Blog Banner: Erik Ashdown: “Why I’m excited to join Covalent”

Erik Ashdown: “Why I’m excited to join Covalent”

"I don't think the market is big enough for your company…"

That's what I told Ganesh Swami when we met in a coffee shop back in August 2018 after hearing about Covalent for the first time.

"Maybe it isn't, but it will be..." was Ganesh's response.

At the time, I wasn't sure how one would grow a SQL database that indexes public blockchain data.

  • Who is the ideal customer?
  • Why should anyone care?
  • How long will it take this market to mature in order to be relevant?
  • What would be the catalyst to accelerate Covalent?

I didn't know, neither did he. We parted ways but agreed to keep in touch, which we did.

"We need to chat. When is a good time?"

Fast forward to September 2020.

I opened my Telegram app and saw a message from Ganesh: "We need to chat. When is a good time?"

We met at a coffee shop in East Vancouver. He proceeded to tell me about how they nearly shuttered after almost two years, and they now have a list of impressive clients both within the crypto space as well as clients outside of crypto. In addition, he went on to share how Covalent had raised an oversubscribed round of $3.1M USD in a private sale round.

To quote Owen Wilson, "Wow" 🤯

I sit there in awe as he tells me this story, remembering what I had said in August 2018, "I don't think the market is big enough for your company". Not regretting anything I said but genuinely happy that someone I know, and respect had answered the tough questions and was now starting to scale his business. Ganesh proceeded to tell me multiple stories about things that are happening as I listened, excitedly.

Having digested this conversation, I knew there was no exaggeration because Ganesh has always been a man of integrity, both humble and pragmatic. In crypto, a rising tide raises all ships so DeFi growth has been universally good for everyone in the space, especially people looking to learn more about layer 1 or layer 2 chain action.

At a certain point he stops and says, "So how much time can you commit to this?" I laughed and smiled. He didn't know that I parted ways with Bidali three weeks earlier and had been evaluating opportunities just days prior. I told him that I would get back to him.

As I started to reflect, it became obvious how much of a misnomer the accessibility of public blockchain data is. Yes, it is public, it is visible, but it is near inaccessible for a non-technical user since it requires an understanding as to how to set up graphs, aggregate data, index, accordingly even before visualizing anything.

Covalent has unlocked the potential to pull data from a public blockchain in real-time. The fact that there is now a way to index public blockchain governance/non fungible token activity and calculate taxes on decentralized finance platforms is a very powerful thing. By making the data accessible, people will find a myriad of ways to make it useful and innovate in ways that have not been seen yet in this space. This gives people access to data in a way that is familiar. This is crucial.

I sit here today, one week after joining the Covalent team, excited. Excited to work with exceptionally smart people, with an exceptionally strong vision. The cherry on top? This came from Vancouver, Canada from a person I know and respect.

Thanks Ganesh. I'm happy to be part of telling this story!