Kazakh startup TrustMe raises investments by applying “game theory”
Kazakhstani IT startup TrustMe raised $300,000 in investments at a $2.5 million valuation. To do this, the company applied its own approach, referring to the famous “game theory”.
“There is such a theory of games, which was invented by the famous scientist John Nash. A game is understood as a process in which two or more parties participate, fighting for the realization of their interests. I run many of my decisions as a manager through this method. That is, I look at what benefits each of the parties to the transaction will have. This is an integral part of the negotiations,” says Chingiz Dauletbaev, founder of TrustMe.
The entrepreneur recorded and published a video on his YouTube channel, where he explained what TrustMe is, how it works, and that he needs to raise $200,000 as an investment under a 4% stake in the company. He then sent the link to his family and friends.
“No one knew who was investing how much, what percentage of the company's shares they were claiming. Everyone declared their amount, and if it was less than $200,000, then everyone received a percentage of shares, respectively, higher. In the end, everyone turned out to be in the black. That's the theory,” Chingiz adds. Thus, the team managed to attract $200,000 investments in the pre-seed round, $100,000 investments in the first stage of the seed round.
According to the businessman, this method will also be useful for other Kazakh startups. In the process of attracting investments, “game theory” can be beneficial for both entrepreneurs and investors. Therefore, Chingiz plans to hold the next round of attracting investments according to the same scenario. The founder and CEO of TrustMe said that the second stage of the Seed investment round in the amount of $600,000 will start soon. The amount invested will be used to scale the startup across the country.
TrustMe provides free services for mass use as well as paid services for businesses. Since 2021, the company has been a member of the Astana Hub International Technopark of IT Startups. At the moment, TrustMe consists of 6 services.
The company has big plans for the future. Among the tasks of TrustMe are to implement machine learning, develop artificial intelligence, create a trusted rating platform, promote ideas about ESG governance, and enter international markets.