The China Startup Pulse

From Bootstrapping to Being Acquired by SoFi and Learning From Constraints, with Mikaal Abdulla, Co-founder and CEO of 8 Securities

Episode Summary

Welcome to yet another exciting episode of the China Startup Pulse Podcast. Our guest today is Mikaal Abdulla, Co-founder and CEO of 8 Securities, a zero-commission mobile-only securities platform that was recently acquired by SoFi. From bootstrapping the business to raising an impressive 1st round of $8 million followed by successive rounds to finally being acquired by SoFi in April, Mikaal and 8 Securities have turned a full-circle. In today’s episode, Mikaal shares with us his experience of starting his own business after having worked at eTrade for almost a decade, his motivations, and the highs and lows he has experienced over time. We dive deeper into the lessons he learned from the prototype of the product to successive iterations that followed. We also discuss startup fundraising, learning from competitors, and the importance of taking that leap of faith at opportune moments, which could define the future for a company as it did for 8 Securities.

Episode Notes

Our guest today is Mikaal Abdulla, Co-founder and CEO of 8 Securities, a zero-commission mobile-only securities platform that was recently acquired by SoFi. From bootstrapping the business to raising an impressive 1st round of $8 million followed by successive rounds to finally being acquired by SoFi in April, Mikaal and 8 Securities have turned a full-circle.

Show Notes:

1:41 Introduction to Mikaal Abdulla

2:31 Motivation to Start 8 Securities

4:12 Raising the first round of $8 million

7:50 How to measure traction

8:52 The importance of understanding customer needs

17:33 Finding the balance between consumers' needs and CEO's expectations

20:38 Going mobile: a pivotal moment

28:10 Surprising discovery entering into new market

32:32 Connection between funding and breakthroughs

34:40 Learning from constraints

38:11 SoFi acquisition

39:50 Advice to founders

 

Many thanks to our guest Mikaal Abdulla; host Oscar Ramos; producers Eva Shi and Sagar Chaudhary; editor David; organizer Chinaccelerator; and sponsor People Squared. Be sure to check out our website www.chinaccelerator.com

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