Mihai Ivașcu is the CEO and Co-founder of Modex, a leading Blockchain Database provider, a partner in Nemesis CyberOne, an actively managed certificate focused on cyber security companies, and the Chairman of .lumen, a start-up that develops technologies to help the blind live a better life.
A serial entrepreneur who started his first software company at the age of 18, Mihai won the “EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year In Technology” Award in 2021, he is part of the exclusive Forbes 30 Under 30 community and has been chosen, on many occasions, as one of the best young managers in the tech industry.
What does "to invest" mean to you?
For me, investing has a lot to do with trust. If we consider trust as a currency, we'll see that it's an extremely valuable one - maybe the most valuable in the world - and highly sought-after nowadays, regardless of the industry. When you invest in a project, when buying a new car, business jet, apartment, yacht, or a particular service - you're also showing your trust towards that product. You expect it to be good and to deliver on its promises, maybe even surpass expectations, otherwise, you wouldn't have invested in it.
When did you start investing and why?
I've started investing as a young entrepreneur, after launching my own web design company at the age of 18. Later, it became a software company that now offers a suite of tech services making an impact on the global scale. I've started investing because I believed in the potential of several projects, in their ability to disrupt the future, but also because I wanted to meet like-minded people with a creative vision, to be close to them, and to learn, firsthand, what it takes to shape tomorrow by launching, today, game-changing products and services.
You’ve invested in BRUNCH twice. What were your main motivations?
I like both the team and the product we are building. A great product takes time and iterations but with the right team and resources, you can get there sooner rather than later. Brunch is also the right product for the current business context. People need better tools to connect and collaborate online now more than ever.
Also, I see the current round on Seedblink as a follow-on investment and proof that we’re focusing on building long-term partnerships around products that bring real value to the world. With Brunch, this is exactly what we’re aiming to achieve.
Why do you bet on the BRUNCH team? How long have you known them?
I worked with Razvan on a few projects for Modex and I liked his attitude and focus on getting things done and finding the right solutions fast. It felt like the right mix for a startup founder. I met Andrei this year but when we started to discuss partnering around Brunch. He has the experience of building a few teams and businesses before and learned a lot over the past 10 years.
They both have the right attitude for this type of business and can inspire people around their project and ideas and I’m sure that together we will be able to scale this product at an international level.
What are the most important short-term and long-term goals for BRUNCH?
Right now we’re focusing on raising the round on Seedblink and building an advisory board that will help guide the next steps for the team. We took a step back this past two months to get more feedback from our users and consider our next steps. The team is working on improving the user experience for the app. We'll start onboarding new teams in the next 2 months.
For the long-term, I see us as one of the go-to solutions for remote collaboration for marketing and product teams. We already started to build an expert network which will probably become an important part of the Brunch experience.
How will you add to their success?
With my tech business experience and international network, I’ll help guide the team step by step and make sure they have the right connections and resources to build a great product. Sometimes getting to that unique version of the product it’s also a matter of iterating fast enough and staying alive as a team long enough to get to a version that could sustain a high growth rate.
Do you have any advice for someone who is entering the world of investing in startups for the first time?
First, they should do thorough research and try to find out as many details as possible about the company or product they're about to invest in. There have been so many cases of projects which seemed trustworthy at first glance, but in the end, they were nothing serious. Secondly, they should try and speak with experienced people in the field of investing and ask for their opinion on that project or product. A second or third point of view from those who know how to do this will always be valuable! Also, they should make a small investment at first, not go all in, and as the project progresses, they can invest more.
From your perspective, what is SeedBlink's role in the ecosystem?
I believe it's an important one. As the fastest growing investing platform specialized in sourcing, vetting, financing, and scaling European tech start-ups, SeedBlink's core values - trust, transparency, creating value - are very similar to Modex's guiding principles. By allowing small-scale investments into top-notch startups, SeedBlink transforms random investments into a well-structured process. This approach is beneficial for investors looking for opportunities, but also for startups applying for funding. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for sharing your ideas with us. A final thought for the readers?
Just like with many other decisions we make in our lives, investing in something has a lot to do with passion, feelings, and how much we like that project. However, more important than this, investing requires solid thinking. Research, lots of data, numbers, possible risks, and so on. Besides the joy of turning your investment into a profitable one, financially speaking, I think that it's more rewarding to see the positive impact of that project in our society and know that through your investment, big or small, you also played a role.
We hope you enjoyed this insightful talk with Mihai Ivașcu.
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