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How to Align Passion, Expertise, and Market Need in Entrepreneurship (Episode 192)

Matheus Riolfi is the Co-founder and CEO of Tint. Before this, he was the Director of International Expansion at Turo and launched the company in Canada, the UK, and Germany. 

He pioneered the operations; including designing risk management in different stages of the company and sourcing insurance in various countries. 

He is a licensed insurance broker in all 50 US states, holds an MBA from Harvard Business school and a dual degree in business from the University of São Paulo and Kedge Business School.

He leads a team of passionate and talented professionals who are on a mission to empower any company to embed insurance into its product. 

Tint is a Y Combinator-backed startup that provides a no-code platform, compliance services, and capital/capacity for innovative insurance solutions.

What you will learn

  • Matheus shares his entrepreneurial journey and the significance of aligning passion, expertise, and market need in entrepreneurship
  • How to approach building partnerships and tailoring insurance solutions for various business needs
  • The challenges and growth strategies when launching a new startup
  • Why responsible financial management is critical within startups
  • Learn about the challenges of accessing capital in the current market
  • Discover the value of personal relationships and fulfillment outside of work
  • Find out why persistence and playing the long game is so important in the entrepreneurial journey
  • Plus loads more!

Transcript

Jeff Bullas

00:00:07 - 00:01:12

Hi everyone and welcome to The Jeff Bullas Show. Today I have with me Matheus Riolfi. Now Matheus is the Co-founder and CEO of Tint.That is not a car company that tints windows. It's something else. We're gonna find out what that is. Before this, he was Director of International Expansion at Turo, which was a peer-to-peer car rental company and launched the company in Canada, the UK and Germany. He pioneered the operations including designing risk management in different stages of the company and sourcing insurance in various countries. He is a licensed insurance broker in all 50 US states, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a dual degree in business from the University of São Paulo and Kedge Business School. He leads a team of passionate and talented professionals who are out on a mission to empower any company to embed insurance into its product. And we're gonna find out what embedding insurance in its product means. Tint is a Y Combinator-backed startup that provides a no-code platform, compliance services, and capital/capacity for innovative insurance solutions. So, Matheus, welcome to the show. It's great to have you here.

Matheus Riolfi

00:01:13 - 00:01:16

Hi, Jeff, thank you very much and it was a pleasure to be here.

Jeff Bullas

00:01:17 - 00:01:34

So Matheus is dialing in from Las Vegas, Nevada and was in the Silicon Bay area but decided to move to Las Vegas, Nevada. Now, Matheus. What was your entrepreneurial journey? Where did it start?

Matheus Riolfi

00:01:35 - 00:03:37

My journey started very early. So I was one of those kids that always wanted to do some business related things even from a very early age. So for example, when I was 10 years old, we started a mini printing business like, we had a print HT, I'm sorry, HP desk jet printer. We printed some things and sold them in our school, to our teachers. It was like it wasn't the I, you know, very early in the day. So I knew that I wanted to be a founder. I knew that eventually I wanted to start my own businesses. And then I went to business school for undergrad. I was a consultant, but I eventually ended up going to Harvard Business School as you mentioned, because I wanted to launch global businesses and I think, you know, there was really no better place than in the US or, you know, to offer technology in the Bay area. So that's no, came here, moved to the, graduated from business school, moved to the US. So I chose The Bay area and then I joined this company called Turo at the time, a very small early stage startup that, you know, eventually it scaled to multibillion dollar businesses and hundreds of employees in the four years that I was there. But, you know, during Turo, my co-founder and I met and then we teamed up to launch Tint and to solve one of the problems that we faced when we were working with insurance at Turo. So we saw we were there that we know Turo was, you know, being a car sharing company that was spending a lot of time and resources in insurance and it was becoming insurance, a mini insurance company behind the scenes. And we saw that like, you know, that the opportunity that now in the future consumers will buy most of the insurance products from the companies they love when they need it. And we saw that future happening, but we also saw how hard it was for Turo to go through this journey. So that's why we eventually end up in starting Tint to build what we wish existed when we were working at Turo.

Jeff Bullas

00:03:38 - 00:03:44

Right. So basically, you saw an opportunity in solving a problem that you had experienced at Turo.

Matheus Riolfi

00:03:45 - 00:04:27

That's right. So I always had, you know, this idea that I want to start my own business, but I do believe that it's very important that you find a problem that you are very passionate about that ideally, you have domain expertise and then you have no evidence or you're seeing there will be a market for it. And I think that's what this, I check all those blocks as of as I was working with Turo because then we saw how this problem was big for us. And we looked around, we saw there was really part of a bigger trend that was happening in the market. So yeah, I definitely saw this as a way to connect my entrepreneurial drive with a real problem and a big opportunity that was available.

Jeff Bullas

00:04:28 - 00:04:44

So did you do much research about this in terms of the size of the market like checked out competitors? How did, when you said this is a problem, what were the next steps for you in terms of designing the business? Tell us about that.

Matheus Riolfi

00:04:45 - 00:07:04

Yeah, we talked to companies, all the companies there were that we believe could be doing embedded insurance. And again, as I mentioned, embedded insurance is a somewhat obscure term for something very simple, is the idea of getting insurance as part of some other purchases you're doing. So think about when you rent a place at Airbnb, you don't think about it like it, but that transaction comes with insurance. So as part of your, for say $100 a night that you pay to stay in a certain place, a fraction of that goes through towards an insurance product that you coverage you're buying. And the idea is that if your kids break the TV, if the apartment catches fire or whatever it is, it is protected, there is insurance, you're not out of pocket with that experience. And so we saw in the case of Turo is a car rental or car sharing. So as you rent somebody else's Porsche 911, you're driving it around it, things may go wrong where you can hit somebody, your car, the car may be stolen while it parking, whatever. So Turo offer insurance as part of that experience. So that's what it's called embedded. It comes with something else. So it's a much better experience for consumers that if they had to go purchase insurance separately through a different company. So that's why we believe is the future of, in the future of insurance. So we saw that happening at Turo and then we looked around, we talk to companies, folks in different companies, we saw the companies like Apple offer AppleCare, which is now a form of insurance product. We saw Tesla investing high increase its own insurance products. So whenever you buy a Tesla, you can get insurance from them. So we like, Flexport was one of the biggest names in the shipping space offering that as part of the platform, we looked around and saw a lot of big companies doing and they have no millions of dollars in resources to dedicate. But we thought that everybody else out there in the market could use a product like Tint and get the access to the same resources in a much less expensive way. And that's how we validated the opportunity and decided to get started.

Jeff Bullas

00:07:05 - 00:07:21

RIght. So in terms of setting it up, you said you are an insurance broker in 50 states. So did you become an insurance broker as part of what you were doing at Turo or did you become an insurance broker when you set upTint?

Matheus Riolfi

00:07:22 - 00:08:39

It was one I set up Tint. So, during my Turo experience, I had a lot of exposure to insurance as I was buying insurance in different countries. So as we were launching Turo, say in Canada, we needed to go and set up the insurance. So I had a lot of experience as a buyer or as the company that is embedding insurance. And as we decided to start the company, we needed to play the role of an agent or a broker and that's the insurance is a highly regulated industry. So one of the first few things I did was to go get my license and also we could start transacting the business of insurance. And what is interesting is that I didn't do this from day one, right? So we started and then we were, as we were researching the market, we found a need for this license. So then I applied after we had customers that were willing to pay for a service that would require my license. And that's why I recommend founders do it because sometimes you can get excited and invest in thing, parts of your product that nobody really cares about and you may waste that investment of time and money. So wait for customers to pull that from you to require that for you and then you make those investments.

Jeff Bullas

00:08:40 - 00:09:10

Cool. So the next question I have that I'm curious about is when you sourcing insurance for a company because you basically do all the hard work behind the scenes to make it easy for the company to buy insurance or apply insurance or embed insurance. So does the insurance company come in and it's case by case basis for every company you do that you do behind the scenes before you embed it. How does that look?

Matheus Riolfi

00:09:11 - 00:11:04

So we have partnership. So we spend a lot of time and energy meeting different insurance companies or folks that are willing to finance some kind of risks that are coming from those companies that embedded insurance with us. So we have a set of carriers that we already have pre-agreements with and with different degrees of control and also it's a combination of both sometimes, these are carriers and partnerships we already have. So it's off the shelf and we go, but one of our competitive advantages is that we can enable companies in very creative use cases. For example, one of our companies is this company called QuanStamp and they do crypto. So they look at the file or decentralized finance platforms where you know, you can lend your money to the platform and they assess the risk of hacks. So say you deposit $10,000 in this platform and they can, you know, protect you against the risk of a hack. So if somebody hacked your money is gone, they will pay you back. And this is particularly important for like hedge funds or institutional investors who deploy sometimes, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars in those platforms. So we were constant had this, you know, cut their customers asking for this product. And we help them create this and that's like a very innovative use case. And you know, we do a lot more of the boring, more plain vanilla insurance like shipping, like, you know, like car sharing and things like that. But the QuanStamp shows that like, you know, this is an example where there are not a lot of insurers available to do that off the shelf. So we have to work with them and create a solution that works for the customer.

Jeff Bullas

00:11:04 - 00:11:11

So how many years are you into the company now? How long since you started?

Matheus Riolfi

00:11:12 - 00:11:14

We started five and a half years ago.

Jeff Bullas

00:11:15 - 00:11:46

Right. Okay. So what are some of the challenges you found along the way? Like great to have an idea but then there's challenges such as we've got to raise money to fund the growth, fund the technology, which typically are the two biggest things, aren't they? So essentially you need to pay for the technology that supports what you do. So what are some of the challenges, biggest challenges you found along the way?

Matheus Riolfi

00:11:47 - 00:12:53

Yeah, I believe we have the challenge that every startup has. So to your point, raising money is one of them. So in our journey, because of our backgrounds, because of people in you, like was relatively easy to get the first checks, the first $400-500,000 to get started, but it was very hard to get the next check, then the seed round. So then definitely fundraising and then it was very hard for some time, then became very easy. Around the time we got into Y Combinator. So that was definitely like fundraising was one I think, you know, growth finding customers who believe in what you're doing, especially in the early days when you have no validation, no product or case studies is incredibly hard. I think now we're lucky that we have, you know, and is on our website, a few case studies from great companies like U-Shape, Al Dorsey and companies like Diyok that work very closely with us and it becomes easier over time, but like in the early days, that was very hard as well.

Jeff Bullas

00:12:54 - 00:13:20

Yeah. So let's talk about the growth strategies basically. How did you get customers? And second question for that is what is your ideal customer? So let's talk about basically, what is your growth strategy? Did you go and knock on doors, cold call, did you network? Do Facebook advertising? How did you go and get your customers?

Matheus Riolfi

00:13:21 - 00:16:04

Right now we've been using or only using direct sales. So we have a sales team and a marketing team. They are marketing generating content helping us increase the awareness in the sales team. Having direct conversations with their customers trying to sell our product. I mean, in the future, we're definitely gonna explore more indirect sales as well, working with insurance brokers, working with consultants and other and I just do it. But again, we believe at this stage of our company direct sales is the most efficient and the way we get to those companies is really a combination of like, you know, code, outreach. Sometimes we try to leverage as much as possible our network. We're lucky to have like a very nice group of investors and operators that are involved not in a database but involved in our company. And through our personal and their network, we know can reach a very broad universe of potential customers. So we try to get those warm intros as much. And as we can, but it's an inside sales direct. That's really our bread and butter and in terms of our dear customer which is your second question. We are our dear customer is a tech enabled company that is on series B plus. So it's a company that is already at product market fit and now is looking to get add on opportunities to their business and embedded insurance and financial services in general can be a very good boost to their core business and their profitability. So that's a good time to engage with us. We have customers that they’re earlier than that and a few days later. But from our experience of this next series venture backed tech enabled series B to series D, it's our sweet spot. They can be in any vertical because as we covered before, as long as they have a risk that's intrinsic to the car business. Like if they are shipping company, things breaking transport, they like, you know, it's very intrinsic, it's gonna happen like a certain percentage will break. So by offering protection there, they help their customers buy more because you remove a risk, you give them peace of mind, but also can generate more money because they can charge more. So we are vertical agnostic as long as they can have an intrinsic risk that they can, we can help protect.

Jeff Bullas

00:16:04 - 00:16:25

Right. So the next one I'll ask then is the ideal customer size. So is, are you looking for customers that have got, you know, 10 million revenue per annum, 50, I'm sure bigger the better, but they are harder to crack on. So what's your revenue target size for your ideal customer?

Matheus Riolfi

00:16:26 - 00:17:09

Yeah, if we align with series venture backed series B, we're talking a ballpark like, you know, starting in a five to $10 million revenue growing fast. I think those are typical great customers for us because then again, as I mentioned that scale, they are not too large but they are growing fast enough that we can create meaningful dollars, meaningful return to them. But again, we talked with customers, they are a lot bigger than that. A lot smaller than that. And we will try to do our best case by case, but like, you know, this is the five to $10 million revenue plus is the best spot for us.

Jeff Bullas

00:17:10 - 00:17:56

Right. Okay. So that's your target market. Your marketing is basically directors of sales team marketing, product awareness. So in terms of building the technology to support the business, do you, is there what does that require? And it sounds like you're not really a tech guy, you're not a programmer developer from what I've noticed. So what's some of the tech you've built? And what are the challenges being with that? Because if you, sometimes tech can be like a black box if you're not a coder, right? So what's the challenges been with building out your technology and what sort of technology, what does that look like?

Matheus Riolfi

00:17:57 - 00:20:08

Yes, we have, you know, half of our company are engineers, designers and product managers. So we invest like we are in the intersection between insurance and technology so that we invest heavy on the tech part. And so being in the early days, like, you know, I think even when we were six or seven people, I was the only business person. So to your point, I don't have a technical background. I know how to code. I'm like not fairly technical as a product manager, but I'm not an engineer. So up to the employee number seven, I think I was the only business person in the company. So I just show you that and we always index heavily on the technology side. Then no, the challenge for us is like the amount of things that we need to do behind it since if I tell you what we do like, yeah, the company just plug protection and insurance into their, you know, checkout flows and you're like, oh, that's so easy. And even the company sometimes think it's very easy. But the amount of things that we need to do behind the scenes, it's very big, and somehow we have to interface with the company's product. So again, we are a feature of their core business. So the APIs integrations, the connectivities and they need to happen in real time and we cannot break because if we break their product breaks, right? So we kind of had to from the early days, invest a lot in infrastructure reliability to always be available. So we know the challenge for us the opportunity I would say but also the challenge is we need to build a lot of things like how to calculate the price, how to fix things, like no adjust the cases or the claims when something goes wrong, how to keep track of the payments, how to to keep track of a lot of money flowing through our platform. So it's definitely, you know, a broader scope that I would imagine that most startups our size have to do with. But now again, the advantages is this is an opportunity, right? Like if we do that well, it creates a lot of added to our customs.

Jeff Bullas

00:20:08 - 00:20:23

Yeah, ‘cause the thing is about something that looks easy, usually requires hard work. So there's a lot of complexity behind the user interface that is made to look easy and that's what a good product is, isn't it?

Matheus Riolfi

00:20:24 - 00:20:42

Yeah. As well. It didn't, I think it's Steve Jobs. I know his original quote, but I know that he said, according to books that sophistication is the ultimate simplification, right? So it's absolutely right. Make something look easy. There are probably a lot of work and thought that happened.

Jeff Bullas

00:20:43 - 00:22:31

Yeah. So you mentioned about funding. So getting the first half million, not too hard. Next part was hard, then the next part wasn't hard. In other words, raising money because once you sort of raise a certain amount of money, then you got no track record yet. So raising the next part becomes harder, but you need the money to grow, to support, to put in the technology, to put in the team to do the marketing, just chicken and egg stuff. The last one is when you start to get the track record and the credibility then it gets easier. So a lot of people in terms of, you know, I've got quite a few friends who are in a startup. I'm an investor in a startup which is only 10 years in now. Shuttlerock of New Zealand. Then as a good friend of mine, yeah, you know, Rob Brown, who's actually the starter of Curb. All of these companies I've noticed and one of the questions I always ask is what's our runway, which is a technical term for how much money in the bank until if nothing happens, I'm gonna burn it and crash and burn. So what sort of runway are you comfortable with? Because I've got guys that are like raising money on the fly every month. I don't know how they sleep at night. Then you've got others that have got like one year, two year runway of cash in the bank. And I do and we might go right to the story of, I think as I read in one of the articles about you was that you did have some money in Silicon Valley Bank apparently. So, let's talk about that next. But what sort of, in terms of a startup, what sort of runway are you comfortable with?

Matheus Riolfi

00:22:32 - 00:24:43

I think it's a great question and I say we, I'll tell, give you my answer, but I'd say we have years of runway right now. So I'm not sure if my answer is gonna be genuine, but I would say as a startup founder, you need to be comfortable with weeks of runway, right? Like obviously it's your job to never let the company be in that stage. Make sure that you always have, you know, visibility at a minimum for 18 months. But ideally more than that, but the reality is if you, if you're too risk averse, meaning you wanna many as a runway that is gonna create some other problems in your business in terms of speed, in terms of urgency. So it's good to have this balance of like being long enough. So you are not, this is not distracting you and you believe you can, you get, can achieve the milestone you need to get to the next round but not too long. That now becomes too comfortable, right? So I think again, in our case, we raised in 2021, different market there. We're lucky that we raised a very large series A so that puts us in the years of runway can but obviously there’s information like you can't create some other. We kind of have to keep reminding ourselves that we like momentum matters and growing fast matters even if you have a long runway. And at some point, I think over 2019, we had like two months in the bank and most of the start ups that I know personally from founders, they're very successful, you know, friends and folks that I follow their journey closely, they all at some point in time got close to the one to three months of runway or folks that do not know if they can meet payroll at the end of the month. That is not ideal, but it is more common than we think because you always see the PR side of story, you don't see the things that go behind the scenes.

Jeff Bullas

00:24:44 - 00:25:45

Yeah. And it's a very interesting thing because it's this sort of sweet spot, I suppose to have enough tension to keep you motivated because you wanna make sure you make payroll and you also wanna raise enough money to actually fund, you know, the technology and also fund the growth. In other words, sales and marketing and it's really and a lot of companies especially as copycats emerge. So they end up being in what I call a two armed race, the battle for market share and the battle for technology. In other words, if you've got better technology allows you to scale, then that's a competitive advantage and also for market share. So at the end of the day, quite often in any market end up with the top two or three and then the rest are fighting for scraps. So how important is that in terms of that marketing share, arms race?

Matheus Riolfi

00:25:46 - 00:27:22

Yeah, I think it that depends on the market, right? Like if it's a market that we saw a few examples like ride sharing or delivery, there are markets that are growing very fast and there's very little differentiation between players. Then I agree with you. Those are markets where it is a raise to grab market share for companies will burn through billions of dollars it required. I think in our case, embedded insurance like, you know, it is a consensus that this should be a multi trillion dollar market given that, you know, insurance is a multi trillion dollar market and this should be, you know, have a like a very significant share of insurance in the future. So everybody has a line of sight in a multi trillion dollar market which is great. But how like is the market already at the stage where it is kind of crazy and like, you know, and you know, like, and the answer is probably not, I think in our market is due relatively early. So there are a lot of like an education and kind of working with customers. They are many companies building solutions in the space. So there is a race obviously, but I would say that, you know, investing faster, burn you faster, it's not always going to bring the best return in this market. So I think that and its founders, we also need to feel a little bit or understand what's the stage your market is at and then deploy the resources accordingly.

Jeff Bullas

00:27:23 - 00:28:31

Yeah, that raises a very interesting question about what we call lazy venture capital money in the sense that you've got so much money in the bank that you go and do a lot of stuff that really is a waste of money. Such as, you know, you go and get the best, you know, floor in San Francisco, put an office and that's all flash. And we've had a lot of stories of companies burning through 500 $million billion in a matter of years or months. So that's the interesting thing, isn't. So and that's the case is you're playing with other people's money. So you've got to be cognizant of the fact that you are using other people's money and be responsible about that. But it's interesting to watch the different strategies, lazy money because there's too much of it versus smart money. That's actually a little bit. You're on a shorter leash and you're being watched by the fundees or funders. So, are you very aware of your responsibility as a founder about that?

Matheus Riolfi

00:28:32 - 00:30:45

Yeah, absolutely. And I can, we are very judicious with the money, again, as I mentioned, we raised a larger, they, we still have most of it on the bank. We have a low bar because we, to your point, to me, like, you know, every dollar you spend that doesn't have an ROI, that is not now bringing return to the company, you're destroying value. And what I disagree a little bit with what you said about other people's money is that it was other people money. But now is your money, right? Like, well, now is the company money and now as the founders, you have probably, they have the largest shares like, you know, stocks or equity in the company. So from that point when it becomes your money, you're actually destroying your value more than your, you know, personal value, your employees value your team's value more than you're destroying the venture capital value. Because the VCs, they have, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars of funds, they are diversified anyway. So if you lose all their money, they'll be sad. But it's part of their model, they know that the majority of companies are not gonna, of their portfolio is not gonna work. And if you, they will pay for everybody else. So I would argue that when the dollar becomes the company's dollar, it changed the game,right? Then becomes the company problem more than becomes the investor problem. And that's kind of how I run into, that's kind of how our team runs. And we are like, you know, we won't get the flashy place in San Francisco just because we have money in the bank. You know, me moving to Las Vegas is a good example, right? Like it, it allows the company to pay me less as a CEO because I'm living a lower like cost of living. And if I was in San Francisco, so, you know, it would be very easy for just you know, double my salary and life will go on. But those are small things that show you how you're very kind focused on creating value, ROI span as a startup.

Jeff Bullas

00:30:45 - 00:31:43

Yeah, which is great. Now, the other thing I wanted to find out is number one, will you be going back to the market to raise more funds. And number two is maybe the second question we need to ask first. But with the rising interest rates, inflation, there's been a withdrawal of investment in startups. So going to market raising, money's got harder. So trying to raise money has been really difficult the last two or three years. And different companies have different ways of raising money. I think one strategy that's happened is the safe note, which has raised with essentially internally with the existing investors rather than going out into the market. Are you seeing that change recently, the ability to access capital in Silicon Valley and beyond for startups? Is it getting easier or is it getting or is it still very hard?

Matheus Riolfi

00:31:44 - 00:32:40

So we have not been raising since 2021. And again, as I mentioned, we have a few years of runway, so I do not believe we're gonna go raise anytime soon either. So I'll tell you everything I've seen is more like a second hand since we're not out there talking with investors as much. From what I heard from other founders is definitely harder. So a lot of the excesses of the 2020 early 2022 disappear. So we're back to what venture capital used to be. It takes longer to get rounds done. Evaluation are lower. So companies have to do more with less money. And that makes sense, right? I think at the end of the day, I don't see that as a problem. I see them more as a correction of a little bit of, kind of, excess that happened in the market.

Jeff Bullas

00:32:41 - 00:33:09

Okay. So let's go to your own story of risk that luckily you avoided Silicon Valley Bank. Tell us a little bit about what happened there. Because everyone thought Silicon Valley Bank was a sure bet and was safe as houses, as we say in Australia and it really wasn't. So tell us a bit about your experience with the Silicon Valley Bank and your exposure to risk.

Matheus Riolfi

00:33:10 - 00:35:46

Yeah. So we, I mean, we had a Silicon Valley Bank as our bank from day one. Again, a lot of founders in the Valley or really anywhere in the United States worked with them because they, at the time when we started in 2018, they were really the only option that could give you a startup like, you know, easy, fast access to your bank account, you know, corporate cards and things like that. So for a long time, we had, they were the only bank that we bank with. And they had like, you know, our funding all our funds for a long time, we were lucky enough that we, you know, a few months and then we know we didn't know about their troubles, but we were introduced to this company that could leave our cash in treasuries and pay us of whatever 5% or whatever is the number some interest. And we decided to move most of our money to that company. So our money will be working for us. So we had about now the times of the crisis happened, we had about like 10-15% of our runway for like more day, I would say monthly, but then more like operational experiences in Silicon Valley Bank and everything else was in this treasure. So we were not like one of those companies that were like, you know, they could eventually die. We would have survived. But I'd say, you know, 10-15% of your revenue, it's sure a lot of money. So there was really a few days that we were very anxious and especially the speed that it happened. And as we're part of the wide community and over there, like, I think the number was like over 30% of the YC companies of like you know, 4000 companies they have wouldn't have money to run payroll in Silicon Valley had gone bust. So this would be really a catastrophic impact. So even though we will lose 10-15% of our runway, I'm sure there will be all the effects in the market that will trickle the bank back to all startups and back to us from an investor, losing that money, whatever it was. So I'll say it was definitely it was like a few days of a lot of tension inside and outside the company and people trying to figure out how to get their money out and you know what's gonna happen. So luckily the damage was controlled by like as we all know, but those are one of the things that is a founder, it's completely outside of your control and it can be existential. So it's like, it's very scary.

Jeff Bullas

00:35:46 - 00:35:48

So did you get all your money back?

Matheus Riolfi

00:35:49 - 00:36:33

We did. Yeah, because again, I think, I don't know of people who didn't because eventually the Silicon Valley Bank got bailed by another bank who own all the deposits and everything. So I do believe we do, we did get all the money back, you know, I think there was a few three or four days that it was frozen. But after that, it became liquid again, I do believe we have it just some part of the money in Silicon Valley Bank. Now under or around the insurance limit. So I think everybody learned their lesson of not leaving uninsured money in banks however strong they may look like. But yeah, there was definitely a good learning and as painful as it was.

Jeff Bullas

00:36:34 - 00:37:07

Yeah. So basically you had to make sure you gotta make sure that you're protecting your risk while you're protecting customers' risks as well. So, yeah, so this raises my last two questions I wanna ask you. Number one, what brings you joy and happiness? You know, I'm not talking, having a drink at the bar with friends. But what brings you deep joy and happiness that you just makes you thrive? Where does that? What's that for you?

Matheus Riolfi

00:37:08 - 00:37:51

Yeah, on the personal side is my family. So I'm lucky enough to be married to like an amazing wife who's also a founder. So also going through the same pain points and experiences and roller coasters that I, that I am as a founder and we have a three year old daughter. And I really there the joys of my life because they kinda remind me that despite all this craziness that goes in running a startup and trying to change really an entire industry like with what we do, this is what matter, right? It's like your people around you, your relationships, people who love you. So yeah, that brings me deep joy to try to spend as much time as I can with them.

Jeff Bullas

00:37:51 - 00:37:58

Right. And in business, what makes you curious? In other words, as you're a creator of businesses, does that bring you joy and happiness?

Matheus Riolfi

00:37:59 - 00:39:01

It does. So, on the professional side, the idea of now bringing something to the world that wasn't there and especially like trying to do something ambitious and that impacts, you know, improves lives of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people. That brings me a lot of joy because I find that very, to be very meaningful and I can justify putting all this energy and time that we put in doing work. And yeah, and you know, I think, I believe in it's easier to say that. But now I believe that money to me, it is not a good driver, they are easier, faster, better ways to make money than the started founders for sure, like working finance, like the many or BMVC for that matter. But I think I really get a lot of like fulfillment from building things from like now creating and exploring and that creative energy like really, really makes me happy.

Jeff Bullas

00:39:01 - 00:39:40

Yeah, that's great to hear because I believe that as humans, I think being creators, I think brings us some of the greatest joy along with the standard things of obviously human relationships, which was a Harvard study done 80 plus years ago. Now the last question I'm gonna ask you is usually we don't learn from comfort or happiness. We learn more from challenges and pain and suffering. And what I mean by suffering is not, you know, terrible suffering. I'm talking about the challenges. So what are some of the challenges that you've learned the most from over in your experience as an entrepreneur?

Matheus Riolfi

00:39:41 - 00:41:33

I mean, I would agree with that most of your, the learns are the deepest learns come from times where like you hit a wall and then you have to like a little bit reinvent yourself. And, you know, that's painful to your point. I mean, my case has been like the period we went through between the two fundraisers, as I mentioned that we were trying to find a path like we always knew the vision, we always knew the grand ambition that we were going towards. And I mean, which is exactly the same that we have today, but it was a bit of a hard time finding a path that would lead to convince us and others that like, hey, there can be, you guys can create a venture back, start up out of it. And that process that took us a good, like two and a half years of going through that struggle and not quitting, right? So by the time my daughter was born, so I found myself with like this baby at home and to figure out my startup. So it was, there was definitely a lot of like personal kind of hard, personal journey through that, but finding ways to go through this and not quitting building that grid that resilience. I think it's something that, you know, we're gonna leave, we're gonna take it with us for the rest of, as I say, my co-founder as well take with us for the rest of our lives because from here, you know, you learn how to be in those situations and don't get desperate, just keep going, just keep, you know, putting your hands down. And I think that's kind of the end of the day. I believe this is the most important trait that a founder should build a lot more than being smart, a lot more than being visionary is just being able to just keep going. Have the grid, have an and then you learn from your point pain from setbacks and challenges you have.

Jeff Bullas

00:41:34 - 00:41:46

Yeah. So really, what you're saying is one of the things you learned is persistence. And the thing about most overnight successes is they aren't usually overnight successes

Matheus Riolfi

00:41:48 - 00:41:49

There are versions of it.

Jeff Bullas

00:41:49 - 00:42:23

Yeah, exactly. That's the PR version of the story. And typically I think the thing I've learned is that playing the long game and not worrying too much about the short bumps, just treat them not as failures but as learning opportunities. And I think for me when I've done that is that then the problem doesn't seem so big. It's seen as an opportunity. It's not that you welcome challenges or invite them, but you welcome them as an opportunity to grow. And I think attitude is really important in business and in life.

Matheus Riolfi

00:42:24 - 00:42:26

Yeah, I couldn't agree more.

Jeff Bullas

00:42:26 - 00:42:59

Yeah. So Matheus, thank you very much for your sharing your story and also for revealing what's under the hood at Tint. And I look forward to hearing more about your ongoing success. It sounds like you're sleeping at night, which is great. And you're making sure that customers are being protected from risk and you're making a difference. So thank you very much for sharing your stories and experience and look forward to catching up in real life one day maybe in Las Vegas.

Matheus Riolfi

00:43:00 - 00:43:07

Sounds good. Let me know when you're here for any conferences or something else. But thank you so much, Jeff. It was a pleasure speaking with you.

Jeff Bullas

00:43:07 - 00:43:09

Thank you, Matheus, thank you.

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