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Know Brickstarter I: Lemonway and other platform risks

Know Brickstarter I: Lemonway and other platform risks

03 März 2020


I´d like to take the chance to talk to you and ask your opinion about some of our internal processes.

As you know, we have outsourced some very important processes to Lemonway, a French payment institution that takes care of our KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti Money Laundry) processes.

When you open an account with Brickstarter, you also open an account with Lemonway, and in order to invest you must validate your account also with them.

When you decide to invest in one of our opportunities, you don´t transfer the money straight to us. You transfer your money to your own wallet in Lemonway. They keep your money. And they don´t transfer the money to us till the opportunity is 100% funded.

The same when we give away dividends. Once we pay them, they are in your wallet and they are only accessible by yourself.

Lemonway is our most expensive IT provider. I can understand why many platforms don´t work with them. They are expensive, and their services are, at least, improvable.

What it´s more important we would (definitely) deliver a better service to our investors if we handle all these processes ourselves.

We would save a lot of money if we could get rid of Lemonway. Period.

Downsides of working with Lemonway

We receive lots of emails concerning all these issues. We know it takes some time to validate an account with Brickstarter. We know it is annoying when you have to upload another picture of your ID because the first one is slightly blurry…. or that we should be accepting Transferwise and Paysera...

We know that we are losing investors and investment and could be saving money if we would manage all these services ourselves.

Transferwise and Paysera.

We know how popular Transferwise and Paysera services are. I have already opened an account myself (which I love) and we even have a business account for Brickstarter.  As much as we´d love to receive investment from you through Transferwise and Paysera, that would imply managing your money ourselves, and as we said, that´s against our principles. For the time being, we will keep on looking for better alternatives always keeping our investor's security paramount

Security first: no one has access to your money but you.

So why are we using Lemonway instead? Well honestly, it doesn´t make any sense from the business point of view. It has more to do with our principles, and that´s probably why it is a little harder to explain.

The only reason why we use Lemonway is because no one should have access to your money. No one but you.

Yes, not even us or any platform.

No exceptions.  

That´s why even though Lemonway (or any other authorized provider) may have lots of downsides, (especially from the usability and efficiency point of view,) we think it can add another layer of safety and security to our investors and that should prevail over any other matter.

Let us be perfectly clear. Keeping investors funds on a separate escrow account is not enough. Investors must understand all the risks.

What if the company has its funds seized or frozen? There are many reasons why that can happen. Is not than uncommon. You don´t need to do something illegal for that to happen.

Although someone may think that we are talking about extraordinary measures, in Brickstarter we think that these are the scenarios we must be prepared for when deciding about our risk and security policies. That´s why we decided that our investors money must stay in their own accounts: because it´s safer. That is true, and we have to be honest about that. There´s nothing wrong about it.  

José María Pascual


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