Episode 178: Raina Casbon-Kelts on helping companies scale by automating crypto payments and accounting with Gilded
At the Miami Crypto Experience we got an exclusive interview with one of the keynote speakers Raina Casbon-Kelts. She joined us to discuss the evolution of Gilded helping companies scale by automating crypto payments and accounting.
Raina is a business development professional in New Orleans with a passion for cryptocurrency, blockchain technology and business. In this podcast, we discuss challenges facing adoption by businesses and how Gilded‘s bookkeeping and invoicing solutions are helping them automate manual transaction processing.
Website – https://gilded.finance/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/raina_crypto?lang=en
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/rainacasbon/
The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
00:01:15:20 – 00:01:30:04
Richard Carthon: Hey everyone, your host here, Richard Carthon, and we are at the Miami Crypto Experience. This is day two, having an incredible time. Of course, I’m with my COO here, Steven Miller, and we have a special guest, Raina with Gilded. Raina, how have you been enjoying the Miami Crypto Experience?
00:01:30:15 – 00:02:09:28
Raina Casbon-Kelts: It’s more than I ever expected it to be, Richard. Thanks for having me. When you’ve known us from the beginning, when we first started out with this accounting for Crypto for businesses, it was so new. And now, businesses are starting to change. The world is changing right in front of us. And, you know, I’ve seen this before. I saw it with the Internet. I grew up with no Internet, there was no Internet. We went to the library. Every progression that’s gotten us here has mimicked exactly what went on in the beginning of real adoption on the Internet. And we’re seeing it all again. And it’s a pleasure to be part of it this time.
00:02:10:01 – 00:02:34:05
Steven Miller: It’s just incredible to me to be at the like, on the doorstep of the true breakout. It’s an enormous moment. And I mean, I can’t help but just get really excited about it. I mean, you can tell it like, there is an energy in the air here. We had a conversation with a good friend of the show yesterday, and he was really comparing it to, like, the way that the culture is down here in Miami. It’s just as vibrant as the actual Crypto culture is.
00:02:34:25 – 00:03:19:22
Raina Casbon-Kelts: There’s more opportunity here. I mean. I went to World Crypto Con in Vegas in 2017, and the opportunity there was pale in comparison to what we’re seeing now. And at this conference, it’s attracted more business people. I mean, like, business people trying to figure this out. And that, It’s a different road. It’s a road that if you want to spend your Crypto, right? If you want opportunities to actually use it, then the best way to do that is, you know, accept it in your business. And once businesses start accepting Crypto for payment and us as individuals who have been, you know, in this for a long time, some of us, can really start to see the power, the technology, as it evolves.
00:03:19:26 – 00:03:48:23
Richard Carthon: Absolutely. And, you know, I got to listen to your keynote and we got to cover it and I think you did an amazing job. And like, for everyone listening, you know that we had Raina on previously and like, Gilded has been crushing it ever since. And one of the things that you brought up is just basically the timing. So, you built all of this during a bear market and now we’re in this current bull cycle and it’s starting to finally click for a lot of these businesses. Right place, right time, right tech and a great moment. So, kind of talk to the wave of success that’s starting to come y’all’s way.
00:03:49:02 – 00:04:25:22
Raina Casbon-Kelts: When we started this, every investor that we spoke to told us that our market was the size of Taito, right? No one’s using Crypto for businesses. But one thing we felt like we knew from the beginning was if this technology was going to take hold, businesses were going to adopt it, too. And really, there’s nothing stickier than accounting because the last thing that most businesses want to do is change their accounting system, right? They go kicking and screaming from QuickBooks to NetSuite, right? Only because they have to and that’s a really difficult transition.
00:04:25:24 – 00:05:07:02
Raina Casbon-Kelts: So, we knew that by getting in on the ground floor, we become part of their business and for us, that’s a great way to build. We don’t have turn, right? We have people that come and test the solution and don’t sign up for a paid version or what have you, but when we are part of your system and we educate your accountant, we educate your sales team and we just become part of your business. And so, that’s what we’re seeing today. In 2020, August of 2020, was our first million dollar month of invoicing through our platform. In Q1 of 2021, we did 10 million, so.
00:05:07:04 – 00:05:08:03
Steven Miller: Wow, congratulations.
00:05:08:05 – 00:05:09:00
Raina Casbon-Kelts: The volume.
00:05:09:02 – 00:05:09:17
Richard Carthon: That’s growth.
00:05:09:19 – 00:05:43:22
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Its growth. In 2020, we signed our first 50 paying customers and now in 2021, well we’re backed by the AICPA now, so that’s the Association for International Certified Public Accountants. We spent a lot of time educating accounting professionals because the fact of the matter is, if you want to accept Crypto in your business and your accountant says no because they don’t know how to deal with it, that’s some finality right there, right? You don’t go against your accountant because then you have to find a new account, right? That just is not feasible.
00:05:43:24 – 00:06:19:11
Raina Casbon-Kelts: So, what we’re doing is educating accounting professionals, teaching them how to use the software. We have an accounting partner program, where we give accounting firms a free account so they can test it and get used to software and so, they can recommend it to their clients. So, outsource CFOs and things like that are really starting to embrace this as a new way to help their customers accelerate cash flow, right? What’s more important for a small business than to accelerate cash flow? Because, you know, for you and me, we talk about paying with a Visa card and, Oh, well, you know, that’s instant. It’s not instant for the business, it’s only instant for you, right?
00:06:19:13 – 00:06:54:19
Raina Casbon-Kelts: The business doesn’t get paid till days later and then you have 90 days to dispute that transaction. So, there’s no finality there for up to three months after the transaction actually occurs. With Crypto, that finality is today. And with a Gilded invoice that finalities 10 minutes from now. So, it makes a big difference in the flow of funds into your business. You know, you have that money, right? And you can do things with it. You can plan for it. That’s where your accountant comes in. They can help you make better decisions and what to do with that in your business. And I could go on forever about that.
00:06:55:09 – 00:07:22:23
Steven Miller: No, I mean, look, it’s actually an incredible thing because before Crypto Current, like, I was in the consulting space. So, when I’m working through QuickBooks and I’m handling my invoicing, I’m sitting there, you know, working out, Okay, am I going that 15 with this deal? What was in the contract? Am I going to net 10? But what you’re talking about with Gilded, it’s making that immediacy so much more accessible, not just to the business, but to the entire network of businesses that cooperate. That’s extremely powerful.
00:07:22:25 – 00:07:23:27
Raina Casbon-Kelts: I agree.
00:07:25:06 – 00:07:35:09
Steven Miller: I would be absolutely remiss to not ask this question. But for those that weren’t able to join us, can you tell us a little bit more about your session, you know, what you went into in your keynote?
00:07:35:26 – 00:08:03:06
Raina Casbon-Kelts: So, I’m in this for the mission, I have been from the beginning. I’m not a developer, I’m not even a techie. I’ve been in B2B sales since the 90s. What I saw in this was not only the ability to empower individuals, but to empower businesses as well. So, my whole thing with this is, we try to regulate away things like diversity, inclusion, wage gaps and things like that.
00:08:03:12 – 00:08:47:06
Raina Casbon-Kelts: You know, that’s what we’re trying to do today, is regulate that away, but by empowering individuals to be their own boss, to start their own business, what we do, which is a just a consequence of that, is we shrink the labor pool and then businesses can’t be so picky, right? That they don’t care about, well, this is how much money you need to make. Yes, because you’re competing with me starting my own business. So, if I’m going to go work for you, you’re going to pay me to do that because I can go make my own money. And when businesses or corporations, you know, the evil corporations that we talk about, right? When the evil corporations are competing with being your own boss, then those things like diversity and inclusion and wage gaps, they take care of themselves.
00:08:47:08 – 00:09:34:24
Richard Carthon: And that’s, I mean, that’s really important. And, you know, one of the things that we really go back to with Crypto Current is empowerment and also just making sure that people have the access to knowledge and also have the tools to to move their businesses forward in ways that they ultimately wouldn’t know even existed, right? And, you know, when I first found out about Gilded and when I first got released, we actually use Gilded for invoicing and so, I definitely have just through passing through conversation be like, Hey, this is some you should check out. But one of the things that I think is very crucial here, and just like you said, is help also with the growth. And while all these businesses are coming to you and saying uniquely like, Oh, my gosh, like, here are ways that like, I could utilize this, is you’re saving people money. Can you just talk about that just for a second of like, how is it that Gilded is able to save all these businesses money?
00:09:35:19 – 00:10:03:10
Raina Casbon-Kelts: So, it starts with a time savings really. Right now, if you’ve been in Crypto for any length of time and you’re not using Gilded, what are you using? Spreadsheets. QuickBooks doesn’t support Crypto, right? QuickBooks supports two decimal places. Every Fiat software that is on the Internet today supports two decimal places. Doesn’t work for Crypto.
00:10:04:01 – 00:11:00:17
Raina Casbon-Kelts: So, when we talk to people, they have seven spreadsheets. They spend their entire day on Ether scan or Block Explorer trying to translate that information into Fiat, so, that their accountant can expense things properly. And the number one thing we hear from accountants is when I ask my customer, what’d you spend that point to Bitcoin on last year? Right? Who remembers that? You have no idea. You don’t know what you spent it on and you don’t know who it wants to because none of that information is on there. And that’s what your accountant needs, so you can write expenses off on your taxes. And who wants to pay more in taxes, right? So, the first thing that we save you this time, which we all know time is money. Let’s say you used a Quickbooks invoice to send, you know, your Bitcoin public key or Eth public key, right? So, who’s doing the conversion, right?
00:11:01:23 – 00:11:02:23
Richard Carthon: We are.
00:11:03:02 – 00:11:32:06
Raina Casbon-Kelts: And if your customer is doing the conversion right? Then they’re picking the best possible conversion rate that they can find and they’re going to tell you they found it on some exchange and, you know, some obscure place. Well, Gilded has built that conversion into our invoices. So, you price your invoice, you you want to charge someone five grand, right? At the time of payment, Gilded pulls a real time spot price for that transaction. That is part of the invoicing solution.
00:11:32:21 – 00:11:47:24
Raina Casbon-Kelts: They have 30 minutes to complete that payment. If they don’t, then we forced them to pull another spot price. And that protects you from that volatility. That’s a huge time saving, too. And that’s a money saving. Mass pay is another. We just launched it. I don’t know if you guys saw the big release.
00:11:48:10 – 00:12:19:24
Raina Casbon-Kelts: So, mass pay enables you to send up to 500. Send a payment, talk to 500 unique Ethereum addresses with one transaction fee. In addition, using Gilded, Gilded sends out a notification email to every one of those 500, up to 500 people and lets them know that they received your payment. So, today, our customers are using that for contractor payments. TrustSwap was our first customer to use it, and they saved over 60 percent on the gas fee.
00:12:20:15 – 00:12:21:12
Richard Carthon: That’s incredible. That’s a big deal. That’s cool.
00:12:21:14 – 00:12:21:29
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Yeah, it’s cool.
00:12:22:02 – 00:12:27:21
Steven Miller: I was about to say even just on the ROI alone with that, you have so much case.
00:12:27:29 – 00:12:29:10
Raina Casbon-Kelts: You save nine hours too.
00:12:31:15 – 00:12:33:07
Steven Miller: Unreal.
00:12:33:10 – 00:12:33:25
Richard Carthon: That’s unreal.
00:12:33:27 – 00:12:38:19
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Yeah, it’s the power of technology, Richard. We have only scratched the surface on programmable money.
00:12:38:21 – 00:12:39:06
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:12:39:18 – 00:12:43:12
Raina Casbon-Kelts: That’s it. We’ve just started to scratch the surface and there’s a lot more we can do.
00:12:43:15 – 00:13:03:11
Richard Carthon: There’s more to come. And, you know, two things with it, you know, with all of the growth, a lot of exciting things on the horizon and I’m sure all that’s to come. But, you know, a couple of things I just want to ask real quick is like, if you could give yourself some advice right now with all of the knowledge you have back when you first got into Gilded, and was first going through everything, even through TechStars, whatever. What wisdom would you impart to yourself?
00:13:03:13 – 00:13:28:07
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Keep believing. Everyone told us we were wrong. People told us we wouldn’t make it. There was no Crypto in business, no business was going to use Crypto. You were stuck in the freelancer market forever because that’s the only people who would ever use Crypto. Today, we have a public company that is using Gilded to pay their contractors, to pay their contract employees globally. Keep believing. That’s what I would tell myself.
00:13:28:11 – 00:14:05:23
Steven Miller: That absolutely blows my mind, though. The pieces of your story that, like, absolutely inspire me as somebody who’s just been exclusively in the startup space for the last 10 years. It’s incredible that you guys overcame people continually telling you, no, no, no, no, no, but there’s also that part in your journey where you are, you know, incubated, right? I mean, you just brought it up with TechStars. I have to just, I guess, ask the question. But like, at what point with even the mentor networks that you’ve had the pleasure of interfacing with, did you just have to effectively put your foot down and start seeking out mentors that you knew were on board?
00:14:12:00 – 00:15:47:07
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Day one?
00:15:47:09 – 00:15:47:29
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:15:48:01 – 00:16:38:25
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Mentor madness. That’s what you do with TechStars. The first three weeks, we met with 100 advisors, potential mentors to the program and I’m talking about VPs of Citibank because TechStars Network is massive, right? So, one of the most memorable ones, we sat down with a gentleman and he said, “So, your tech is incredible, love what you’re doing. What you should do, though, is drop all of the Cryptocurrency stuff and just do this for real money.” Right? And, you know, we’re five founders and we’re all sitting around and we’re just like every single one of us, our jaws dropped. So, since day one, we have had to be very selective on our mentors. One of the first paid advisors that we took on is Dr. Sean Stein Smith. He’s a doctor.
00:16:38:27 – 00:16:40:09
Richard Carthon: Shoutout to Sean, he’s been on the show.
00:16:40:26 – 00:16:41:11
Steven Miller: Yeah.
00:16:41:13 – 00:16:41:28
Richard Carthon: He’s amazing.
00:16:42:00 – 00:17:34:27
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Sean is amazing. And he and Garrett, his partner, really believed in us and they also believed in the technology. And he’s an academic, he’s a teacher now. He’s a Forbes contributor. And from the beginning, he’s really been instrumental in working with Joey, our CFO, and our dev team. So, our entire solution is built by accountants and developers. And the importance of that combination because accountants and developers do not speak the same language. So, you know, just figuring that out, how to translate this knowledge into an application that was usable for businesses. That’s been number one on our priority list from the beginning. We started off as just an invoicing tool, but in order for businesses to adopt this, we needed the accounting portion as well and they’ve been instrumental in creating that.
00:17:35:14 – 00:17:45:24
Richard Carthon: No doubt. Well again, very excited for the journey. Glad you’re able to get your mentors, glad you believed in yourself. Just a reminder for everyone listening, you know, keep believing in yourself. When people tell, you know, just keep pushing through.
00:17:45:28 – 00:17:46:13
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Yeah.
00:17:46:15 – 00:17:51:15
Richard Carthon: That’s definitely a good life lesson, not just in Crypto, but just in general. So, definitely appreciate those two cents.
00:17:51:19 – 00:17:53:04
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Can I say one more thing though?
00:17:53:11 – 00:17:53:26
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:17:53:28 – 00:18:38:11
Raina Casbon-Kelts: All right. So, this year, Gilded tokenized 10 percent of our equity in a continuous security offering, which is an upgrade to the safe that many startups raise on today. What is incredible about this is we’ve been able to allow our customers and users across the globe to contribute to our success and own part of our company. So, we launched the GiFi token in January. We’ve raised $500,000 to date and I think 78 percent ish of that is from our customers.
00:18:38:17 – 00:18:48:03
Steven Miller: So, for the people that are out there who are starting to understand that side of the investment space, can you clarify for them is that actually having to do with accredited investors or is it open?
00:18:48:09 – 00:19:19:20
Raina Casbon-Kelts: So, we were already on the venture route. So, the GiFi token is Reg D in the US and I Reg S overseas. Americans have to be accredited. There are no accredited investor laws in other countries. I mean, I have a customer in Bangkok and he’s paying $99 a month for our software, but he invested 20,000 in our business through the GiFi token as a quicker path to liquidity for investors. So, there’s a one year lockup, but then the token will be available on secondary exchanges after that.
00:19:19:22 – 00:19:43:15
Richard Carthon: Which is exciting. To break that down really quickly, usually with most startups when you invest in something, the idea is to hopefully get your money back in five to seven years, right? And hopefully out of 10x like that’s, you know, eight to 10, that’s the dream. But with this, you’re able to get out in a year and potentially still have that opportunity potential in a year like, that that is so powerful.
00:19:43:17 – 00:20:09:23
Raina Casbon-Kelts: It is. And so, and we have the threshold, so, you can invest as little as $500. You also have that, not necessarily the ability to get out. So we reached 500,000 the other day and now every new investment raises the price of our token. So, now it was $5 and $5 and now it’s a 5.04 or 5.05. So, with every new investor, that earlier investor actually reaps the benefits of that.
00:20:10:13 – 00:20:11:06
Richard Carthon: Which is incredible.
00:20:11:17 – 00:20:12:02
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Yeah.
00:20:12:04 – 00:20:28:07
Richard Carthon: And you know, Raina, we really do appreciate you spending some time with us. It’s always been a joy and a pleasure. Miami Crypto Experience has been amazing and I’m glad that you were able to be a part of it and be a keynote and we were able to take some of that. And everyone, if you’re not listening, make sure you please go check them out. What are ways that people can connect with you and also connect with Gilded?
00:20:28:15 – 00:21:02:05
Raina Casbon-Kelts: So, we are at Gilded.finance. We’re @GildedFinance on Twitter. And, if you sign up for Gilded, there’s a free account. And you’re listening to this, send me an invoice for $500, we’re picking one next week to pay. So we’ll have one winner, $500 in Bitcoin. Only thing you need to put on there is a Bitcoin public key, right? That’s all you need. And I just want to say really quick, if you guys don’t know, I want to say thank you to Blockchain. Wayne, Wayne Marcel.
00:21:02:09 – 00:21:02:28
Richard Carthon: Shoutout to Wayne.
00:21:03:00 – 00:21:10:06
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Yes. For putting this together. They’ve done an incredible job. And yeah, I’ve loved being here. And Miami is awesome, by the way.
00:21:10:08 – 00:21:11:28
Steven Miller: And one other quick throw to Wayne.
00:21:12:00 – 00:21:12:15
Blockchain Wayne: I love you guys.
00:21:12:17 – 00:21:31:20
Steven Miller: I was gonna say one one quick throw to win, though, because there is some exciting breaking news out today. We are actually right now hearing the announcement that we’re coming back for Miami Crypto Experience part two in October.
00:21:31:22 – 00:21:43:11
Blockchain Wayne: V2 baby, V2. Miami Crypto Experience, October. 27, 28, 29. Right here, same place in Miami. Leads right into Halloween weekend, so we’re going to have a great time with that.
00:21:43:13 – 00:21:43:28
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Halloween weekend?
00:21:44:00 – 00:22:10:17
Blockchain Wayne: Tickets are on sale right now on our event chain, The link’s going to go out on social media shortly. Through this weekend, you can buy at a greatly discounted rate with Cryptocurrency. If you don’t know how to do it, get with somebody to help you and to show you how to make a purchase. And then after the weekend, it opened up on our regular site. You’re about to pay with credit card or whatever, but that’s going to be our best value right now. And we’re excited to have it happen again. So many people missed out on this one, we want to give it to more people, so.
00:22:10:19 – 00:22:11:04
Raina Casbon-Kelts: Awesome.
00:22:11:06 – 00:22:15:22
Blockchain Wayne: Big plans to be here around Halloween and dress as your favorite.
00:22:15:24 – 00:22:17:03
Steven Miller: Coin.
00:22:17:15 – 00:22:22:11
Blockchain Wayne: Coin. I was going to say something else, but, yeah, your favorite coin. All right, cool.
00:22:22:19 – 00:22:28:09
Raina Casbon-Kelts: If you need help paying in Crypto and don’t want to pay in boomer bucks, then give me a call because I’ll help you with that.
00:22:29:06 – 00:22:32:02
Richard Carthon: Absolutely. And of course, for everyone listening, stay Crypto Current.
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