🎧🍌 How to Move Quadrillions of Dollars - The Story of Modern Treasury with Dimitri Dadiomov (Co-founder and CEO, Modern Treasury)
How to pick co-founders, why early customers deserve more credit, Dimitri's experience in YC, using PLG to build a deeper product, going slow to go fast, and an inside look at March's banking collapse
This week’s guest on the podcast is Dimitri Dadiomov, Co-founder and CEO of Modern Treasury.
Modern Treasury is building software for a new era of payments. What exactly does that mean? Accounting is entirely rules-based and the global banking system moves quadrillions of dollars per year (not a typo), yet most accounting and money movement is still manual and requires large teams at scale. Modern Treasury builds software for those teams.
Dimitri and his co-founders Matt and Sam started the company in 2018, and have since raised over $183 million, supported by investors like YCombinator, Benchmark, Altimeter, Salesforce Ventures, Quiet Capital, WndrCo, TQ Ventures, and Edward Lando.
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In this episode, we discuss:
How the global banking system moves over $1 quadrillion per year
Why B2B products should be easy to use with broad use cases
What makes a good API business
Why the YC application is a great forcing function for founders
How to pick your co-founders
Modern Treasury’s YC experience
Never pivoting despite taking six months to get the first customer
Why the first customers of a B2B business should get more credit
How PLG helps build a better product
Finding holes in the market for an initial go-to-market strategy
The depth of Modern Treasury’s product
Why they should have built a sales team sooner
How deep, broad customer relationships helped raise a Series A from Benchmark
Why it’s important to go slow to go fast
How Dimitri sets an intentional culture around studying other businesses
When distribution can be more important than product
What happened inside Modern Treasury during the collapse of SVB and Signature Bank
Why Dimitri sends Saturday update emails to entire company
The founders Dimitri really admires
🙏 Thanks to Zac and Xavier at Supermix helping with production and distribution!
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Find transcripts of all prior episodes here.
Turner: I thought we could kick things off. You guys are in this really interesting market called payment operations. That's how you started the company. Can you explain what that means and why it was worth building a company around?
Dimitri: Yeah, totally. Before we talk about payment operations, I gotta tell you, when you invited me to this podcast, I went and I bought this amazing hoodie with bananas all over it. But unfortunately it wasn't shipped here in time, so I'm very sad that we're doing this and I'm not wearing the banana hoodie.
Turner: We'll do another episode in a couple months.
Dimitri: Sounds good. So payment operations – what Modern Treasury does is build software that is aimed to be the operating system for money movement. So companies that move money and connect to banks, ledger things and keep track of and reconcile everything that happens in their business.
We hope to build the best software for that. That is something that we saw up close and personal, and we can talk about that. But it's a problem that exists in a lot of different companies and the context is almost definitionally for businesses where there's some money moving.
Specifically, certain types of businesses who are in the flow of funds or they're somehow moving funds through their marketplace or through their financial services offering – they have this problem in a significantly more complicated way than the majority of businesses. And so, when you get to higher volumes, you get to higher precision, you get to more errors. It becomes something that you really need software for.
Traditionally, a lot of it has been built internally or has been solved with operations teams that are doing things by hand. Modern Treasury is trying to help build software for this to make it much easier and simpler to start businesses in those industries.
Turner: When you say “doing it by hand,” that means probably a bunch of spreadsheets and emails and setting up bank wires manually, things like that?
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