How a serial founder uses AngelList Stack and Puzzle to manage his business

Helen Chong

Oleg Kozyrev is a serial founder and is most recently the founder of Tingz, a platform which enables creators to monetize their relationships with superfans. Tingz provides various monetization mechanics — such as wishlist or wheel of fortune — on a single page to make fans’ donation experiences more entertaining and interactive.

Although Oleg does not have formal training in accounting, he uses AngelList Stack and Puzzle to give himself and the team at Tingz superpowers for creating and managing his business, far beyond the typical startup with only 10 employees.

Here’s the interview with Oleg:

Can you share a bit about Tingz, including the current scale and business model?

We emigrated in December 2021 and launched our MVP in May 2022. We incorporated quickly with the help of AngelList Stack and use it to manage our cap table and investor communications.

Tingz is in the creator economy space, and the industry is changing right now. Previously like 95 percent of the money to creators was from advertisement and brand-related revenue. In the last two, three years, there has been a growing trend of direct payments from users to creators. It's some donations and some payment for extra content.

And so we built Tingz, which provides a set of tools for creators to monetize their relationship with their true fans. We build a lot of different mechanics for a superfan or just fan to interact with the creator and get some attention just to buy some items or to buy five seconds of fame.

You have also founded and built other companies before Tingz. What led you use AngelList and Puzzle for the first time with Tingz?

One was Rocketbank, which was a mobile-first bank, like Chime or Revolut. And it was pretty huge; we had about 1 million users. And another was called Local Kitchen, which does food delivery of prepared packaged foods using a network of retail kitchens and delivery.

At these previous companies, we tried to build some internal tools to make some reporting and reconciliations. We set up a lot of our compliance and business processes manually, which took a lot of time. We always wanted better systems that would help us automate some of these processes that we had to do ourselves.

It helps to have a bigger picture, helicopter view. Right now, Tingz is not a huge company, and we don't have a huge team; it’s only 10 people. But I want to have the business in control at the start. I want to put good accounting into the DNA of the company. I really feel that it's important that you keep track from the beginning; later on it will help us when we will hopefully be bigger and more complex.

“But I want to have the business in control at the start. I want to put good accounting into the DNA of the company. I really feel that it's important that you keep track from the beginning; later on it will help us when we will hopefully be bigger and more complex.”

Using AngelList and Puzzle make business setup and financial management possible for teams of any size!

Why did you decide to manage your accounting yourself as the founder?

Disclaimer, I don't have an accounting education, and I don't have a CPA, but I believe that it's really important for the founder or entrepreneur or some C-level [person] to keep track of accounting. It's really useful and important to understand what is happening inside your company, inside your finances.

It's really hard to find people and accountants who understand the goal of accounting for a founder. It's not just about taxes. Yes, that’s one issue which we need [our accounting] to deliver. But the main thing is an information system or management of the company. And really, a lot of accountants don't feel that pain, because they mainly just try to follow the rules for taxes and regulations.

How often do you review your financials internally or share with investors?

I log into Puzzle almost every day or at least a few times a week to review our position. And we have established meetings every month to see our P&L and balance sheet. I sit down with Kirill, the co-founder of Tingz, to see how things are going regarding net revenue and how much money we have left with runway projections.

We share status updates with our investors each month. Our investors use AngelList. We describe what we learned, what we are going to do next, and a financial update, including how much money is left and our runway. We share a P&L and balance sheet for the month from Puzzle.

How do you expect to use AngelList and Puzzle as you grow?

In the future, when new investors come and see that we are serious about keeping track of what is happening with the money and our cap table and can speak in detail about anything that has happened, they will be more confident to invest in that kind of company.

The AngelList and Puzzle integration is really nice because you can have some dashboards within AngelList, and you can easily share with your other shareholders and investors and employees.

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Helen Chong
Growth @ Puzzle

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