How Capitalixe Succeeds By Serving Clients In High-Risk Sectors

How Capitalixe Succeeds By Serving Clients in High-Risk Sectors

While many companies in the banking industry shy away from high-risk sectors like cryptocurrency and online gaming, Capitalixe stands out by catering its services to them. In this interview, co-founder Lissele Pratt shares how Capitalixe has grown to seven figures in annual revenue in just a few short years.

In addition to incredible business success, Lissele is also a passionate advocate for gender equality in the finance industry. Read on to see how she’s actively involved and some of the tangible results of her efforts.

Key Takeaways

🚀 Capitalixe has thrived by targeting high-risk sectors that many competitors avoid.
📈 Lissele shares how they bounced back after losing a client that accounted for more than 50% of their revenue.
🌅 She emphasizes the power of everyday habits and consistency.
👩‍💼 Lissele is passionate about empowering women in the finance sector and advocating for gender equality.

Overview

Business Name: Capitalixe
Website URL: https://capitalixe.com/
Founders: Lissele Pratt and Ivan Kovachev
Business Location: United Kingdom
Year Started: 2019
Number of Employees/Contractors/Freelancers: 11

How much revenue and profit does the business generate?

Currently, we’re generating over seven figures in annual revenue with a remarkable 140% growth rate. This growth has been consistent across all quarters, underscoring our commitment to sustained and incremental business expansion. Our profit margin is a commendable 60%.

Tell us about yourself and your business.

Hi, I’m Lissele Pratt, co-founder and Chief Growth Officer of Capitalixe, and my journey is woven into the fabric of reshaping fintech. At Capitalixe, we specialise in revolutionising financial services for international enterprises, particularly those in high-risk sectors like crypto exchanges and online gaming.

Our role in the payments and banking industry goes beyond transactions. We deliver tailored solutions, drawing on a wealth of experience and an extensive global clientele. As a trusted leader in alternative banking, we’re dedicated to fostering positive change, cultivating inclusivity, and empowering underrepresented communities.

Recognised on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and Tech’s 29 under 29 list, I’m not just a leader, I’m a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion within the fintech sector. My insights have found a home in esteemed publications such as Entrepreneur, Thrive Global, and the Fintech Times. I’ve also won multiple awards, including the Great British Businesswoman Award, ‘Rising Star in Fintech’ at the UK Fintech Awards, and ‘Fintech Businesswoman Award’ at the Business Awards UK.

How does your business make money?

Our business model thrives on solid partnerships with our providers. We’re all about ensuring our clients not only succeed but thrive, and we sum it up with a simple promise: “Rest assured, we will only succeed when you do.”

Unlike the usual revenue streams like products or subscriptions, our financial health is tied to the success of those we serve. By building strong partnerships and aligning our interests with our client’s success, we’ve created a setup where our growth is connected to theirs. It’s a win-win.

Capitalixe Website

What was your inspiration for starting Capitalixe?

Starting Capitalixe was a journey that began with a teenage dream of entrepreneurship, which stayed with me throughout the years. At 22, I took a bold step by leaving a promising finance job in the city, complete with a recent promotion and a nice bump in salary, to travel across Southeast Asia. The incredible sights and encounters during my travels opened my eyes to the possibility of a different, more flexible lifestyle—one where work could seamlessly blend with travel.

Returning to London, my co-founder and I hatched a plan to build something meaningful. Inspired by our backgrounds in finance and the experiences we gathered in the city, we identified a gap in the market. High-risk businesses were often going underserved. Capitalixe was our answer—a company dedicated to offering alternative banking solutions to industries often misunderstood or tangled up in compliance complexities.

We recognised that these sectors needed a tailored approach, and large banks were struggling to keep up without the right tech. Our goal is to make life easier for them, embracing the challenges with open arms to foster growth and innovation in places where it’s needed the most.

How and when did you launch the business?

We started the development of Capitalixe in the midst of the pandemic. The formal establishment of the business dates back to March 2019, marking the inception of our journey.

However, it wasn’t until the summer of that year that we took a significant step forward by officially quitting our jobs. This decision reflected our commitment to focus entirely on Capitalixe, dedicating our time and efforts to its growth and success.

How did you find your first few clients or customers?

In the early stages of our business, acquiring our first clients centered around networking. We actively participated in various networking events in London, leveraging the relationships we had diligently built up over time.

These connections proved instrumental in establishing the initial client base for our venture, as trust and rapport played a crucial role. By tapping into existing networks and engaging with potential clients at these events, we were able to build a foundation of support and secure our first few valuable clients.

What was your first year in business like?

The first year in business was a wild rollercoaster ride, especially considering the challenges posed by the pandemic. I put in long hours, working tirelessly even on weekends to ensure the success of our venture.

The first few months were financially demanding. It took us around 3-4 months to reach a point where our revenue began covering both operational expenses and our living costs.

Mentally, the beginning was tough. Crippling doubt and anxiety about the uncertain future of the business were constant. However, overcoming these challenges became an integral part of the journey. The resilience built during this period has proven invaluable.

Our primary focus during the first year was on business development and sales. We dedicated ourselves to bringing in new clients. This period demanded hard work, strategic thinking, and adaptability.

What strategies did you use to grow the business?

Our growth strategies were built on business connections and strategic outreach.

Building relationships with the right people was a cornerstone of our approach. We worked on meaningful connections with people who could contribute significantly to our business network.

Networking played a pivotal role, and attending industry events was a key part of our strategy. These events provided valuable opportunities to meet potential clients, collaborators, and industry experts face-to-face, fostering important relationships that helped us grow.

Leveraging platforms like LinkedIn was another avenue for expanding our network and reaching a broader audience. The platform is powerful for both personal branding and business promotion.

Additionally, forming strategic partnerships was key. Collaborating with other businesses allowed us to tap into new markets, share resources, and enhance our overall offering.

Tell us about your team.

Our team currently includes ten individuals, each contributing unique skills and perspectives. What sets us apart is our global and remote working model, with team members spread across different corners of the world, including the UK, Portugal, the Philippines, and Thailand.

The remote setup has allowed us to tap into talent from around the world, fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment.

As part of our growth plans for the year, we’re excited about expanding our team further.

Please tell us about your involvement with empowering women in the finance industry.

Empowering women in the finance industry is a cause I’m deeply passionate about, and I actively engage in various initiatives to drive positive change.

One significant aspect of my involvement is thought leadership in leading publications, including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Leader and Business Chief. This allows me to address gender disparities and advocate for equal opportunities within the finance sector. By using my voice to highlight these issues, I aim to contribute to a more inclusive and diverse industry.

Lissele Pratt, Forbes

Mentorship also plays a crucial role. I believe in the transformative power of mentorship, and I actively mentor women seeking to establish themselves in the finance world and take their career to new heights. This one-on-one guidance provides insights, support, and a roadmap for navigating the unique challenges women may face in the industry.

Advocacy is another avenue. Whether through creating content that sheds light on gender-related issues in finance, hosting my podcast Success Secrets, amplifying women’s voices in the field, or actively advocating for policies that promote diversity, I strive to be a catalyst for positive change.

Also, within my own team, I’m committed to hiring and coaching women. I’ve achieved this by implementing initiatives that promote DE&I, such as offering entry-level traineeships to women looking to break into the finance industry.

What impact have you seen from this advocacy?

One significant outcome is witnessing other companies in the industry take proactive steps to address and rectify gender imbalances within their internal policies. This shift toward greater inclusivity not only demonstrates a broader recognition of the importance of diversity but also contributes to fostering a more equitable working environment for women across the industry.

Also, the motivational impact on women within and beyond finance has been equally rewarding. Through speaking engagements, mentorship, and content creation, I aim to inspire and empower women to realise their full potential.

Observing women step into their capabilities and break barriers has been gratifying. It’s not just about addressing existing challenges but also about motivating women to believe in themselves, pursue their aspirations, and showcase that they too can achieve anything they set their minds to.

How did you make the transition from side hustle to full-time?

Before making the leap, I made sure to squirrel away enough savings to cover my monthly costs for about four months. It was like giving myself a head start to navigate the initial uncertainties without constantly worrying about the bills.

But more than just the financial prep, I had a solid foundation in place. I already developed a network of great people, and my experience in business development was like a secret weapon.

I knew the ropes, and at the start of any business, it’s all about bringing in clients – exactly what business development is all about.

What was the turning point when you knew your business was successful?

When the dynamics shifted, and clients started coming to us rather than the other way around, I knew our business was truly successful.

It was clear that we had established a reputation for solving real problems within their businesses, addressing genuine pain points. One of the critical aspects we focused on was helping companies navigate the challenges of financial operations. If you’re in business, then you know you can’t properly run one without a reliable bank account. This is the pain point we are solving.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned growing the business?

The most important lesson I’ve learned in growing the business is to never get complacent, especially when success starts rolling in. Running a business has its inevitable ups and downs. It’s crucial to keep your foot on the pedal and maintain momentum, even during the highs. It’s easy to relax when things are going well, but that’s precisely when you need to stay focused and keep pushing forward.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

A couple of years ago we unexpectedly lost one of our largest clients, which represented over 50% of our revenue. The situation arose because we could no longer provide services to them.

It was a tough blow, and it put a huge dent in our revenue. However, rather than letting this setback define our trajectory, we maintained focus and resilience. Instead of taking our foot off the pedal, we accelerated our efforts to diversify our client base and explore new opportunities.

This strategic approach allowed us to bounce back relatively quickly. It was a valuable lesson in adaptability and the importance of being prepared for unforeseen challenges.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

My advice for fellow entrepreneurs boils down to the power of everyday habits. Success is often found in the combination of discipline, consistency, and a blend of working smart and hard at the same time. Building a routine that embodies these principles has been a key factor in unlocking many opportunities and achieving success in my journey. Consistency is key.

What is your favorite quote?

My go-to quotes are “Don’t wait for opportunity, create it” and “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” They’re like my daily pep talk. The first pushes me to be the driver of my own success, and the second keeps me in check – it’s all about mindset!

If you had to start from scratch, where would you begin?

To be honest, I don’t think I would change much. Sales and business development would still be my core focus, as bringing in clients is fundamental. I’d also prioritise rebuilding my network – after all, they say your network equals your net worth.

Additionally, I’d invest more in building a robust online presence, recognizing the vital role of digital marketing and branding in standing out in today’s business landscape.

What are your favorite books, blogs, podcasts, or YouTube channels?

Some of my favourite books include classics like “Rich Dad Poor Dad” for its timeless financial wisdom, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” for its insights into effective communication, and “The Alchemist” for its inspirational journey of self-discovery.

When it comes to podcasts, I’m hooked on “CEO School” for its practical business advice, “The Mindset Mentor” for its empowering insights, and “The Diary of a CEO” for its candid and real discussions on leadership and entrepreneurship.

These resources have been a constant source of learning and inspiration.

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