An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Rafael Loureiro (co-founder and CEO) of Wealth, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Wealth – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
The idea came together in 2021, from a personal event experienced by one of the members of the founding team that required him to set up an estate plan. The estate planning process was very time-consuming, confusing, archaic, and expensive. And in the end, his estate plan was delivered to him in a 3-ring binder that ended up sitting in his file cabinet collecting dust, becoming more and more outdated with every passing day.
That’s when the idea of Wealth was created – why can’t we make this process easier? Dynamic? Always up to date? Why can’t there be one place where your family can go to have a holistic view of all your assets, including crypto, stocks, real estate, NFTs, financial institutions, or anything else important to you. We reviewed what was currently available on the market and found there was a massive opportunity to modernize estate planning, offering a solution that combined personal financial management with estate planning.
Our mission at Wealth is to democratize estate planning. 68% of American don’t have a will, and that’s too big of a number to ignore.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
There are always hurdles to overcome when you are launching a startup. Some of them you can control, and others you just have to find a way to work around. For us, the two major hurdles have been launching a startup post-COVID and dealing with a major financial crisis.
After COVID, most startups are being launched in a remote only environment. I personally like the fact that we can hire anyone remotely, but it adds challenges, such as Zoom fatigue, miscommunication, time zone differences, establishing company culture, time commitment to the project, and so on. I am not saying that working remotely is detrimental to the success of the company, but it requires you to adjust to this new environment.
The second hurdle is the current financial situation we are facing. War in Ukraine, looming recession, Chinese supply chain strain, inflation, strong dollar, and uncertainty. Even though the second hurdle is outside our control, it affects us directly.
All in all, Wealth.com is a countercyclical business – estate planning is a necessity and 68% of Americans do not have a will. We are on a mission to change that.
What does the future hold for Wealth?
We are just getting started, but we have big plans. We are the first company offering a solution that combines personal finance and digital estate planning. There is so much space to innovate and make people’s lives easier.
We want to continue innovating in this space, which we’re already doing by bringing intelligence to the platform, as well as the ability to help you create, manage, and visualize an optimal estate plan that takes into account your marital situation, age, where you live, and financial profile. Wealth is not a one a done estate planning solution – we are with you for the journey, helping you plan how your legacy will be passed down to future generations.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Phoenix?
It is under development. I have been in Arizona for 21 years, and wealth.com is the fourth startup I am involved with. You can see that the Phoenix startup scene is evolving quite rapidly but we are still behind other locations like the Bay Area, NY, Boston, and Salt Lake City. We still don’t have a very active VC community in Phoenix, the technical talent pool is still concentrated in large corporations, and there are not a lot of incubators or technical events in the city. But this is all changing fast and I hope with government involvement, we can incentivize the local startup community. We definitely have everything going for Arizona, including weather, low cost of living, geographical location, access to talent (ASU, U of A), and a place people want to live and raise their families.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Resilience. It is not easy, the road ahead is challenging, you will make mistakes, but whatever the outcome, you will be better for it. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Greztky.