Left to right: Alexey Utin, Martin Kreitmair, Christopher Zapf © Tangany
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“Nowadays blockchain is still one of the most complex technologies,” the Munich-based startup Tangany writes on its website. With its Blockchain Custody Wallet as a Service, Tangany offers an opportunity to store, transfer, and receive large quantities of crypto currencies on a secure offline custodian wallet. Customers can integrate the Blockchain into existing and new systems via a simple and uniform API. Tangany also offers its customers the option of setting up an unlimited number of wallets, e.g. for Blockchains from Bitcoin or Ethereum, but also for private Blockchains.

Innovation Origins spoke to one of the three founders, Martin Kreitmair, about highlights, low points, and his goals for his company.

The founders, left to right: Alexey Utin, Martin Kreitmair, Christopher Zapf © Tangany

Who is behind Tangany? Who are the founders?

Tangany was founded by Christopher Zapf, Martin Kreitmair, and Alexey Utin. The founders complement each other perfectly so that Tangany could cover almost all important tasks itself from the the start (except perhaps the tax consultant and lawyer). We consider independence from third parties to be very important and valuable in order to be able to quickly move forward. The first employees have also joined the founding team.

When and where was Tangany founded?

Tangany GmbH was founded as a company in January 2019 in Munich. However, the project dates back to 2017. In the intervening period a lot of work was done on the concept, we analyzed the market, and gained our first experiences in being self-employed.

How did you come up with the idea of founding the start-up?

That was in 2017, at the height of the recent bitcoin bubble and at the same time when our former employer was sold. This mix of new, fascinating technology, and the successful buildup and exit of a company fascinated us so much that we dared to take the bold step into the startup world. The product as such was formed over the next few months until we finally defined the final concept in the fall of 2018.

What makes Tangany special compared to your competitors?

In this form, our product Custody Blockchain Infrastructure is almost unique on the market. We are convinced that products must be simple and in our case, of course, very secure. We focus all our activities on these two aspects. And that is what our customers love about our solution. We can offer companies a solution with which they can easily and securely integrate Blockchain into new or existing systems. This could be websites, software, mobile apps or other systems. In addition, we also want to offer our customers regulatory security. Especially with the 5th Money Laundering Directive, a lot will change in the area of Blockchain, and we are a trustworthy partner who provide extra added value.

Where do you see the obstacles for blockchain? Why do people in Germany apparently shy away from this?

The biggest obstacle for blockchain is the blockchain itself. Here, we have a highly complex technology that is difficult to grasp and whose application possibilities have to be tested and validated at great cost. This requires a lot of time and research, and this is exactly where the technology is at this moment. Germany as a location is quite well positioned in this respect. There are more than 100 start-ups in Germany (with clusters in Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt) and a strong political tailwind. The strategic relevance has been recognized at EU, national, and state level. As a start-up company, we have received almost 200,000 euros in funding for our innovative character and we also see a lot of positive things in other areas. Only our major companies and groups could concentrate on technology and involve young start-ups, in particular, more closely. A lot of potential is still being wasted by not involving innovators enough.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?

The biggest hurdle was certainly the path to self-employment. We all left our nest, had to give up our very good positions, and took the step into the completely unknown. Probably, this only works with very strong momentum. This was followed by many challenges in order to shape the organization and take the initial steps. Fortunately, the more we plantlets grow, the clearer the path becomes.

What motivates you to go to work every morning?

There are several reasons. First of all our team. We all give 100% and stand 110% behind the idea and our project. That is incredibly motivating. In addition, there are all the minor and major highlights, which of course provide additional motivation. A start-up can only work if there are enough motivation crumbs along the way to always let the team take the next step.

Was there a moment when you wanted to give up?

In the very beginning, we received a lot of bad feedback about our idea, which made us very insecure and led to tensions. Of course, these have sometimes erupted within the team and led to these kinds of negative thoughts. In retrospect, we are grateful for the feedback, because it helped us to line up the product properly. There is this saying that founding means continuing, even if the path doesn’t seem to go any further – that’s exactly what we did.

And vice versa: What made you particularly proud?

Our first customer was, of course, an absolute highlight. Someone who pays us for our technology and experiences added value for themselves. That was an incredibly intense moment and we celebrated it with the team with an evening team event.

What can we expect from Tangany in the coming years?

We want to become the blockchain infrastructure for Europe. We believe that the EU needs its own player in this segment and that’s what we want to become. This includes many small steps and tasks that we will all take in the coming years.

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