From the Slums of São Paulo to Klever CEO - A Personal Life Story of Klever by Dio Ianakiara
I was born into a very poor family, lived in the Favelas of São Paulo & had no promise or perspective in life. But I was sure that my destiny wasn't there. This is the story of how Klever came to be.
A lot of people ask me how Klever was able to succeed so fast. The truth is that it took over 15 years to happen.
There is no shortcut for success. Success only comes before work in the dictionary, not in life. Success only comes for those who work hard and improve themselves to become the best in what they do.
I was born into a very poor family, lived in the Favelas (slums) of São Paulo, and had no promise or perspective in life. But I was sure that my destiny was not there, not where I lived and grew up.
I always had a burning desire to learn, but it was so difficult because as a kid I had to work during the day on the farm and go to public school at night.
I should add that public education in Brazil is known to be one of the worst in the world.
After years of working with less than a daily salary of $2, I was able to get my first computer when I was 18 years old. After that, everything changed.
I learned how to develop and acquire knowledge using the internet. I started to educate myself using an outdated and old computer, but for me, it was my savior to a different, more promising future.
I never accepted the fate that was given to me.
So, I decided to move forward and learn how to code in 2006. That was the time that I met Bruno Campos, today Klever’s CTO.
Bruno was my first professor in software engineering and since then he has become one of my best friends and partners. Bruno was not only a professor but at that time he was already one of the most complete software architects in Brazil, with deep knowledge in software development, architecture and security. Bruno was my first and ideal choice for CTO, and he is also Co-Founder of Klever.
I always believed that it doesn't matter where you are from, it doesn't matter what situation in life you’re in. If you’re willing to work hard, study, try new things and make mistakes in order to improve yourself, all your dreams and goals will eventually come true.
Before becoming Klever CEO and earning my first million dollars I went from:
1. Working on a farm from age 12 to 15, making under $2 a day.
2. Sold food door to door.
3. Sold vegetables door to door.
4. Sold self made cleaning products door to door.
5. Supermarket packer at the age of 17.
6. Baker helper at 18.
7. Typist at 19.
8. Computer technician when I turned 20.
9. Intern at IBM by 22.
10. Software Architect by 28.
11. CTO at the age of 29.
12. CEO when I turned 30.
How did I get here?
After initially learning how to code, I decided to compete with myself in order to become a world class professional in software engineering and architecture. My goal was to be able to create any kind of software I could imagine.
I received more than a dozen rejections — including from big companies like Facebook, Google and Red Hat — before deciding to create my own company in 2010.
Writing code day and night until my fingers weren’t able to type anymore, working hard and studying 80+ hours a week, I was steadfast in my belief that I was laying the foundations for the life that I wished for my family, my brother David and myself.
Meanwhile, as my friends were enjoying life, I was studying and creating the future that I wanted for my family. It was not easy.
I have learned that if you want something so bad, you need to go get it, you need to work hard and never give up on your dreams. Work hard in your education. Work hard on your self awareness. Work hard on your introspection. Work hard to be a better professional. Work hard to be a better father. Work hard to be a better human. Work hard to be a better person to others.
“Take ownership of your life and make it happen.”
This is what drives me and my brother David forward, who has been with me every step of the way and is now Director of Quantitative Trading at Klever.
Being born into poverty has made me determined to help others throughout the world to reclaim their financial independence, and it has shaped the vision of Klever to empower millions worldwide to not be born into debt, and become masters of their own financial future.
Though my first two ventures failed, three years later I gathered eight friends in my small apartment and convinced them to invest in a developing startup called Getty/IO.
After many conflicts regarding the lack of budget, some of our friends left the company before it even launched. Getty/IO was then in a rush simply to survive, selling software and cloud consulting.
During many months we had to count the days we had left until we were forced to close the company. The budget was so strained, and it was becoming impossible to keep paying team salaries from our own pocket. At that time, no investor was interested in us.
We had no money for an office, we had no money for hiring. But we decided to bring on two interns and go fully remote in 2013. Marlon Gomes and Vitor Pereira had no previous experience, but they also had a burning desire to learn and enough patience to listen to me, Bruno and David’s experiences and bring the best out of them. Today Marlon is our Head of Software Architecture at age 24, and Vitor our Head of Frontend Development at age of 24, and both are Co-Founders of Klever.
That was when I met Fabio Freire, João Pedro Cruz Lima and Marcio Lima, today our partners in Klever and in life. Fabio, João and Marcio were the only ones that believed in our team at the time, and without them, we would never be here.
João, also known as JP, has brought many new clients, strategies and prospects to our company and in 2016 for the first time, we had more money than debts in our bank account. Today, JP is Klever’s Director of Strategy and Business Development, while Marcio is our CFO and Fabio is our CMO.
Even with the right budget and many clients around the world, Getty/IO was the kind of business that only grew with more people, and we knew that even before we founded it. Between 2016 and 2018 Getty/IO delivered more than 100 projects before making Klever app a reality.
For many years I studied economics and couldn’t understand the failed global financial system. A bankrupt system where you’re already born into debt, a system where your money is worthless and less until it’s worthless, and you don’t understand why and how to react.
When I met Bitcoin in 2012, I didn’t dare to invest. I lost numerous opportunities and got repeatedly frustrated over it.
Four years later, in mid-2017, there I was facing Bitcoin again. This time I was sure it would be different.
I sold my car, saved some money, and invested. That very same day I not only lost my car but also 50% with crypto trade. It made me reflect on everything for a long time. I didn't know what to do because they were my only savings.
“I saw 90% of my capital evaporate 😅”
Losing that money made me spend several nights thinking about my issues and the problems facing the cryptocurrency market. Meanwhile, many crypto exchanges continued to suffer from serious security flaws and experienced large capital losses for their clients due to hacks.
I knew that the future of the financial system would have to be more open and accessible to all, since open and decentralized self-banking was already being widely discussed. The rapid growth in the use of p2p technologies was only accelerating, and this made me reflect on a possible solution.
“That's when Klever was born.”
The problem was that the technology to create the secure wallet we envisioned and aimed to build didn't exist yet, so we had to create everything from scratch and that's when the fun began!
That was when I met Fernando Sobreira and Misha Lederman in San Francisco, California. We went to the same event for the reasons of our destiny and there we developed a great synergy and friendship. Misha Lederman is a communication genius, and ready to be our voice and fight for our team and community. Fernando Sobreira is a kind of blockchain guru that builds complex and high level projects, he has unlimited potential to create advanced technology in a remarkably short time frame.
Today, Sobreira is our Director of Blockchain Research and Development, and Misha is our Director of Communications.
Together with the team of ninjas, we found 60+ of the most talented people in the world to work in Klever’s vision, mission and culture. Klever is a movement.
What started as a sea of endless troubles has become one of the biggest and most exciting challenges of my life:
“To create the best and safest crypto wallet on the planet, a wallet that would meet our needs and that I could personally trust.”
Klever has grown fast and in just 3 years since launch, over 2 million users worldwide have downloaded our app, with more than 100,000 daily active users (DAU) users Klever every single day and half a million monthly active users (MAU).
Our largest markets, besides a strong presence in the US and Europe, include countries like India, Nigeria, Philippines, Indonesia, and other developing nations where the unbanked are becoming self-banked with Klever. For the first time in their lives, they actually own their money and can independently decide what to do with their finances.
Although Klever Coin, KLV, was only launched 6 months ago, KLV has grown exponentially with over 90,000 holders accounts, and KLV has processed over 13.3 million on-chain transactions. KLV’s price has naturally followed the huge uptick in daily usage in Klever app and Klever Swap, and KLV’s market cap now exceeds $50 million. But the true value comes from the fact that our users are able to regain their economic confidence and financial independence.
Klever Team has grown from a small group of people that worked together since 2013 where we changed from a consulting model into a product model, and we are now one of the fastest growing crypto companies worldwide with over 60 professionals in their respective fields.
Klever was founded by a team of nerds looking to create products that can positively impact the financial world and bring self-banking for 7.8 billion people.
It is now my life mission to ensure that Klever provides the tools that I lacked during my upbringing, making sure they are available to anyone who seeks to remove the shackles of financial burdens and be part of the crypto revolution to truly own their money and decide their own fate.
Klever's ultimate goal is to offer self-bank for 7.8 billion people.
CEO & Co-Founder of Klever.io
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