Achieving Great Heights | Nick Jones | Zumo
Co-Founder & CEO
Nick Jones is a veteran of the tech start-up scene, with four exits a testimony to his track record of building, scaling, and commercialising tech-based businesses, in addition to his years of experience as an angel investor and multiple Chairman, Non-Executive and Advisory roles.
Beginning his career at the height of the dot com boom in 2000 with the launch team of Goto.com (latterly Overture Service), Nick has spent his whole career at the bleeding edge of the digital industry and has worked in the early stages of the commercial internet, mobile, social media, big data, machine learning/AI and now blockchain technology.
At Zumo, this experience is harnessed and focused on a clearly defined remit:
- To set a clear vision and roadmap for the company based on outcomes;
- To foster innovation and be flexible in how these outcomes are delivered;
- To hire fantastic people to deliver the vision; and
- To build a culture defined by shared values and a common mission.
In this sense, Nick has been instrumental in driving the team and business forwards as it makes the exponential climb from a 7/10 to a 10/10 business, providing the leadership and framework to deliver a world-beating product and achieve FCA regulatory approval on a tiny budget whilst at the same time building a fantastic, positive culture.
Under his leadership, Zumo continues to work to deliver its mission to positively impact the financial wellbeing of people, regardless of gender, race, or geographic location, through the mass adoption of blockchain technology.
Over the last 20 years, Nick Jones has developed a roadmapping, KPI setting, and measurement framework that allows a business to clearly define its picture of success and understand what is necessary to achieve it.
This methodology is based on the fantastic work of Nick’s mentor, Mike Pegg, and his strength-based approach to building and leading teams. As a result, Nick’s focus at Zumo is on making sure that the team agrees and aligns around the plan. His responsibility is to keep the team updated on progress by always going back to the roadmap/plan. Throughout, people are empowered to take responsibility and ownership of their part of the plan.
Keeping the Company Up to date
Zumo has engineered a substantial part of its technology in-house, with patents valued in the multi-million-pound range. “We are very proud of Zumo’s continued focus on innovation to add to our existing patent and the desire of our team to deliver customer-centric solutions that leverage technology for good rather than for technology’s sake,” says Nick. “Our focus is on providing the solutions that will deliver added value to the user while remaining user-friendly and secure, and we’re excited to be exploring a number of potential features in our roadmap for 2022, including NFT support and innovative new ways to send funds peer-to-peer.”
Zumo offers an extremely competitive transaction fee of 0.5% irrespective of transaction size while offering the non-custodial infrastructure that ensures that customers are in direct personal control of their funds at all times.
In 2022, the company hopes to provide customers with even more choice by introducing a model that allows customers to get the best of both worlds: trading with no blockchain fees for actively managed funds; and the non-custodial option as before for customers who want to lock away their money under their own protection safely.
Zumo’s cryptocurrency key management technology has been engineered in-house and is subject to EU patent. This allows it to offer customers the peace of mind of knowing that they are the sole owners of their money – Zumo itself has no access to these ‘non-custodial’ wallets.
Notably, the security of this non-custodial solution is paired with a simple, user-friendly mobile app interface and an optional linked debit card for converting between crypto and local currency, which allows the Zumo user base to benefit from top-level security while also offering a user-friendly solution.
“We see ourselves as the hybrid that provides the gateway and bridge to a new, decentralised world while providing the accessibility, usability and reliability to empower people to take advantage of it.”
Zumo is also set apart in that it has been set up from the start as both a B2C and B2B business, not only serving individual customers through the Zumo App but also, through its B2B offering, giving fintechs and financial institutions the ability to offer similar services to their customers, with both sides of the business able to draw on and benefit from the other.
Fulfilling Client Needs
Over the past year, Zumo has recorded 25% month-on-month growth in a continual expansion of its customer base. A viral refer & share scheme has succeeded in opening up crypto to a much more mainstream user base, and this has been bolstered by collaborations to boost education and accessibility, for instance, Black Girl Finance and the Crypto Standard podcast in 2021, and an upcoming collaboration with The Gen Z Club in 2022.
The testimonials below give a flavour of what has attracted this new audience:
“I’m new to this crypto thing, but it didn’t matter as the Zumo App was simple and easy-to-use; now I’m up and running and ready to join the crypto revolution thanks to Zumo; keep up the good work.”
(Google Play store review, 11 March 2021)
“Zumo is a breath of fresh air, and realistically I had already decided that crypto was a long-term investment, so it makes sense to invest with a customer focused company like Zumo. “
(Chris, winner of the £10k BSV giveaway, run as part of the Zumo Refer & Share Scheme)
“I don’t see what benefits my UK bank account has to offer on spare money I would like to make a return on…I have appreciated the fact that Zumo is non-custodial – the ability to take responsibility with my seed phrase made me far more comfortable than with some of the other big-name custodial options.
(Jeremey, Zumo user, ‘How I got into crypto’)
One issue Zumo has tackled head-on – and an area in which the company believes it has played a pioneering role – is the controversial topic of crypto energy consumption. “Bitcoin has a problem with energy consumption and most businesses in our space are trying to avoid dealing with this reality. The debate around the topic has been deeply polarised, and often misinformed,” explains Nick. “Against this backdrop, Zumo is proud of the work we have done recently to demystify the topic, take practical action and showcase what industry-wide decarbonisation could look like.”
This has included a collaborative scene-setter report with experts in the industry to deconstruct the methodologies and assumptions quantifying the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, the unveiling of a dedicated Zumo 2030 net-zero strategy, and a pioneering pilot project to allow Zumo’s customers to compensate for the environmental impact of their Bitcoin holdings.
“2022 will be all about scaling, and we have a very ambitious roadmap in place for the year to help us achieve that,” elucidates Nick. “In particular, we are excited to be continuing to build and scale Zumo’s B2B crypto-as-a-service solution, which allows UK fintechs and financial institutions to rapidly go to market and offer their users the capability to securely hold, buy and sell digital currencies. Needless to say, the market has seen a lot of institutional interest recently, and we believe ourselves ideally placed to cater to that need.”