We spoke with Maria Luna, co-founder and CEO at BRAVO, Shark Tank contestant and blockchain advocate.
BRAVO Technologies is revolutionising how payments and tipping are executed, however there are many more products on the horizon. Read on to find out more.
“We created our Fiat version to prove our hypothesis that there was a real need for privacy in payments (while still being compliant) and we knew that the ultimate solution to achieve privacy and inexpensive transactions was evolving to the blockchain.”
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a serial entrepreneur with over 22 years of experience in marketing and managing consumer and healthcare brands at Nabisco, BMS, AbbVie and other top companies.
Over the last 3 and half years we have been working to create a simple user experience and a scalable protocol to bring crypto payments to mainstream.
BRAVO Technologies (BRAVO Pay/BRAVO) is a USA based established FinTech company with a pipeline of products including a blockchain protocol with its own payment DApp.
Since 2015 BRAVO has a beta App available in USA in iOS and Android that works with USD/fiat currency which was featured in TechCrunch, where BRAVO won the Audience Choice Award in 2015. We were also recently featured in ABC’s Shark Tank in November 2017 where we got a deal with Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner.
We bring to the ecosystem:
- A NEW protocol that allows multiple blockchains to interoperate seamlessly. What is unique about our hybrid protocol is that you can select the level of privacy you need on demand.
- A validated application that is easy to use and that brings immediate use to our tokens…”think liquidity”
With BRAVO, anyone, even people who are not tech savvy, will be able to setup an account and pay with Crypto in a few simple steps:
- You find the person by proximity or by doing a simple search of display name or BRAVO code
- Inter-app crypto payments without the need for external exchangers to pay with BVO
- No long keys needed and easy social recovery
BRAVO also brings to the market a user friendly API as a growth and adoption engine. It integrates financial solutions into the crypto payments industry such as a marketplace; it allows 3rd party applications to run under the BRAVO license, creation of white-labeled solutions with the goal to support the development community and the BRAVO ecosystem.
Why did you set up BRAVO Pay?
BRAVO Pay was set up to bring privacy, security and ease of use to the payments ecosystem.
In United States we have a beta application for Fiat payments. That was built and launched for R&D purposes only. Interestingly we have over 150K users in our test market and this is the platform for the crypto-payments app. We have learned users like and dislikes and rules and compliance.
The app is currently used by a variety of supporters from multiple verticals such as micro-merchant payments, gratuities (valet attendants, bellhops, massage therapists, hairdressers, nail technicians, etc) also by video streamers, and peers settling debt.
Bringing cryptocurrency payments to mainstream represents a multi-trillion dollar opportunity that is expanding. Initially, we are focusing on the privacy payments niche which is a 62 billion dollar business opportunity.
Tell us about your Shark Tank experience?
Due to confidentiality agreements we can not talk much about the Shark Tank experience, but we can say that it was a great one and that we are very thankful for the opportunity to share our company with their audience and obtain a deal. The Sharks are bright and fun people and challenging ourselves to go to the show has opened many doors for BRAVO.
Why Blockchain? Well, the answer is simple, we created our Fiat version to prove our hypothesis that there was a real need for privacy in payments (while still being compliant) and we knew that the ultimate solution to achieve privacy and inexpensive transactions was evolving to the blockchain. Now that we proved the concept, we have a real user case for our BVO token and an established marketplace to drive rapid adoption.
This crypto version of BRAVO will help accelerate the adoption of crypto payments at a global level by introducing three main factors to the ecosystem:
- Ease of use – no longer for tech savvy people;
- Utility of crypto in our daily lives – for peer and micro-merchant payments;
- Trust – they are one of the very few teams in the world that actually have a product in the market and a blockchain platformed developed before launching their token.
What do you think is the future of the finance industry?
Blockchain has a wide range of financial and non-financial use cases. We foresee a future where the blockchain continues to bring solutions to almost any problem in the payments industry and beyond (supply chain and logistics, commerce, security, healthcare, etc.).
So, blockchain technology is now robust especially with recent, significant advances such as Coinbase, but there is still much to do. We need to continue to develop killer applications and solutions to create the same conditions that drove growth in the early internet era, but do it now for crypto….
…. we must keep reducing the cost, increasing the speed and protecting the identity of users while being compliant. We must facilitate ease of use, trust and utility and that is precisely what BRAVO brings to the ecosystem.
Tell us about your BRAVO tipping blog?
Given the perfect fit of our solution to the problem of mismatch of those who carry cash and those who depend upon it, we initially targeted the BRAVO platform at the opportunity to disrupt the tipping industry. This gave us short term focus, but we will not stop there… The market opportunity is far more significant.
As we evolve from our initial focus of facilitating gratuity payments to serve other verticals such as micro-merchant payments, streamers, peers etc. we are reaching out to our community via a variety of channels that include our telegram channel that currently has over 24K members, social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Medium articles, YouTube and many other channels.
Anything else you would like to share?
BRAVO is beyond an easy to use payment DApp or the amazing hybrid blockchain protocol that allows multiple blockchains to interoperate seamlessly to bring privacy on demand. BRAVO is a financial empowerment movement for all.
BRAVO has built a disruptive micro payments solution for a new generation that demands simplicity, privacy and security in payments. We exist to financially empower people who depend on cash payments and tips for their livelihood allowing INSTANT, SECURE and PRIVATE payments without having to exchange your personal information.
What started with 25 users by invitation in our test market in Arizona is now a national movement of goodwill, empowerment and privacy of payments.
Thanks Maria! We look forward to seeing and sharing more of your blockchain journey.