Why Alex Mashinsky dedicated his eighth startup to tackling the world's financial systems. An entrepreneur like Alex Mashinsky is always on the hunt for the next big disruption, and that means betting on perfect timing. The series founder, who has raised over $1 billion in funding, is known for pioneering the VOIP (voice over internet protocol) technologies that helped revolutionize the internet and telephone services in the 1990s. His timing was perfect, and his respective companies would go on to do deals with AT&T and the New York City Subway. But he didn't always succeed. Mashinsky also created Groundlink, which he describes as "Uber before Uber." The ride-sharing company had a presence in 100 countries when Uber was only in San Francisco, but was one of many companies wiped out by the 2008 recession.
Today, Mashinsky hopes to be at the forefront of another major innovation: cryptocurrency. He is the founder of Celsius, which allows users to earn interest and borrow dollars for cryptocurrencies. "Hopefully my timing here with Celsius is better than my timing with Groundlink," says Mashinsky. While every business owner wants their business to succeed, Mashinsky sees much more at stake here than just their entrepreneurial resume. He has entered into the uphill battle to drive mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and in the process, overthrow financial systems around the world. Here's why Mashinsky dedicated the rest of his career to fighting. Outwit the toll collectors Mashinsky only worked for someone else once in his life.
Launching his first startup, he was struggling to make ends meet. So he got a job at the town hall giving tickets to illegally parked cars. The work did not last long. The third time he wrote a ticket, the car owner ran up to him and asked him to stop, and it turned out to be someone Mashinsky had had a meeting with. business a few days before. “It was so embarrassing that I never tried to work for anyone again after that,” Mashinsky says. Instead, he has been busy founding eight companies over his decades-long career. His first real venture was building the first VOIP gateway in 1994. (This system made international calls - then the bread and butter of the phone companies - for free.