Where it all started

November 19, 2020

One blustery evening

While I sit here on a blustering November evening, the clingfilm breathing on our windows to stop the wind squeezing through the cracks (yes, we have clingfilm on the windows as the glass is so thin), and the jazz music on I think it’s about time to write another article.


2020 has been quite the year. On January 1st our business account was penniless, I was on my last £100, and Tobin was yet to join full time. Trilo was still a dream, blossoming for sure, but a dream nonetheless.


In mid-January, the first tranche of our Pre-Seed round came in 💸💸💸. We raised this in a SAFE, which I highly recommend early on, it’s easy, fast, and simple (literally in the name). First thing first, Tobin joins, and we submit our authorisation to the FCA. Boy oh boy were we in for a ride.


Over the next few months, we started building the foundations. While Tobin’s building out the network, another mountain is looming… Compliance and FCA Authorisation. Somehow we found the best case officer in the world, and we were steaming along. She (who will remain nameless) bought into Trilo straight away, understood what we were doing, and why we were needed. We were still missing one thing, that we both knew was needed, someone to lead compliance.


Knock knock, who’s there, Usman. Lee, a mutual friend, who had worked with Usman while they were both at Revolut recommended him highly, and boy was Lee spot on! I first caught up with Usman in the atrium of Coutts (yes there’s an atrium), halfway through our coffee I realised “Oh crap, this is technically the first interview that I’m holding”. It went swimmingly, and after a few more coffees and phone calls Usman joined the team.


With Usman and Tobin now on board, the real work could begin, not the building of the tech stack, but building out the rules of the network. How Trilo should work, how customers can pay, merchants join, fraud prevention, consumer protection, in-store, online, pre-pay, yadda yadda yadda… The list goes on. And boy it’s quite the list.


As soon as the engineering workload started accumulating, we knew we needed to start building out the team, especially on the front-end aspect of Trilo. In comes Johannes who we onboarded and interviewed remotely as he was living in Spain - a strange but very 2020 experience (this is also why he’s on a sunny street in his photo)!


And so the team is 4.


Three months into our FCA authorisation, and somehow we’re ready to go. We. Are. Authorised. Ahead of us though, is a very long journey to launch.


While all this was going on, something else was pressing. Way back in 2019 Jonathan joined as an advisor, and wow! Seriously, having someone there with experience and knowledge like his in the payment space was incredible. I had only seriously started learning and working in the payments at the start of 2019, so having Jonathan’s knowledge base there was exceptionally helpful. 


Through the next few months, Mike, Alessandro, and Simonetta joined. Each bringing with them incredible experience, and a desire to help us build something amazing that can truly change the world we live in!


This is the first part of what we hope will be a bunch of articles by the team… We’ve had a whale of a time so far, but we’re only just getting started. Stay tuned, and as always if you haven’t yet, Try Trilo, fund a tree and get a t-shirt as a Boost: https://plant.trilo.io