The Istanbul-based team of 70 will use the funding to launch a series of crypto products as well as continue building an infrastructure that will support both traditional and neo-banks in their investment offers.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that you’re not intimately familiar with the financial situation happening in Turkey at present. However, just as much, I’ll guess you’ve heard in the wind that things, well, shall we say, aren’t so great.
The country has a history of wildly fluctuating currency values and the word inflation is just another Tuesday. Or Thursday as were the case last week when the country saw the rate balloon to just shy of 50 percent, a figure that hasn’t been on the books in over twenty years.
So you’d be forgiven for the knee-jerk reaction of wondering who’s got money to invest, but it’s exactly this economic situation that has the potential to propel Midas to the peak of Olympus. Or the abyss of the River Styx.
One way to combat the volatility, or arguably, contribute to the instability, is to bank a portion of earnings in a foreign currency, an action that more than half the country takes part in. Whereas foreign markets may view Dollars as a currency to be traded and gold, a commodity, on the Turkish markets, these items are seen as investments, or, insurance of the value of their money.
And a highly convenient, if yet risky in itself, way to store, and potentially grow, your hard-earned break? A fractional percentage of a corporation's assets and profits; a stock.
That’s not to say that Midas is the first in Turkey to ever offer such a service, but the startup is the first in the region to do so without charging an arm and a leg to make a trade, a factor that has been cost-prohibitive to many for long. With banks typically charging $15 to $25 per trade, Midas is spinning gold through dramatically lower fees. The firm currently places a $1.50 per transaction cost on the deal, but plans are afoot to reduce this number to zero in the future.
“We started Midas to change people’s relationship with money, for the better. The current environment in Turkey makes spending your money easy, but investing it, rather difficult. By building the most seamless investing experience, we are making investing effortless, as it should be,” says Midas CEO and founder Egem Eraslan.
Whatever your view on Spanish philosopher George Santayana’s statement, “Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them,” it would seem that the statement has struck a chord with Eraslan and Co. as not only are they on a mission to reshape a historically rocky economic landscape, through additional services, they’re also ramping up efforts to educate the masses. And not with some staid financial papers, but through mediums they interact with on a daily basis.
Midas might be pitching itself as a fintech, but the media arm they’re building up might just make for one of Tech.eu’s parent company, Webrazzi’s next acquisitions. The startup is cranking out financial content including detailed company profiles, a daily podcast, weekly newsletter, and soon video content, all aimed at breaking down the mystique surrounding sound financial planning and investing.
Midas has garnered a total of $12 million only 8 months since inception, a clear indicator that lead investors Spark Capital and Earlybird Digital East Fund, and participants Nigel Morris, and Revo Capital are also willing to not only back the company of Midas, but the country of Turkey as well.