Team Interviews: Ellis Hudson
Founder & CEO
Ellis graduated first in class from Leeds University with an MS.c Finance and Law and also holds an LLB (Hons) Law degree. After graduation he moved to China, where he worked for the multi-billion dollar Fortune 500 company HNA, as an investment banking project manager in mergers and acquisitions. Ellis is based in London.
Ellis first learnt about cryptocurrency in 2013, while studying Law. Immediately taking an interest in how crypto-economics could used in a multi-disciplinary approach to influence system participants, he keenly followed the ever growing number of cryptocurrencies. Ellis eventually decided to found his own company using cryptocurrencies and blockchain in mid-2017. A keen follower of cryptocurrency regulation, Ellis warned his LinkedIn followers of the risk of a Chinese exchange ban before it was confirmed to be true.
On the idea of Arkadia
Well the idea to start an international P2P lending fund initially came about whilst I was working for HNA. The idea sprang from thoughts about expanding debt markets for investors and then evolved into the concept we have today. I decided to head back to the UK and set up Arkadia. The exposure I received at HNA taught me that if you want to do something, you should just get started.
Arkadia is a vehicle to reduce inefficiencies in the current financial system using the most innovative technology and methods available. We have the potential to change millions of lives with financial inclusion, providing cheaper finance for the people who need it most, driving economic growth in emerging markets.
The global economy is like a machine and some parts of that machine are better oiled than others. Emerging markets have billions of people who are neglected in this respect because they do not fit into traditional credit rating methodology. The latest technology and experimental data sets could bring these people into the financial fold allowing them and their children the opportunity to live better, longer and happier lives. This could be done whilst earning more profit for those lending, fueling this development in a way that charity has never been able to.
Arkadia is extremely ambitious, we intend to not only use state of the art technology and innovative credit scoring algorithms but also to partner with financial institutions and applications around the world in order to make our dream a reality. This ambition and drive to do what nobody has done before is what makes us special.
I am the CEO, I spend my time developing the concept, making major decisions, managing the operations and resources of Arkadia as well as acting as the point of contact for our potential partners.
On life in China
I spent 2 years in China, part of this was spent learning Mandarin on a British Council Scholarship whilst working as an Analyst at a company facilitating ‘One Belt, One Road’ (一带一路） projects. After this I got a job working at HNA in M&A where I was promoted to an Investment Banking Project Manager, working on both financial and legal aspects of deals. I came back to the UK because whilst I loved my job I thought I should try and make my own personal impact on the world.
On the importance of networking
I met Cait during my first year in Chin,a however we both went to the University of Leeds. I first told Cait about my idea whilst I was still working for HNA and she expressed interest in working on it and quickly got on board.
On working remotely
It isn’t easy but using Skype and Google documents helps a lot. We have calls usually every 2 days where we will often talk at length about concepts. There was a time in early September where we had multiple 4 hour Skype calls discussing different peer to peer lending models and the strengths and weaknesses of each.
On being a kid
I actually wanted to be a pilot or an astronaut as a child, I loved the idea of having the freedom to explore where no people had gone before.
On things you can’t find out about Ellis on Google
When I was 16 I brought a stripper into school…
On being passionate
I believe that work is one of the places where you can give your life meaning. You should always take pride in what you do and I believe that Arkadia can make the world a better place.
On social media
Instagram or Linkedin.
I am not a huge fan of Facebook or Snapchat right now, but I tend to rotate as time goes on when I get bored of a particular platform.
On community updates
I read, research and go to conferences a lot during my spare time. With regards to the blockchain and cryptocurrency aspects I am members of groups on Wechat, Telegram and Whatsapp. I think it’s important to get your news from a variety of sources but I think the best way to stay up to date is to surround yourself with people in that space. For example my Linkedin is made up of hundreds of people in FinTech, this means that my Linkedin feed allows me to be immersed in all things FinTech.
On useful information
Take part in our pre-ICO, we’re going to be one of the first doing an interactive coin offering. Keep up to date on our social media channels.