Recent Georgia State graduate Harsha Goli was busy honing his skills in coding as a member of the school’s “PantherHackers” club when he decided to dive into the world of cryptocurrency. In order to fund the development of their own cryptocurrency software, Goli and friends Luis Ferrer-Labarca, Zach Bloomquist, Caleb Lewis and Sri Rajasekaran began to work as outside consultants and developers for other cryptocurrency companies.
The friends quickly realized the hype around blockchain hid serious promise for this technology. More and more startups — and large companies — are utilizing blockchain technology, and venture funding in blockchain-based startups in 2018 is set to surpass last year’s totals.
Today, their crypto-focused software development agency, BitCraft, is thriving, employing an additional three employees and already turning a profit. They create apps, do web design and build additional infrastructure that make blockchain and cryptocurrencies more accessible to consumers.
“We consider ourselves ‘infrastructure experts’ that work with blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies,” says Ferrer-Labarca, now BitCraft’s Chief Commercial Officer.
Below, this young founder shares more on what unique services they bring to the cryptocurrency space, how they’ve funded their own growth, and why it’s important to pay yourself first.
When were you founded?
In October of 2017, Harsha told us that he was working on a Bitcoin product. He called a meeting and asked us if we wanted to help with the software he called Hail. Together, we started talking about how we could make working on this product sustainable for ourselves. We figured that it would be good for us to do consulting work so that we can use the money we make to finance our work on Hail and other internal products. That’s how we started BitCraft.
What is the market for this?
Within the last year, the amount of apps that use cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies has been steadily increasing. So much so that there is a demand for software developing talent. We are bridging the gap between cryptocurrency and blockchain technology and the end-user.
We are impacting the market by educating people who may not know what the blockchain and cryptocurrency is, and creating software that’s easy for them to interact with.
Is BitCraft funded or bootstrapped?
We’re a bootstrapped company. We’ve been profitable since day one by doing work for companies and getting paid for that.
Who are your competitors and how do you stand out?
There are other companies that we share the name BitCraft with, and they also specialize in technology. However, we are different because we occupy the crypto space — whereas they do not. We also separate ourselves by our culture. We want to brand ourselves as a very fun and friendly company by how we market ourselves on social media and interact with the public.
What are some lessons you’ve learned as you grow your business that may be helpful for others?
I learned that it is important to reward yourself when you’re working hard to establish your startup. Personal incentives are good motivation. It’s important to give yourself a salary, and include that as a necessity in the company’s budget.
How has being based in Atlanta affected your startup’s growth?
We love what Atlanta has to offer for startup companies. There is a great tech community in Atlanta. Atlanta is far from being the next Silicon Valley, but we’re getting there. There’s so much potential here.
What are your goals for the next six months?
We’re working on generating a better sales strategy and hiring more employees. We would like to start working with bigger corporations.
Photos by Deniece Griffin
Stephanie Scott is a Georgia State University student studying Journalism. She works as a Social Media Coordinator at GSU’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute.