First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times?
Csaba Konkoly : We are very fortunate, thank you for asking. Our kids are old enough that homeschooling was not too disruptive and my wife and I have been able to function remotely quite efficiently. One interesting ritual we picked up as a family is Friday night poker. The frustrating thing is I used to be considered a good player and now my wife and kids kick my butt regularly. So embarrassing…
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Capital
Csaba Konkoly : I was born in communist Hungary and my formative years were guided by the opposite of consumerism. Once the Berlin Wall collapsed and I got a taste of the “West” that is when my ambitions crystallized. After getting a master’s degree in economics, my journey has centered around entrepreneurship in finance in two stages. The first 18 years took me around the world (NY, London, Singapore, etc.) as a public markets hedge fund manager and for the past eight years I have focused on private tech investments, hence our founding of Capital.
How does Capital innovate?
Csaba Konkoly : We decided to reimagine how private companies access funding and our mission is to make financing decisions that are data-driven vs. relationship-driven where we pull data from companies’ systems of record (think of bank accounts and accounting systems), and make them easily digestible both for management as well as investors.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected Capital’s business and how are you coping?
Csaba Konkoly : Fortunately, we have not seen major impacts from the recent pandemic directly to our business. We really took this time to make sure our team was healthy and in good spirits. However, COVID accelerated our customers’ realization that our service is a must-have and not a nice-to-have – and that has helped to expedite our product prioritization thereby allowing to build a more robust foundation for our technology.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Csaba Konkoly : All decisions are important when dealing with limited resources and unlimited ambition. The team at one of my portfolio companies (Amass) agreed to a temporary reduction in compensation, which allowed the team to double down on a new line of our business. The lesson here is that resourcefulness and adaptability are some of the most important traits of a successful entrepreneur.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and your company in the future?
Csaba Konkoly : We all have different coping mechanisms. I religiously run every morning and that puts me in the right frame of mind for the day. When I have a particularly challenging day, I take my wife for a walk after dinner around the block. She’s been my secret confidant for over 25 years.
Who are Capital’s competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Csaba Konkoly : Well, on one hand, all the incumbents in our industry (banks, BDC’s, and traditional venture debt shops) are competitors by the sheer fact that they are capital allocators, but the key differentiator here is our technology. Most of the competitors in our space are either tech-enabled or have zero technical capabilities in house which allows us to be complementary and helpful to a lot of incumbents in the space. Our goal is to keep pushing the envelope and ultimately make unbiased capital decisions through our machine.
Website : https://www.captec.io/