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L1 blockchain that combines the speed and interoperability of Cosmos with dev power of Ethereum using co-chain architecture, making them interoperable. Kava token can be staked or delegated to nodes – earning 37.5% of Kava emissions as reward (incl voting rights).
🤔what percentage of Kava is owned by Kava?
🤔KAVA coin listed on Binance, Bybit, FTX, CoinTiger, and Bitget and Kraken. Small exposure, risk if Binance pulls.
Need more clarity on the other tokens — USDx, minting tokens etc.
The ecosystem is vast, with multiple audiences that need to be put into proper segments and personas: developers, hedge funds and institutional capital, early-state retail investors, the mass-market (3-6 years from now). The product offering, the “what’s in it for me” isn’t clear to mass market consumers when reading about Kava.


42 people. See further down.


Kava Mint.

Pitch: Supply digital assets, to take out USDX loans.
The terminology is wobbly here; will need to check it with more future customers. Minting sounds like the creation of assets. Is this technically true? Investor provides assets and that creates (or mints) a stablecoin and an over-collateralised contract
i.e. investor provides asset with a current market value of $100, receives a minted asset, USDX, that is worth 50% — $50— and an interest rate schedule. If the market value of the asset held as collateral drops, the investor is told to deposit more collateral or repay the loan and interest. If the market value approaches 50%, the asset is sold automatically and the contract is closed.
Do research into the language, still being written but also what future customers will search for. My suggestion would be to call it Kava Loans, but not sure if language like that attracts regulation?
Real world comparison and place to learn from: loans.

Kava Lend

Pitch: Supply coins to Kava platform, earn APY (coins & APY TBC)
Again, the language used isn’t that what a retail investor will be used to. Consumers don’t see themselves “lending” to a financial institution when they’re using a savings or money market account (even though it technically might be). The word lend has connotations of risk. I propose using language such as “Earn” or “Save”, time-tested with financial institutions and rings more with opportunity.
Real world comparison and place to learn from: savings, money market, growth accounts.

Kava Swap

Pitch: Exchange USDX with other coins (or all coins between each other).
Need to emphasise convenience over all.
Real world comparison and place to learn from: (Transfer)Wise, banks, airport currency converters.

Kava Pools

Supply pool liquidity and earn.


Pitch: Kava on the Ethereum blockchain.
Need to dive deeper into this.
USDX: 🤔Need to discuss more about the backing of this coin, all I know is that it is “asset backed” but not a lot of visibility on what those assets are and where they are. Why isn’t it trading at partity to the dollar, why aren’t arbitrageurs buying it at a discount and settling for face value?

Ignition Fund

Research this a bit.


Kava wants to bring DeFi to the mainstream, what’s the current place on that evolution and what’s the path forward? There’s always the risk of being to soon vs being too late (and both of them deadly).
What are the biggest obstacles – globally and then separately focused on Marketing, inbound and communications – and what you need the most help with right now.
Culture is super important. Can you speak a bit about the company culture (what is important to the company or what the company has right now in terms of culture) and what you seek in getting a culture fit with future hires.
I see endless similarities between the problems of early Bitcoin (or early crypto) and early DeFi
Uncertainty - regulatory POV
100% about trust – takes time
Technical product with technical early adopters
Big gap between these early adopters and the eventual mainstream
Gaps in communication between these two markets – wording, branding, products
Focus on UX, on-ramps

How and where is the company incorporated and most of the team based? I saw Nevada as incorporation (as a Nevada LLC I assume?) but SF on LinkedIn and in your privacy policy?
Aiming to have the UX experience of centralised services like Celsius / BlockFi / Gemini but with the true benefit of DeFi (meaning no KYC AML). This surely must put you in the crosshairs of the SEC (with them claiming that KAVA is a security)? How do you navigate and protect against that?
As with any startup, you’re firing on all cyliders, throwing everything at the wall seeing what will stick. Do you think you’ve gotten to product market fit with any, some, all of the products (or some more than others) that would need more attention from a growth and marketing point of view.
Are there any questions you wish I asked here that would have given me more insight into the position?
Are there any reservations that you have at the end of this interview, I’d like to have the opportunity to perhaps address them.

Talking about history

About Me
Born, raised, studied
Taiwan - study Mandarin teach English three years
Washington DC one year
China two years
MBA? Research? Cape Town - PayFast
Luno - Cape Town, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, UK (Growth, Rebranding, Many jobs, taking product mainstream, funnel, press, inbound)
Round the world trip. Mexico
Kinubo, investing. Focusing on personal projects.

First round interview

Team size & structure

Team of 42
12 marketing
12 engineering
Finance, design, HR etc.
Company is very bottom heavy, need to uplevel these employees, esp in Marketing.


- US. started as CEO but no longer (why?) now board member
- Scottish. Engineer.
- Cofounder, now CEO. Background in poker. Level-headed interviews. Read book on crossing the chasm. Read book on poker.


- Sourcer. First contact via LinkedIn. Johns Hopkins. GWU.
- Recruiting Operations Manager. Ex-Carta. SF.
- Head of People. Ex-Carta. SF?
- Community Manager. Telegram/Dischord/Reddit/chatbot. Liaises with marketing. Uni Chicago.
- Social media manager / Growth Lead. Columbia NYC.


Uses Clickup.
- Content manager > Interim marketing director. Fear of being “replaced”? UK-born, SA-raised, lives in US.
- Marketing Specialist. USC. 5y experience. .
. - Social Media Marketing Manager. Uses Sprout. 6/mo. Washington state.
- Marketing Coordinator (Content marketing). Taught English in Thailand. Writes about technical products.
Maryna Romanova - Marketing Manager. Ukranian. US based. Little info available.
Guillermo Carandini - Marketing manager. Portugal. Industry, research, paid, influencer
Sarah Austin - Former marketing. Quoted as CMO in . Was on reality TV show.


- Senior VP of Finance / CFO
- Creative Director. Canada. Part of Crankstudio acquisition.
- Director of product. Columbia Law. Ex-Honey, Ex-Dave. 3 months at Kava.
Paul Downing - Software Engineer
Nick DeLuca - Software Engineer

Follow up

Can Kava hire me as a non-US company / consultancy.
If not, can Kava contract with my DE company as a vendor.

Things to discuss

Structure of marketing

I have an overview of the marketing team, but not the actual details. No visibility on marketing plan (3/6/12 months) other than business OKR “top ten coin by 2023”.
Would it be possible to talk to people on the marketing team to find out what their goals and biggest obstacles are?


Range of $200,000 - $240,000 USD they agreed to

Stock options

Need to be defined and discussed. One year cliff, four year vesting.


Token grants (”for exploration, investment, and/or profit”). Needs to be defined and discussed.


Basic life insurance
Monthly “health and wellness” stipend
“Non traditional benefits” (need to be defined)
401k with match

Contract and payment


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