EXCLUSIVE: What Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael Says Makes The Fintech Unique
Bakkt Holdings Inc (NYSE:BKKT) CEO Gavin Michael spoke with Benzinga Thursday in the wake of the fintech's first-quarter earnings report.
While Michael discussed the company’s quarterly performance, he was most eager to talk about how users can earn crypto rewards through simple everyday activities — and what Bakkt is working on to bring this unique concept to scale.
First, some insight.
Bakkt is a fintech with the goal of integrating and democratizing the new crypto economy with the existing fiat economy through various partnerships, allowing everyone to engage in the rapidly expanding crypto industry.
“Our vision is to connect the digital economy. We’re here to unlock the power of digital assets and help our partners participate in this new and dynamic economy, that is being powered by these digital assets.” Michael told Benzinga.
The platform focuses on four core capabilities, he said:
- Crypto Connect: The ability to enable Bakkt's partners to buy and sell crypto.
- Crypto Rewards: The ability to earn and redeem points for crypto.
- Crypto Payments: The ability to pay with digital assets, earned points or to be paid in crypto.
- Powering Loyalty: This is "the ability to help brands deepen and broaden the engagement they have with their customers,” Michael said.
What is the company’s most exciting product? “We love everything about our platform, but if I had to differentiate, I’d choose crypto rewards We think this is a really unique space for us to create a value proposition. We believe in the notion of passive acquisition, being able to build crypto stores through simple, everyday activities. We’re excited to bring this concept to scale through the sorts of platform partners we have.”
How does the current state of the (crypto) market affect the business? "The markets are obviously very choppy,” said Bakkt CFO Drew LaBenne.
“I think anyone who’s involved in crypto is used to that volatility and expects it. I think some people who are new to the markets can be scared off, but to those who are committed, this presents a buying opportunity.”
Do you have any competition? “The platform we have works at the intersection of crypto, payments and loyalty. When you think about the company in that respect, we are somewhat unique in the market. While we have competitors in each of those aspects, the fact that our platform supports all three and works with our partners to combine them is really the competitive mode for the company," Michael said.
Lauren Post, Bakkt's vice president of communications, said: “You’re going to see us really and aggressively invest in the business, and that’s intentional. From a spending perspective, we are in scale and growth mode, you’ll see that in our earnings, and it will be a continuation of our story for some time.”
Bakkt reported first-quarter earnings on Thursday, posting net revenue of $12.5 million, for an increase of 54% year-over-year. This missed a Street estimate of $13.7 million.
BAKKT Price Action: Shares of Bakkt gained 30.54% Thursday, closing at $2.80, according to Benzinga Pro.