ClearX’ Eran Haggiag introduces decentralized commerce for the digital era
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Eran Haggiag: These are fascinating times! Happy to say we are all healthy and safe. This period gave us a great opportunity to find the balance between physical and remote with both working in the office and traveling to meet partners.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded ClearX.
Eran Haggiag: I’ve been programming since I was 7 years old, and I’ve been in this industry for many years now. At a very young age, I found myself as the CTO of Israel Direct Insurance, establishing one of the first websites with online services in the insurance category. Later, I co-founded and served as the CEO of an algorithmic trading company. In 2014, I co-founded Meme Video, an algorithmic media-tech company that was later acquired by Somoto. I currently sit on the advisory board of JFrog (NYSE: FROG) and Venn (raised $100M).
In my time as CEO of Meme, I was exposed to the difficulties of B2B relationships. I had the privilege of working with great clients and partners, but had a lot of friction managing those relationships, as reconciliation and settlement was done manually and data consistency was low. Getting exposed to Ethereum at the pre-launch, I had a strong calling to use smart contracts and Web3 concepts to create a better reality. I hoped to create an ecosystem where enterprises attain trust in each other, that stems from transparency, where automation is constantly improving by having companies co-create together.
How does ClearX innovate?
Eran Haggiag: ClearX innovates on 3 plains :
Tackling a business process that is fragmented and creates a huge mess
Enterprise commerce is complicated. It’s governed by complicated contracts, reliant on multiple inputs from various data sources that need to be verified, and is plagued by mistrust, as both parties are large organizations with complex interests. As such, this is a field of transactions that has not been disrupted. It remains inefficient, creates tons of manual work, and is prone to mistakes and even fraud. Cooperation between enterprises to surpass these problems has always been difficult, and in a decentralized environment, we are now able to facilitate the solutions to these problems for enterprises.
Taking enterprise into the Web3 era
The third generation of the internet includes decentralized finance and social platforms, NFTs, and DAOs. To participate in this new wave and retain growth, enterprises need a toolset that meets their limitations. ClearX is a leader in this movement, creating the path for enterprises to harness Web 3.0.
Creating a software company for the open Web3 ecosystem
Innovation at ClearX doesn’t happen only on the plain of disruption of a business process or deals with the product we are delivering. The business model and the company structure we are aiming for is, in itself, a way we innovate. Keeping our software open, priming interoperability and in the future opening up for collaborative creation with our users and clients is at the heart of what we do.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Eran Haggiag: As a company whose target market has been large enterprises, we were affected by COVID. At the beginning of the pandemic, it slowed the processes in enterprises a little more, as large companies had the luxury and the obligation to be cautious in the beginning. Now things are back to some degree, with only very specific activities impacted.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Eran Haggiag: When we started to realize the impact of COVID we needed to take some actions and prepare for the possibility that things will slow down, so we cut off some resources right at the beginning. I’ve learned a lot about prioritization and focus, and I’m still learning. Our investors and partners have supported us in this, and I think those choices brought us clarity that we could not have gained otherwise.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Eran Haggiag: Our customers’ relationships have evolved significantly. Before the pandemic, we relied on a lot of F2F time from our customers. We learned how to harness digital interactions and maximize their results. We were a high touch, high engagement type of relationship with our current customers, and we learned how to manage more relationships in a more lean way through these past 2 years.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Eran Haggiag: We did file for a grant, and received one. But we definitely did not rely on it. The financial health of the company is managed professionally taking into consideration what we can generate in revenue, and what we raised from our amazing investors. The ability to get a grant gives me, and the leadership, the ability to take decisions in the development that are a little more forward-thinking.
Your final thoughts?
Eran Haggiag: We are in a very exciting time. As we are cross-fading from Web 2.0 to Web3, we are about to see a huge transformation in how we structure as humanity. Organizations will have to adopt fast to remain relevant. We are here to help with the acceleration for the CEOs, and teams, that want to take the leap forward.