Friday, April 16

David Riudor: The wizard of small savings | EL PAÍS Weekly: Characters

Some people are born to earn money. David Riudor (Barcelona, ​​25 years old) is one of those. Do you remember those 50 euro coupons from Google that came in Iberia magazines? Did it occur to you to find out what they were for? Almost no one was looking at them. On a trip with his parents to the Dominican Republic, David tore off the coupon and put it away. I was 13 years old. On his return he discovered that it was free advertising on Google. By then he had already learned the first magic tricks. He made a website and a campaign that was “quite shabby”, according to him, and he got two performances, each for 150 euros. He was one of the first wizards to advertise on Google. “If you put ‘magician Barcelona’, it was the first to come out. With a lie of 50 euros, I really won 300 ”.

Since he was 23 years old, he has been CEO of Goin, una app savings focused on young people which is one of the fintech (technology company applied to finance) most downloaded on Android and Apple. He and his partners appear on the Forbes list of the 30 under 30 most influential in the financial sector. They are the first Spaniards to enter this list.

His story is so round that it seems the work of an ingenious storyteller, those magicians of the story creators of the suspicious abundance of entrepreneurs who start their formidable careers in garages. “I’ll tell you what it is storytelling and that is 100% true ”, he promises. He speaks fluently about almost everything, especially money.

David Riudor practices one of his favorite tricks on a Barcelona street, taking fire out of a wallet.
David Riudor practices one of his favorite tricks on a Barcelona street, taking fire out of a wallet.Jordi Adrià / EPS

With the Google coupons he had his first job. Why start work so soon? “To finance me a hobby”. Ever since his father bought his first trick at the King of Magic store, he had been hooked. “Between my partner Xavi and I we have been able to leave 200,000 euros in magic. The giant water tank, the typical woman cut in two, the trick to fly through the theater … Any secret costs 3,000 euros, just to see how it’s done … But knowing the method opens mental doors for you to build other things. Nothing has taught me more than magic: psychology, negotiation, public speaking, having an open mind ”.

David Ruidor, 14 years old, during a magic show.
David Ruidor, 14 years old, during a magic show. Jordi Adrià / EPS

Soon after they stopped performing at weddings, baptisms and communions to dedicate themselves to the marketing. They created their first company, Ambbis, and acquired clients such as Mercedes Benz or HP. Riudor was 15 years old, and his partner was 16. They charged 150 euros for an hour of work, but they quickly raised the price to 400. “Now I will tell you tricks to get paid what you want,” he tells us. “It’s fun, it’s called pricing [pronúnciese praising]. The best courses are given in Las Vegas and are worth 600,000 euros. They are expensive because they are going to tell you some secrets that are not so bad, basically it is having a hard face ”.

“When did you realize that you were earning more than your parents?”

“When they told me.”

Trophy received by Goin, David Riudor's company, in Silicon Valley.
Trophy received by Goin, David Riudor’s company, in Silicon Valley.Jordi Adrià / EPS

His mother, a nurse. His father, court clerk. They lived in a 90-meter flat in Sants. “I had a bank account that I had opened with my mother because she was a minor. They would accompany me to performances and never ask questions, but they would hear me talking on the phone: ‘400 per performance’. They knew that in a weekend he could have six bowling pins and, of course, they made numbers: ‘This boy is earning 2,400 euros per week!’

He enrolled in Telecommunications when he was expected to do Business. “I don’t want to sound pedantic, but I already knew everything about that. On the other hand, technology is not my strong suit, in fact I hate it. I decided to get into where I had something to learn ”.

They began to manufacture technology for other wizards. “The prediction that a magician would make on a blackboard, we made it appear on Twitter. You would say to the viewer, ‘Think of a card,’ and they would come up with, let’s say, the ace of hearts on their account. It came to Silicon Valley and one day David Copperfield called us because he wanted to buy it. He invited us to Las Vegas. And I couldn’t go because I was a minor! ”.

And since after that it was impossible to go any further, Riudor changed his third. “It has been very difficult to stop being a magician to be CEO, enjoy less and earn half, but it made no sense to own a company that has raised more than 10 million dollars and tell investors: ‘Don’t count on me on Wednesdays, I’m going to be a magician ”.

David Riudor, with his letters to do magic.
David Riudor, with his letters to do magic.Jordi Adrià / EPS

He founded Goin with Carlos Rodríguez Antón and Gabriel Esteban. The company was born as an automatic savings tool compatible with any bank account. “When we realized that saving was not sexy for an 18-year-old, we changed the focus; now we are one app where the user writes what he wants and forgets. We help you to get it as quickly and cheaply as possible. For example: ‘I want to buy the new iPhone that will be released at the end of the year’ or ‘I want to buy a Harley in four months’. So we do the math and say to him: ‘Okay, you have to save 32 euros a week ”. If the goal is more than six months, Goin suggests how to invest the savings. It is the fintech fastest growing in Europe, with 1,000 new users every day and a community of 410,552 goiners, 30 employees and 3 partners who are, he assures, those who charge the least. “My salary is 40,000 euros a year. I could go up to 100,000 without asking permission, but I’d rather hire the best engineers than charge more. The funny thing is that investors pressure me to raise it because it seems counterproductive. When a new capitalist comes along and sees what I get, he may think: ‘Either it’s bad, or it’s stupid.’

The Goin offices in Barcelona.
The Goin offices in Barcelona.Jordi Adrià / EPS

Legend has it that to create Goin, its founders underwent a high-risk practice: exchanging credit cards to show that it is easier to melt someone else’s money than their own. David Riudor laughs: “We never did. This really is material from storytelling that we invent for investors. Sometimes you have to put a bit of glitter – I prefer not to call it smoke – to attract money and talent ”.

Yes he had had a community of goods with his friends. “We would collect money and invest it in stocks. We did so badly that I investigated and discovered that between 80% and 90% of small investors lose money ”.

With cryptocurrencies, however, he has done better. Years ago he bought an Ethereum for 70 euro cents and today it is worth around 1,800 euros. In 2016, 500 euros were spent on 0.82 bitcoins, which are now around 40,000. He fiddles with the phone and shows that operation: “Here it is, a bargain!” “But he was not a guru,” he clarifies. “I was just experimenting, I really had no idea. Cryptocurrencies are high risk assets. If you put 100 euros in bitcoins, you have to be willing to lose 100. Not 50, not 60. 100 ”.

-Retirement age?

“I’ve always thought 30.

“Do you save?”

“I don’t spend.” I share flat. I have a 1,000 euro motorcycle from Wallapop.

-What do you want the money for?

—I would like to get what they call financial freedom [libertad financiera]: when you no longer have to worry about money.

“And how much would you need for that?”

—I would say… nothing crazy, eh!… 2,000 euros a month for a lifetime.

Personal objects in David Riudor's room, such as the gold pen of a grandfather he did not know, the Tecnomagia Borras box (in whose creation he participated), padlocks and the lock picks to open them.
Personal objects in David Riudor’s room, such as the gold pen of a grandfather he did not know, the Tecnomagia Borras box (in whose creation he participated), padlocks and the lock picks to open them.Jordi Adrià / EPS

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