In this post, we talk to PK Banks, one of the Co-Founders and CFO of CBlocks. CBlocks is a cryptocurrency startup that offers an investment service. Their service allows users to pick five cryptocurrencies where they purchase the coins at random and ship them to you on a USB drive. CBlocks is best described as a mystery box for cryptocurrency.
- Monthly Revenue: $23k-31k per month
- Date Started / Years in Business: We started in January 2018
- Location: Miami, FL (USA)
- Number of Employees: 3 Co-Founders
During the launch phase, did you maintain a full-time job?
CBlocks started as a pure side-hustle. We worked nights and weekends. It was gruelling, working late – think 8pm-5am – after a full day of work, which was 9am-5pm. It’s also how we learned to work together and to buy-in to the team, our principles, and our customers. I’m now full time along with Mario. Auston is joining us full time shortly!
How did you acquire your first few customers?
We made a simple web page, shared it with friends, and with some members of the media. Interest in cryptocurrencies is high, and people are very curious about how to get started with something that can be intimidating.
CBlocks really takes a lot of guesswork out of getting started with cryptocurrencies. Naturally, the concept generated a lot of dialogue and it we received some great media coverage early on.
Lately, we’ve been trying a bunch of different things with bots on other sites & they seem to be working. We’re also doing a hand full of in-person events.
What tools have you utilized since launch?
We wanted to adhere to the Lean Start-up concepts, so we knew to get started we needed to find a tool that could get us a site up and be running in as quick as possible. We did some research and found LandingLion.
They provided great tools to get us up and running in about 2 days. We also wanted to ensure that payments would be easy for our customers so we integrated Stripe with some backend logic built by Auston and Mario, hosted on Heroku.
Which tools have worked / not worked?
LandingLion was great actually. They provided excellent customer support and onboarding and offboard were incredibly easy. Stripe provides an amazing platform as well. We love Heroku as well.
How did you fund your startup and how do you make money/revenue?
We funded the beginning ourselves. We used a disciplined approach to fulfil orders only once they came in. This made fulfilment times longer than we would have liked, but we didn’t waste any money on inventory or unnecessary build-out costs. We ended up taking a small loan from someone who eventually became an angel investor in our company. We’ve had a significant interest in terms of angel investors & VC’s so we are currently in that process.
To date, what have been your biggest challenges as a company? What have you done to overcome them?
We are operating in a “new” field, offering an innovative product. It’s been exciting to learn what our customers value the most, and solving those problems in a scalable and reliable way. Additionally, the regulatory environment in the U.S. isn’t exactly friendly to cryptocurrency businesses – that’s a challenge we are currently facing & working to overcome.
If you had to do it all over again, would you? What would you do differently?
I think we all absolutely would do it over! While it’s a challenge to strike a balance between going after opportunities aggressively and taking a measured approach to building a business and developing a quality product – we have learned so much & had so much fun working on this company. It’s definitely been worth it.
If we were to do it over though, one thing we might do differently is throttle orders so that we don’t get overwhelmed by orders & constantly sell out. That’s part of what we are working on now, so hopefully, that’s solved in the future!
Lastly, if anyone reading this wants to know more about your company… where do we send them?
In case anyone is curious: CBlocks provides a mystery box of cryptocurrency that makes it ridiculously easy to get started with cryptocurrency. Our customers have called us “a diversified cryptocurrency portfolio in one click”. Check us out at https://www.cblocks.io/, and sign up for our waitlist. We’ve been working hard to invest in systems and infrastructure, to make the customer experience perfect. We will be gradually offering CBlocks to customers who sign up early, as we ramp up our operations and production systems.