In a nutshell: ipushpull is a real-time data sharing and workflow platform that allows customers to deliver the right data at the right time to the right place. It’s used by banks, asset managers, brokers and data service providers worldwide, to share data easily, build workflows and transform business models.
ipushpull’s co-founder and CEO, Matthew Cheung, is also the founder of Work In Fintech, a diverse and inclusive mentoring and work experience programme for high school, college and university students, to encourage more people into a career in fintech.
Argella: What’s your background?
Matthew Cheung: I’ve been an entrepreneur for most of my working life. Having spent a couple of years as a graduate in investment management and trading, I set up my first company in 2005 – a fintech company which provided real-time news and analysis. I did that for ten years but wanted to get more involved in the tech side of fintech. At the same time, I found myself talking to colleagues, peers and clients about the challenges of sharing real time risk data. As a result, I was one of three co-founders who came together and started building out the platform now known as ipushpull. That was six years ago and we’re now selling to enterprise and B2B clients worldwide.
Argella: What makes you tick as an entrepreneur?
Matthew: I enjoy the constant challenge – it forces me to adapt and refocus every day. I’m always learning. Entrepreneurs need to be generalists by nature – you have to understand everything that’s going on in your business. If you need specialists then hire them in – and make sure you try to hire people who are smarter than you!
Argella: What do you worry about?
Matthew: Not being able to move quickly enough – most entrepreneurs are working with a limited set of resources and a very long to-do list. As a business grows, you’re constantly having to manage resources, and I always question myself around if I’m anticipating problems and getting ahead of them early enough.
Argella: What’s your advice for prospective entrepreneurs?
Matthew: I think it would depend on how old they are. Younger people tend to have less responsibility in terms of families, mortgages etc, and therefore can afford to take bigger risks. I’d recommend they do just that – get really deep into something that interests you, and then you can always back out if it’s not working.
Many founders are in their forties or older, which helps because they have learnt a lot by then, but risk taking is also much harder – you generally have more to lose. On that point, it’s important to accept that you’re probably going to make lots of mistakes, some big, some small, but they’ll all help you learn something.
I’d also make sure people are aware that it’s very hard work! It involves many hours and lots of juggling around work and life. But it’s very rewarding when things go to plan – you just need an appetite for risk and a good level of resilience.
I’d strongly recommend finding a mentor if you can. I do a lot of mentoring now and have seen the benefits – I wish I’d had a mentor in my twenties. Finally, it’s worth remembering that you’re the sum of the people you hang out with, so work hard to build your network in person, and make sure you’re following good people on social media – there is some good advice and useful resources out there, mostly for free.
Argella: Tell us one thing people wouldn’t know about you
Matthew: I’m obsessed with exponential technology – AI, quantum computing, the metaverse. I’m constantly thinking about how we’ll live and work in the future – how will my five year old be using technology by the time she’s working? How can we take advantage of new technologies now? It’s a fascinating topic.
How have you found working with Amar and Argella so far?
Amar is very well connected which has been a big help for us – he’s always thinking about us when he meets new people, and has made some valuable introductions. He’s definitely got our best interests at heart, and if he can’t help us directly, he’ll help us find someone who can.
To find out more about how Argella advises and advances growing tech businesses, visit www.argella.co.uk. For more information on ipushpull, visit www.ipushpull.com.