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How 'right place, right time' clicked for 23-year-olds, their Blockchain startup gets acquihired by UK's Page Solutions

Dipti Nair
22nd Mar 2018
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Team Aetlo to continue improving its existing products and will work on different banking and financial sector use cases of Blockchain along with Page Solutions.

At A Glance

Startup: PageChain Technologies Pvt Ltd (earlier Aetlo Tech)

Founders: Adarsh Kumar and Rupesh Mishra

Founding Year: 2017

Where it is based: Hyderabad

The problem it solves: It is focused on the problem of data ownership and trust between multiple stakeholders for enterprises

Sector: Blockchain Technology

Funding Raised: Acqui-hired by UK-based Page Solutions

Adarsh (left) and Rupesh (right)

There’s more to the phrase “at the right place, at the right time.”

For 23-year-olds Adarsh Kumar and Rupesh Mishra, it took months of hard work and some “hustle” (as Rupesh puts it) to be in the right place, at the right time. Last week, their year-old startup Aetlo Tech was acquihired by UK-based Page Solutions in a part-cash, part-equity deal.

All five members of Aetlo, including the two founders, are now part of a new team called Page Chain Technologies Pvt Ltd and will be the Blockchain subsidiary company of Page Solutions. Their team size has increased to nine now, and the two founders have been redesignated as Directors. Adarsh is the Director of Technology, while Rupesh is Director of Products. Sridhar Dasari, COO of Page Solutions, joins the Aetlo team as a Director.

In conversation with YourStory, Adarsh says that Page Solutions has a good reach in the banking world, and he sees a lot happening in the future in the banking world with Blockchain technology.

From bootstrap to acquihire

An alumnus of IIT Bombay, Adarsh teamed up with Rupesh, a graduate of NIT Jaipur, to start Aetlo Tech. Both were Blockchain enthusiasts and would often meet to discuss the subject, its use cases, and more importantly, how it is being unnecessarily enforced just to cash in on the Blockchain wave. “We had a working in-depth knowledge of Blockchain and Bitcoin from our college days, and met through our common mentor Anup Raaj, Co-founder of PSTakeCare,” says Adarsh, who hails from Samastipur in Bihar.

It was when Rupesh, who hails from Siwan in Bihar, encountered an issue while claiming a health insurance that they realised they could build a product using Blockchain technology for the healthcare insurance sector. Subsequently, they quit their jobs, and with some seed money from their mentor, started Aetlo Tech.

Initially, they set up office opposite the IIT Powai main gate so that they could hire interns easily.

The pivot

Armed with some funds, they added three people to the team and started the proof of concept of their healthcare product. Despite months of pounding the pavement and knocking on doors of health insurance companies, they realised it was not turning out viable for them. Plus, no one from the sector was ready to bet on them or their product.

Things took a turn for the better when they were selected for the FinTech Valley Summit in Vizag last year. The networking at the event paid off, and they received a few queries, and a particular one was from a UK-based firm Page Solutions on building Trade Finance product on Blockchain.

They decided to give up the health insurance product and instead set about making the Trade Finance product for Page Solutions. It all fell into place when the UK company found it worthwhile to hire the team for various other BFSI product queries they had started getting.

“We too found it good for Aetlo Tech to explore the global financial market and we agreed on this acquisition,” says Adarsh.

Acquisition and future prospects

With this acquisition, Page Solutions will further strengthen its foothold in Blockchain solutions in BFSI and enterprise solutions worldwide. In a press note, Sridhar Dasari, COO of Page Solutions, says: "This acquisition further strengthens Page's position in providing the first and last Blockchain solution a customer will ever need from startup to global enterprise while integrating seamlessly with their other enterprise applications."

Established in 2007, Page Solutions is a Banking Technology and Consultancy Services Company specialised in Temenos T24TM Core Banking services and other services in the streams of CRM, BI, and on ERP platforms.

Headquartered in the UK, Page is present in the UAE, Canada, the Netherlands, Singapore, USA, and India (which is the development centre).

The team at Aetlo Tech

“Beyond the noise and hum of cryptocurrencies, we see an enormous unexplored potential in Blockchain use cases. Our team will keep focusing on converting disruptive technologies into tangible and scalable products,” adds Adarsh.

Team Aetlo will now continue to improve its existing products and will be working on different banking and financial sector use cases of Blockchain along with Page Solutions.

Challenges of working with Blockchain

“As Blockchain is an emerging technology, finding people and building a team was a tough challenge,” says Adarsh, adding, “With a lot of buzz about cryptocurrencies, it's even tougher to filter out people on their understanding of Blockchain. However, a lot of platforms were helpful in the process, especially Angel List and CutShort.”

Interestingly, Adarsh says explaining Blockchain to people who are set in their ways was also a tough challenge, and it reduced the chances of getting something tangible out of meetings. “A lot of people only wanted to meet us just to understand the Blockchain,” he says amused.

Towards an Artificial Planet...

In his second year of college, Adarsh started Traxo, a web platform to buy and sell stuff for people in IIT Bombay. In his third year, he joined PSTakeCare, a healthcare technology startup co-founded by his seniors Anup Raaj, Rahil Momin, Pratik Chinchole, and Shirin Shinde.

Rupesh co-founded a company called AdNotes with three of his friends in the Ad Management space. However, things didn’t work out and they had to shut stop after six months. Rupesh met Adarsh when he was working in Mumbai at Axis My India as a product manager.

The two maintain that it has been a rollercoaster journey for them at Aetlo Tech. Adarsh says, “I have learnt a lot of things during this journey from my co-founder, team, and the entrepreneurship, and VC community. The most important lesson I have learnt is that it’s when you feel the urge to quit the most you shouldn’t. I have also grown to be more humble during the journey. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle for Rupesh and me now. We plan to build an Artificial Planet in the coming decades.” Err...now that we’ll keep for another time.

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