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Podcast Host at Relevant Software

Changing The Paradigm of Investing With KoreConX

Interview

Relevant Founders

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At Relevant Founders, we welcome Oscar Jofre Jr – a top 10 global thought leader in Equity Crowdfunding, Fintech & Blockchain, Top 50 InsureTech influencer, co-founder, and president/CEO of KoreConX.

A Chilean-born entrepreneur and technology innovator, Oscar A Jofre Jr brings 25 years in senior management, investor relations and sales, and a proven pattern of results-focused leadership. Interestingly Oscar Jofre’s background is crowdfunding, which is a driving influence in his business. And here, at Relevant Founders, he told us about launching KoreConX, what impact COVID had on the evolution of his teamwork processes, and how the Jobs Act democratized the private capital market.

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Rattle the cage, and disrupt the old ways

“I’ve been involved in compliance and governance for many years, and I know how disgusting it is when companies raise money with no accountability or transparency. For many of them, it’s a quick sprint; make a quick buck and get in and get out.

But in today’s connected world, you must stay transparent with shareholders and stakeholders if you want to grow. I felt that entrepreneurs needed tools that supply the infrastructure companies need to remain transparent without losing sight of their business goals.

In the early days, when we started 13 years ago, the whole idea of online investing and raising capital was raw. And when David Weild IV, the “father” of the Jobs Act* in the United States, introduced one of the most profound pieces of legislation, he changed everything. He democratized things, increasing the availability of capital for small businesses and leveling the playing field. When you rattle the cage, things will be different.

However, it puts more pressure on companies to become automated. But they must adhere to the law with new methodologies, technologies, and ways of doing financial statements or legal documents.”

*The JOBS Act was passed in 2012 to help small businesses and startups raise capital. The main idea was to make it easier for private companies to raise money from investors without requiring them to go through the costly process of going public.

The market wasn’t ready

With an innovative approach and ensuring compliance with securities regulations and corporate law, KoreConX offers a single environment to connect companies to the capital and secondary markets. 

The AI-based blockchain platform makes it easy for participants to navigate the equity crowdfunding process and mitigate risk. It helps manage investment portfolios, raise capital, and meet global compliance standards. 

Beyond these services, the company has diligently built out its KoreConX Partners network. This ecosystem works to connect various players within the sector.

“It took us six years before we launched the product. Behind it is the groundwork for creating the foundation, and only then do you begin to see speed. Why did it take us years? The market wasn’t ready. 

When we launched in 2016, the tech was ready, but people couldn’t visualize it. We didn’t just look at the problem for instant gratification and profit – we knew what we wanted to do right off the bat.

But three years later, COVID hit. That was like a wake-up call. The CEO of many companies started wondering, oh, my god, how am I running my business? My lawyer is not here anymore. My CFO is not here. Where are we going to put our corporate records? How are we going to make it accessible to people?? How will we keep track of that?

And today, I can’t think of a company that doesn’t think about putting its information online, whether it’s a startup or a mature company. That’s thanks to COVID, and because of that, it also transformed the way people saw things in the way they invested.

We needed to understand our place in the market. When you build the infrastructure, you need to know what you’re solving. 

You can’t narrowly look at it. We knew the market would eventually need something to glue all of it together for the data and the information to be fluid and cost-efficient.”

Good always comes with the bad

“If there’s anything that helped our business explore and explode, it was COVID-19. It woke us all up, and we understood that our company was inefficient; we relied heavily on coming into the office. Besides, we had many challenges in hiring the right and motivated talent. 

After COVID, things changed. Now we don’t go to the office. Our workforce is distributed, and our talents come from around the world. There were less than 13 of us before COVID. Today, there are 52. People ask, “Where’s your head office?” We say “Planet Earth.”

We are not going back to the office. We are an efficient distributed team and work towards a common goal. People are accountable to each other, not to me, not to senior management. And the pains I used to have inside the office, I don’t have anymore. 

I’m not dealing with people not showing up. I’m not checking whether you’re at your computer from 8 am to 5 pm. I’m just checking that you said you would have it done today at 2 pm. And you got it done. You’re at the beach, fantastic.  It doesn’t matter.

We’re not driven by being at the desk eight to five but by the common goal, how fast you get it done. If you want to learn, we’ll help you. It’s an evolution of empowerment and our tagline. We’re empowering an ecosystem approach. But we’re also empowering ourselves internally.”

10-year run with no pivots

We never pivoted. I know the most common word you hear in a startup company is pivot; shift as fast as you can when things are not going your way. But because we are serving a large audience, there is no time to pivot. So I would say that the half-page business plan is still the same today, and the original MVP is still the same; it’s just evolving. Now it’s grown into a tree, but it’s still the same seed.

A new paradigm of investing 

A few years ago, companies did not have the opportunity to offer their investors the ability to trade their shares, and private companies today do. Look at last year – in the United States, publicly traded companies raised only 1.2 trillion in the US. Privately held companies raised 9 trillion. Our sector is growing four times the rate of the public. So we put all the pieces together. By the way, private companies create more jobs than public companies. Do you see the shift? We’ve changed the paradigm of investing.

What does that mean? An investor can visit a website, click the button, enter all details, sign the subscription agreement and make an investment in two minutes. That’s a paradigm shift. 

Why is that important? Because in the early days, the minimum investment was $25,000 – 50,000. It was only reaching a very particular audience. We’ve shifted from a $100,000 minimum trade to $5 and proven that investors can invest efficiently, buy shares and trade them. That’s the game plan. 

We still need to educate more people, that’s the reality. When people hear the word democratization, this is not a political statement. It means everybody has an opportunity to participate and make money. Those currently making money do not like this realization. They’ve been fighting it all these years. “I think everybody should have a chance to make money. It’s win-win.”

Written by
Podcast Host at Relevant Software
I am tasked with engaging with tech experts from all across the globe. I aim to provide an open, comfortable and informative space for our guests to open up and share their trials and tribulations of creating their product. We at Relevant provide our audience with the knowledge they need to better develop their product.

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