt the industry, they have brilliant ideas, but don’t have time and money. On the third side, we have a totally parallel world of crypto with its technology, dynamics, risks and transformation.
Crassula platform is connecting these worlds together, giving every party exactly what it needs. Larger fin institutions – speed and ability to innovate, young FinTechs – opportunity to launch and test flight their idea fast, crypto projects – to adopt specific crypto solutions to the real world.
Ultimately, supporting such fusion solutions helps to move the whole industry forward.
Do you have any new products or services ready to be/getting ready to be launched?
Crassula platform consists of 3 main products: Core Banking System, Crypto Banking System and PSP.
Core Banking System provides ledgers with IBANs, card management system, KYC onboarding and verification module, AML financial monitoring module, SWIFT & SEPA transfers, Currency exchange and more.
Crypto Banking System (!new) allows opening accounts with unique crypto addresses, exchange fiat to crypto, make crypto transfers, invest in crypto, and issue cards for private and business clients.
PSP product helps to build a global payment gateway attributed with alternative payment methods, anti-fraud tool, risk management, merchants integration, smart routing and virtual currencies, enabling payment companies to make online payments reliable and smart for merchants and payers.
About your plans, where do you see your company a couple of years from now? Crassula’s vision: in the transformed financial industry, where banks and financial institutions will completely switch to platform solutions, to become the ultimate FinTech platform, providing a full range of technological financial services to all companies moving the industry forward.