Update (01–01–2020): we received a great amount of interest and feedback after publishing this- thank you! We’ve ultimately decided that the most effective way to get started is build Unit as a layer on top of partner banks. In Nov 2019, we closed a $3.6m seed round from our favorite fintech VCs / angels and switched to full building mode. Unit is launching in 2020 and several great teams are already building on it. Contact us at team@unit.co to join them.

Hi! We are Doron Somech and Itai Damti, co-founders at Unit. We’ve both spent a decade at Leverate, a…

We’ve been developing fast-evolving software systems for the better part of 20 years, and have felt the huge pain that comes with configuration management, both in front-end and back-end. Chances are you have felt this pain too.

Let us be more specific. Most companies use a set of files to describe their configurations in different environments. Let’s imagine Uber doing it. Here’s an example for two JSON files that describe the configuration of their demo environment vs. prod environment:

// demo.json
"supported_languages": [ "English", "German", "Hebrew" ],
"require_email_verification_on_signup": false,
"default_number_of_users_to_show_in_admin": 500
// prod.json
"supported_languages": [ "English" ]…

— This post is part of the Blockchain’s Trillion Dollar Futures series —

Web 3.0 (also known as “the decentralized web” or simply the emerging space of decentralized networks and applications) is the crypto category that everyone should be watching in the next few years. Thousands of founders, funds and media outlets make daily claims that cash and store-of-value were just the beginning, and that just like the unsuspecting earthlings of 1995, we’re about to witness the emergence of massive, world-changing applications powered by blockchains.

It’s too early to make outlandish predictions, but it doesn’t prevent many people from making…

— This post is part of the Blockchain’s Trillion Dollar Futures series —

I’ve been a believer in crypto as store-of-value ever since I discovered Bitcoin in 2013. I made public bull cases for Bitcoin when it was at 450 USD and 4,500 USD, and my views haven’t changed much since. Ten years after the launch of Bitcoin and the global financial crisis, it’s clearer than ever that monetary policies (in functioning economies and broken economies alike) are extremely hostile to savers.

While the “digital gold” story around Bitcoin continued to evolve, we saw the emergence of its many experimental…

How twisted can things get when an anonymous piece of code harms people but can’t be stopped? Two cinematic masterpieces offer us devastating answers and lots of food for thought:

  • Dr. Strangelove (1965). In this Stanley Kubrick classic that takes place at the height of the cold war, an American General loses his mind and orders a nuclear strike on the Soviets. The planes are mid-air, will drop the bombs in just 2 hours and cannot be stopped by the anxious American government. Once the Americans lose all hope of preventing the strike, the president calls the Soviets to warn…

I like the story of CLS (Continuous Linked Settlement), one of the most boring and important institutions in global finance. CLS is the world leader in FX settlement. It was launched in 2002, and just like with many other important things in the world, very few people have heard about it. That’s what I like about it. Also, the story of CLS is the perfect argument for one of my favorite quotes: “the older the problem, the older the solution” (Naval Ravikant).

Now let’s talk about blockchain. When you give a little kid a hammer, everything looks like a nail…

“Never venture, never win!” — Sun Tzu, The Art of War

It’s about time to bring some science into localization. In this post I’ll present 4 steps you need to follow when bringing your tech product into any new market. It’s based on an interview I gave at China Business Cast, and it does reference China a lot, but it’s true to any tech company going into any new market (from B2C in Brazil to B2B in England).

I spend the last 3 years as Asia Pacific CEO for my company Leverate, taking it into several markets in the region…

From the startup in 2008 to date, we announced at least 10 unique partnerships between Leverate and other companies. They cost tons and, at times, took all the brainpower and sweat we had. Every single one of these partnerships has failed (channel partners aside).

When I listen to startup founders, I sometimes notice the abuse of the word “partner”, and it reminds me just how unclear we were around the partnerships we took. I’ve heard this word from startup founders to describe what I would otherwise call “client”, “vendor”, “distribution channel”, “an opportunity to get some PR”, “another company that…

Our first customer service (CS) person in Asia shocked me with a resignation just one week after I landed in Hong Kong. He said it was health related. Damn. We had about 9 clients in China at the time, and he was the only customer service person in the company who could actually speak their language. I promised him that I’ll work on a new recruit the next morning. I tried to paint him a less hectic future, and I truly believed in it. In a short-sighted whim I even offered him a title and a much, much higher pay…

Itai Damti

Co-founder & CEO at Unit. Past: co-founder & 10 years at Leverate (100+ employees, 100b+ USD in monthly trading volume).

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