Welcome, Mr. Bakuev. Can you please tell us how it started for you and your company?
Ullubiy: Well, since my University days, I've always been curious about cryptocurrencies, and at that time, I was hungry for more information about this new technology. After a few attempts to learn about how these digital currencies work and how I could get in, it finally dawned on me that all the people I know were like me — oblivious of how these technologies work.
This pushed me into making extensive research, although personally.
During the 2017 Initial Coin Offering [ICO] boom which saw over $20 billion raised as reported by Forbes, I contacted my friend Artem Khachatryan to see if we could create something sustainable and viable for the market we had experience and knowledge about. Juxtaposing the acclaimed crypto market-making service platforms to their traditional and more conventional platforms, we discovered that the former was unprofessional, albeit powerful, and capable of influencing the price of Bitcoin as reported in a news article.
What was the major goal of CLS at the beginning?
Artem: When Ullubiy and I entered the market, most people did not know how these cryptocurrencies worked. We identified a perspective and tried to work towards providing users with a sustainable solution.
Our goal then was to provide unrivaled, seamless, and high-quality services to projects with long-term development plans. This is still our goal as it has always been.
Do you think CLS is the best in the market? Why do you think so?
Ullubiy: If I am being honest, I think we are. We currently have a retention rate of over 90%. This should tell you how good our services are.
First, as Artem rightly mentioned, our aim since inception was to help businesses achieve their long-term developmental goals. We are the best because we bring real value that is capable of aiding these businesses to achieve predetermined goals
If you appose our services and that of our competitors, one thing stands out — we do not sell our services, rather, we try to understand the business needs of our clients while working to offer them the best solution at the lowest cost possible. Besides, CLS is more than a trading platform, we offer consultancy services as well
Were you ever afraid of not making it?
Artem: Fear as expected, is not the first ingredient when it comes to successfully starting and launching a business. Well, if we're being honest, we were ambivalent initially but we saw how impressed our clients were with our services, so we just had to continue. This, surprisingly, gave us the strength to forge ahead notwithstanding the many hurdles we had to surmount.
What questions do you ask before working with a client? How do you measure success or growth?
Ullubiy: As I've mentioned earlier, it all begins with understanding the core aspects of the business. We need to first see and understand them clearly, once it is done, we can give ample options on the best route to achieve the desired outcome.
Varying in complexity, time, efficiency, and cost, these options are presented to the client who reserves the right to pick any. Once a consortium is started, an account manager is allocated to the client to help see that the goal is achieved.
When it comes to measuring success, the account manager is charged with the onus of reporting all relevant data some of which include; trading volume, user growth, liquidity measure, organic social media growth, et al
What are the goals of CLS in 2021?
Artem: This year, we've started offering consultancy services which was, surprisingly, demanded by several clients
Additionally, we plan on expanding our market-making services as well as our market shares. In 2021, we plan on launching fundraising, advisory, and marketing service platforms. We also have plans to expand our legal services.
What advice would you give to emerging crypto start-ups right now?
Ullubiy: It is pretty simple — do not scam, do business. Over the years, the crypto market has been associated with fake projects, from the numerous scam ICOs to a ton of DeFi scam projects, exploiting the least suspecting individual has become a fabric of the market. That has to stop.
Your goal should be to think of the core values you could bring to this market. Most of these projects end after selling a large number of tokens. Some, on the other hand, do not get to the funding phase. This is simply because they do not understand the target market and their business model.
Additionally, I'd advise them to delegate tasks. It's that simple. You cannot do everything yourself, outsource these tasks to competent individuals and watch your start-up grow exponentially. If there are areas you're lacking in expertise, it is only wise you hire a professional to get the job done.
How important is looking for partners in the early stages of a start-up?
Artem: As Ullubiy rightly stated, the crypto market is filled with scammers and scam projects. Let me give you an example.
Some of the exchanges with acclaimed 1-2 billion dollars in trading volume have zero trading volumes. Sales managers just cook up these data and statistics to fool unsuspecting individuals. Getting a partner who's familiar with the market will drastically reduce your chances of falling victim to these projects.
Hiring a professional market-maker in the early stages of a business is as important as running the business itself.
Tell us about your professional experience
Ullubiy: Before we kicked off CLS, I had remarkable working experience in the finance and business consulting industry. I also have experience from trying to set up a start-up during my University days, unfortunately, it didn't work out.
All of these gave me a solid idea of how businesses should work. With my background suitable for fintech, it is a privilege that I ended up working on my project with Artem.
What other doubts did you entertain?
Artem: About three years ago, most projects at their embryonic stage paid little or no attention to market-making hence we had to spend a plethora of time explaining and breaking down our services bit by bit to them for easier understanding. We feared that not many of our prospective clients would get and subsequently buy into our idea.
Additionally, the market-making was down real bad then. This made us incredulous about the future of CLS.
Tell us about your first day of work at CLS. How did it go?
Ullubiy: Honestly, it is hard to place a specific date as the first day of our company but as for our first client? Oh, we remember them like it was yesterday.
We had a long and somehow interesting chat with them. Since they were in a different time zone, we had to wake up early to make the place. Surprisingly, 30 minutes into the conversation, they liked our idea and we got started. They transferred the money the same day as well.
Are there plans to enlarge this company in the future?
Artem: Of course, there are. Currently, we experience a 10-15% growth monthly and so does our team. We have big plans of enlarging our business by introducing unprecedented models and products as I have rightly mentioned earlier.