We talked to James Wo, Founder and CEO of DFG about Blockchain and Web3.0. Here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
James Wo: We have been very fortunate and have overcome this health situation as positively as possible. We are healthy and continue to work on what is most important for us, which is empowering an industry that will help millions of individuals who have unfortunately been less lucky and had to go through tough times in the past and during the current COVID crisis.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded DFG.
James Wo: Well, it all began by being aware of cryptocurrencies; at that moment, it was all about Bitcoin and Ethereum. I was able to enter the market on a personal level at an early stage and reap the benefits of my knowledge in statistics when applied to the market and applying analysis to assets that were not yet considered valuable investments.
After that, I decided to set up shop in 2015 and founded Digital Finance Group (DFG) as a young entrepreneur who seeks to enter the market with the long-term vision of supporting underrated but high-value companies that would become industry behemoths years later.
How does DFG innovate?
James Wo: We have three main goals as an investment firm in this industry. First, we believe that laying out the foundation of blockchain and Web3.0 by investing in promising solutions and empowering each company’s growth is crucial. Second, we invest in a wide range of sectors within the blockchain ecosystem such as Web3.0, CeFi, DeFi, NFTs, the Polkadot ecosystem, and more as a way to support use cases that have the highest probability to be successful while solving everyday problems in numerous industries.
Finally, we provide support to all partner companies through business consultancy, network resources, and engagement with a broader community to help create long-term value.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
James Wo: It has certainly affected us in several ways. The investment side has obviously seen high volatility, which even though, as investors is never negative, for our portfolio companies, this can seriously affect their delivery times and even growth in several terms such as market acquisition or team expansion. Nevertheless, we continue our commitment with the larger picture in mind of the hidden value this young industry has yet to offer and have kept supporting our partner companies through this crisis.
On the human side, we have been very fortunate and have battled through the tough times that have come with this never-before-seen working environment. As a result, we have shifted to flexible work hours and office settings to support all our employees and avoid aggressively reducing our numbers.
On the financial side, we have always relied heavily on our research and analytics teams to observe and study market movements that would benefit or inhibit our growth strategy, so we have deployed strategies that have kept us from being largely affected by the current situation.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
James Wo: Yes, letting a team member go has always been something I do not enjoy. I believe every person has value to offer, and through the hardships of COVID, we have had to part way with highly valuable individuals that even though they no longer work for us, have had a great understanding of the situation we are all living in and taken this opportunity as another step to keep learning and growing towards their goals.
When it comes to the things I have learned, I have understood the need to be more open to new ways of solving issues as simple as working from home, which was something not seriously considered in the finance world, but since there is enough technology and trust to embrace this new method of labor, we are constantly looking for equally unknown alternatives in many areas of our company as a way to improve the working environment and even our search for innovative solutions that will fill the gaps future situations may present.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
James Wo: Our customer relationship management has been evolving since we began in this industry. You see, at the moment, we are still oddballs that support industry with very little backing and incredible tailwinds on the tech side but headwinds on the regulatory side, so our support to partner companies has had to evolve with the growth of the market.
In terms of specific tools, we began as a pure investment firm delivering capital, but now we are so much more than that. We leverage our portfolio to support new investments in terms of partnerships and network expansion, and we work closely with media and PR firms to promote narratives that will educate people on what digital assets and blockchain will bring to future generations while also working together with investment firms like us that are looking to participate and support thousands of driven innovators that seek to improve the quality of life through technological breakthroughs and easy to use solutions to everyday life.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
James Wo: No, we did not receive any government grants, but as you can see today, we have kept working and growing at a steady pace, with assets under management rising consistently, team members around the world driving our business development agenda, and an uncontrollable urge to find new hidden gems within this industry that will become the Googles, Facebooks, and Spotifys of the future.
Your final thoughts?
James Wo: I would like to send a message to all those investors from retail to institutions out there that have not yet entered the space. As we all know, investing is a risky and difficult business. We spend hours of manpower doing research, looking for upside and downside, evaluating teams, and then some, but many forget that the biggest investment companies that exist today have been betting on what will have the biggest benefits to humanity in the next decades, understanding the psychology of current generations to prepare for what future generations will want to see and use. At DFG, we are on a mission to do exactly that, and we welcome all those who would like to collaborate and even learn how to navigate the waters of an infant industry.
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