Few can imagine that their school friendship could one day lead to the formation of a startup that would eventually grow to over $120-million in monthly transactions. This is Alex Harper and Angus Goldman’s story, co-founders of Swyftx, one of Australia’s most forward thinking and fastest-growing cryptocurrency companies.
Both co-founders are passionate tinkerers, entrepreneurs, and self taught IT experts. This unique connection sparked the need to stay in touch after first meeting at the University of Sydney’s National Computer Science School camp 2012. Years later, Both had since started successful businesses when they were reunited as housemates in Brisbane. It was at this moment they founded the wildly successful cryptocurrency startup, Swyftx.
Lifelong Entrepreneurial Instincts
Since primary school, both Angus Goldman and Alex Harper had a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship. Harper went from starting a juice company at local markets with his family to building an onsite IT company, the latter of which led him to leave high school.
During high school, I founded an onsite-IT company and hired some friends to help out. I left school at the start of year 12 to continue growing my IT business due to its explosive growth and partnered with one of my then-employees. In 2015, (alongside the IT business) I co-founded a fintech company called Neotill, a credit card payment processing app for iOS and Android (like Square Payments).
Just as Harper was launching and running these successful businesses, Goldman had been busy programming and starting businesses of his own.
“My childhood consisted of pulling apart electronics and putting them back together. Most of them still worked after… I started off with programming in primary school where I built and programmed Lego Mindstorms robots and that was where I found my passion for software development,” Goldman said.
“Since then, I have been programming out of passion for a lot of personal projects such as solely developing the entire backend for OpalCoin market place back in 2013-2014” Goldman said.
After reconnecting with one another in Brisbane, the two began to discover key gaps within the Australian Cryptocurrency market.
Goldman said, “I have been in Crypto since 2014 and when Harper got interested in it, I was able to give him some pointers. However, when we started comparing the global exchanges to Australian ones, we noticed some concerning differences, particularly around the price movements and features offered”.
Identifying a Major Opportunity in Combating Fraud in Australia’s Cryptocurrency Industry
That market analysis became an integral part of the foundation for Swyftx.
“We started probing to see if it was possible to solve these problems and that was the conception of Swyftx, and it has grown into the platform it is today. The analytical and questioning approach along with strong problem-solving skills have allowed us to lead the tech front at Swyftx,” Goldman said.
“We’re striving to provide a trustworthy, safe, and fair platform for investing in crypto. We offer some of the most advanced features in a simple interface with some of the lowest fees and spreads. We have the best customer service in Australia with the rest of the world on our radar very soon,” said Harper.
Despite the rest of the world on their future radar, the two co-founders are taking the time to double down on fraud in the Australian market where it currently serves.
“We adopt a strong stance against fraud, scams, and illegal activity. As such, we have extensive due diligence programs, including the source of funds verification, something we believe is integral to combat such activities. It’s estimated that Swyftx is able to prevent up to 5x more theft than other industry leaders,” said Harper.
Additionally, user design and experience is integral to the company’s mission. Over the two years since it has been founded, Swyftx has added advanced features such as smart order routing and advanced trading tools.
“Swyftx has a fundamental focus on both people and platform features. We pride ourselves on treating our customers as the most valued part of our platform. We are innovating and re-defining what it means to be a broker/exchange through our smart order routing and trading features. With our development team growing exponentially, we are positioned to offer the best product in the market,” Goldman said.
Creating a Company Under Australia’s Supportive Cryptocurrency Regulation
Australia has some of the most welcoming cryptocurrency regulation in the entire world. Swyftx has used this open environment to build a startup that has not only grown but thrived, even despite a global pandemic.
“Australia was one of the first countries to provide regulation around Anti Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing through its Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) body. This has helped set the stage for legitimizing the cryptocurrency industry,” said Harper.
While major Australian banks are still impossible to deal with, we have seen excellent support from independent banks and payment processors in helping the adoption of the industry,” Harper said.
Astonishing Growth Despite a Slow Start in a Bear Market
The exchange launched during a bear market, but despite the low number of deposits in that slow market, Swyftx soon took off. From that foundation, the team marched forward to create an exchange that went from doing $10 million in monthly trading volume, to over $120 million in monthly trading volume during the second year of business. Increasing the urgency for new recruits, with the Swyftx team growing from its two co-founders to over 20 employees.
“In 2018, we launched at the bottom of a long bear market. Living from a cheap apartment with our laptops, we had only a few thousand dollars deposited in our first month, most of which we ended up having to forego and blocking as confirmed fraud. We were confident in the product and what impact we would have in the industry. With the remainder of our life savings we pushed the platform over the line, it was an all or nothing situation”, said Harper.
Within 6 months Swyftx was able to hire two devs and one customer support officer. Alongside partnering with some marketing leading affiliates including Cryptohead and Finder.com.au to continue growing the business, by the start of the second year of trading, Swyftx was well and truly established and sustainable.
“Throughout 2020 and the COVID pandemic, Swyftx has continued to thrive, our transaction volumes have hit an upwards of $120-million per month,” Harper said.
What started as a friendship built on mutual interests in entrepreneurship and tech has grown into a booming startup that processes over $120-million in monthly trading volume. Harper and Goldman have paved the way for a rapidly growing team to thrive in an exponentially growing market. While Australia’s cryptocurrency regulation environment is in part to thank for that success, this startup is built on the shoulders of lifelong entrepreneurs with a passion to build ‘better’.
Today, Swyftx leads the industry with customer support, lowest spreads and the most tradable assets within Australia, with plans to expand globally in 2021 and offer the unique platform experience to users around the world.