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ALEX SUNNARBORG

Founder & CFO

Alex Sunnarborg

 
I’m an entrepreneur working on an investment & market research platform for the emerging blockchain asset class. I previously worked as a financial analyst in the national quantitative & investment groups of a large municipal investment banking department & in small – medium sized wealth management firms. I enjoy learning & writing about alternative investments, early stage startups, the fintech sector, and blockchain technologies like bitcoin, ether, & the apps built one layer up. I’m originally from Florida and have lived in San Francisco & New York City since founding a startup in the blockchain space to be right in the intersection of tech & finance. I’ve since had my research & company featured in publications like Fortune, Yahoo! Finance, MarketWatch, & VentureBeat. Learn more at lawnmower.io & read some of my writing on the bitcoin & blockchain markets at blog.lawnmower.io.

 

ABOUT

Founded in January of 2015, Lawnmower is a market research firm and investment platform where users can gain exposure to bitcoin and other blockchain assets.

The advent of blockchain technologies represents a breakthrough shift in many industries, with applications emerging in fields as varied as finance and art. The investable blockchain assets underlying these technologies have grown to a total market cap of over $13 billion (as of July 2016).

 
lawnmower.io

 
Connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/asunnarborg

He will be live on  October 18, 2016 12:00 PM (Canada/Eastern) for one hour during which he will answer as many questions as possible.


    Do you see Lawnmower adding additional indexes for ICO projects?
    Absolutely, we’re big fans of a lot of blockchain assets and projects that have used the ICO model, and think the trend is an exciting development in the space. For upcoming crowdsales, we’ll likely feature information, analysis, and research leading up to the events, and then shift the asset to a similar “Live Asset” page like we have now in our apps with market data like the price, market cap, supply, etc. once the asset is distributed and begins trading. We have a bunch of plans to expand out our indices as well into different groups of blockchain assets like app platforms, payment networks, Ether dApps, previous ICO, and more to track different sectors of the ecosystem.
    Is the LBI within the US with SEC Approval? If not from where do you operate?
    The LBI is not currently an investible product and instead used in the Lawnmower app to compare trading performance and traditional benchmarks against and to track the space as a whole. Lawnmower’s apps are available to download globally, but we are headquartered and offer investment tools in the U.S. Instead of going through a formal registration process for a fund or investment structure with an organization like the SEC, we would likely release our first index products in more of an informal way (giving users tools to easily invest in portfolio allocations at once, all sent to the users’ wallets, instead of having Lawnmower touch funds). I think a cool tool that would fit well in our app would be extending an automated recurring buy of say $100 a week into more than one asset (like you can currently do in our app), for example, $100 a week into bitcoin and ether, proportional to their relative market cap every week.
    Are you positioned similar to Iconomi? How are you different?
    As I’m aware of the project, Iconomi seems like they are attacking the investment fund management space with tools for a couple sets of users. Users can manage the portfolio allocations of other’s investments or invest into funds managed by others, and take advantage of the infrastructure the team is building. Iconomi is built on top of Ethereum and uses several smart contracts to transfer and manage funds and has yet to be released in production. We’re going for a much more straightforward solution, targeted at a user that’s likely applicable to the side of their platform looking for exposure to a diverse portfolio of blockchain assets. We’re however aimed at providing information, objective analysis and research, and investment tools like recurring bitcoin and ether trading (using a normal bank account and fiat currency), and automated index allocation methodologies to provide more flexibility in the hands of the user and less in terms of suggested investments.
    When will people outside the US be able to trade? Specifically Canada.
    We’re working with Coinbase (our partner broker) on expanding to the 33 countries they currently support (including Canada) – coinbase.com/global. Unfortunately, don’t have a great timeline for you, but engineers on both teams are working on integrating the APIs to add additional payment methods and currencies for financial institutions and countries around the world.
    What is your business model and also what is your marketing strategy to acquire new users? Thanks
    We make a bit of money through our app’s “Premium Tier” (access to additional research, content, and features) and trading fees (through an agreement with Coinbase, not charged directly to users). We’re now looking into monetizing our index and research products and selling to and integrating with businesses for revenue and distribution. I write a lot of market analysis in weekly posts on our blog (blog.lawnmower.io), on external media publications, and on social media (@LawnmowerIO), we frequently get involved with podcasts, speaking events, and other exposure opportunities as much as possible, and try to partner with top and far reaching brands and organizations like Coinbase, Boost VC, and StartupBootcamp to get more users and eyeballs on our products.
    Should I be concerned about giving lawnmower.io my coinbase / bank info?
    We don’t touch or store any financial or Coinbase credentials. We pass all information directly through our software and let Plaid (plaid.com – a San Francisco based financial data API with over $50M in venture funding from investors including Goldman Sachs & Google Ventures and customers including Venmo, Wealthfront, & Betterment) authenticate and verify your information. For further assurance, when linking your Coinbase account, you’ll see that Lawnmower requests access to only specific features in your Coinbase account (like buying and selling with a bank account and viewing balances) and not those like sending funds externally. We take user data privacy and security extremely seriously and only partner with who we view as the most trusted and safest names in the industry. More info can be found at lawnmower.io/faq.
    Why did you stop offering the spare change feature?
    We stopped running the “spare change” version of Lawnmower for several reasons back in March, as can be described in depth in this blog post – blog.lawnmower.io/lawnmower-s-evolution-beyond-spare-change-43fef2f98ad0. For a summary, we felt the flexibility and structure around investing, logistics around operations, ability to expand assets, and several other features would work much better and more efficiently with the move to what we view as a more full service, customizable, and useful solution.
    It seems you are only in the States right now. When will Canadian and UK have the options to Trade? Thanks
    We’re available to download for price quotes, information, research, news, and more for over 15+ Blockchain Assets anywhere in the world. As for investing in assets like Bitcoin and Ether with your bank account (currently available in the U.S.), we’re working with Coinbase (our partner broker) on expanding to the 33 countries they currently support (including Canada & the UK) – coinbase.com/global. Unfortunately, don’t have a great timeline for you, but engineers on both teams are working on integrating the APIs to add additional payment methods and currencies for financial institutions and countries around the world so all of our users can invest in the Blockchain Asset Class.
    what’s the difference between Lawnmower vs. doing my own recurring buys on Coinbase directly (minus your fee)?
    We actually don’t have any additional trading fees, so doing a recurring buy over Coinbase won’t be any different fee wise than over Lawnmower. Trading on Lawnmower instead of Coinbase can offer you some additional trading analytics like % return, cost basis, and comparisons to other assets like the S&P 500, Gold, Oil, Real Estate, and more within our app.
    Where do you see lawnmower.io in one year?
    As more of a pre-eminent hub for all things blockchain. We want to be the go-to resource for investment tools, education, analytics, research, indices, news, and more for not only Bitcoin and Ether, but also the rest of the rapidly emerging asset class. So, more users, more information, more assets, and an ever improving design and experience for mass market newcomers to the space.
    Where do you see the future of Cryptocurrency going? Will Bitcoin be around in 5 years? And will we see more dominate coins? Thanks
    I think we’ll start to see more obvious divisions with the Blockchain Asset Class. We’ll see assets focused on payments, or more of the “cryptocurrencies” like Bitcoin (and maybe a protocol with slight design improvements, like say the initial reasoning behind Litecoin), of which maybe a few can exist (but why do we really need 100s of currencies with similar value props?), a few with perhaps a focus on a certain feature set (like privacy as we can see in Dash, Monero, and upcoming ZCash), and then we’ll see broader groups of assets like App Platforms (Ethereum, Lisk), decentralized storage systems, actual dApps, and more. I think the amount of assets and projects we have for certain sectors and use cases will likely be limited, but as to Blockchain Assets being used more in lieu of traditional equity or similar, there shouldn’t really be much of a limit (like there’s thousands upon thousands of different companies).
    Ripple takes a prominent position in your index. There have been suggestions they will partner with R3 somehow. How do you access their strength against Chain in the Global Funds segment?
    From the perspective of the Lawnmower Blockchain Index, Ripple has a native asset, XRP, where Chain does not, and thus the LBI has a bit of exposure to one project and not the other just from our objective methodology. Accessing each’s strengths and expansion potential in the industry is a bit deeper of a question, and even the relationship between XRP and a Ripple R3 partnership is much more subjective and outside any analysis done within the index.
    In terms of being able to purchase and trade, are the territories Middle East, North Africa and India within lawnmowers reach in the near future ? I don’t see those areas listed on Coinbase/global. Shame.