Wealth.com is perhaps one of the top domain names on the Internet. This powerhouse of a domain represents the ability to dominate a whole host of different industries.
In late 2020, a highly experienced Internet entrepreneur, Rei Carvalho, acquired Wealth.com and in March 2022, Carvhalho and his team launched Wealth to the world.
Wealth is a revolutionary estate planning platform for the 21st century built on a multi-layered security system with top-level encryption. The Wealth platform provides a dynamic overview of your current assets, from cars to crypto.
Here, I chat with Rei about his entrepreneurial journey, how he started Wealth, and the importance of domain names as both an entrepreneur and an investor.
Could you tell me a little bit about your entrepreneurial background?
I'm Brazilian, from the Internet era. I have a very intriguing email address. People say, 'Oh, how did you get that?' It is because I started when the Internet started.
I started with the ISP in Brazil, spreading the Internet around. Then I came to the US and launched a startup as a kiosk manufacturer, and then I started Emailage in 2012.
How did your new startup, Wealth, come about?
Wealth came about as a result of personal need. I didn't want to open a new company. I promised my wife that I wouldn't be a CEO anymore, and we had just sold Emailage, so I had no commitment to anybody. But because of my own needs, I started creating Wealth.
Then I realized that there was a huge blank space and that I should be providing something. I did a market study, and then I had to come up with a name for that idea.
I couldn't think of a better name than Wealth. I was trying to find something else, but the name stuck in my mind. I knew that there was nothing better than Wealth.
The name helps us in the first stage of the product today. But it also helps us, will help us in the future. We have a huge roadmap and an amazing vision for the products that we're going to launch.
What does Wealth do, and what issues does it solve?
The product is based in different parts. We started with estate planning first, mixed with PFM (Personal Financial Management), so you know what you have in terms of family assets. Normally, you check your assets, and then a year later, it's outdated.
We wanted to make sure users have everything in one place, updated automatically. So in a year or two from now, the data is still there, but the values are different. Then we marry this with estate planning, so if anything happens, who's going to have what?
It is organic plus dynamic estate planning because your assets change all the time, your life changes, and in the estate plan, you should also be following that. So usually, you create an estate plan, but a year later, it's outdated.
Wealth is something dynamic that follows where you are. For example, I moved from Arizona to California to Colorado. So the laws there are different than the laws in Colorado and Arizona. The system should know that I moved and should say, 'Hey, based on where you are now, there are a few things that we have to change. You want us to do that for you?' And then boom, you have it all covered.
There's no need to go back to an attorney and scratch your head and try to find the differences. That's our first horizon.
Is Wealth a subscription-based service?
Yes. It is a subscription model, SaaS-based, and there are different tiers where you pick what best serves you.
We're making it very cheap, cheaper than anybody else, much cheaper than if you go to an attorney. So it's very approachable.
It's not going to be a big investment. It's going to be more like a small fee every month. You're not only going to get estate planning, but you're also going to have visibility of your assets.
You'll go to one place to see all your stuff. You don't need to go to Coinbase to check your wallet anymore. You can go to our place, and we will show you everything. Crypto is one of the biggest things but we're also integrating a stock option because every company now in the US, especially startups, provides stock option plans for employees. And sometimes, they don't have visibility. They don't know how much it's worth. So you can give that visibility to them through Wealth.
So, estate planning is something people think is transactional. But we're making it into more of a day-to-day thing that you can show your family.
How did you go about acquiring Wealth.com?
When I thought about the name, I started researching the domain and did some digging on the web. There's a Wall Street Journal article from about 10 years ago that says who will buy Wealth.com? Then I realized that the domain was still available.
After I found out that it was available, I had to find out who owned it. Then I went through the process of talking to the person. Initially, I didn't say what my idea was, but he was set on the price. He knew the true value of the domain.
I also knew it was a key name, and we finalized the deal. I think it was Thanksgiving Day in 2020. I can't disclose the price, but it was not cheap. It was very expensive, but I believe that we're going to see a lot of fruit from it.
You acquired the domain over a year before you publicly launched Wealth. Why was it such a key asset to acquire so early on?
Well, the domain name puts more pressure on us, right? So, you've made this big investment in a market. Then you have to make a sellable product.
I also think the domain brings trust.
Is the domain name important when it comes to people trusting your brand?
The domain name doesn't say everything. It doesn't tell the full story. Trust is not just the name. It starts with the name because they haven't heard of us. Then they will discover that we're more than just the domain.
One of the main reasons I wanted that domain is because of the trust factor, but I knew that it was just the beginning. There are a bunch of things we're doing to bring trust to the game.
The other thing about the name is that it is generic enough that we can go into different areas. We can do a bunch of other things, and we don't need to change the domain.
NFTs and cryptocurrency are available to add to your platform. Can users add domain names too?
Sure. Of course, not everybody has super-valuable domain names, but it's a digital asset. NFTs, social media accounts, your email accounts, all those things can be added at Wealth. If anything happens, there is a way people can access them.
I know that domain names are an asset. Of course. When I bought Wealth.com I thought if nothing happens, we still have it as an asset.
What has been the reaction to your Wealth.com domain?
During fundraising, our plan was to talk about the product, the idea, and who we are. At the end, we talked about the name.
There are people that we hired who said, "Wow these guys are for real because they already have the domain name. I can't believe it."
For example, for people from Goldman Sachs, the domain itself told them, okay, these guys are for real. The domain name made a difference.
Some people might say, well, the .com is something from the past. Nobody talks about .com. That's not how it goes. You see Cyrpto.com, for example. It's amazing. It gives a sense of ownership over crypto. Because they have Crypto.com, somehow, for us humans, it links to other things.
So, when I told people that we have Wealth.com, people were like, 'man, this is the craziest thing ever.' Because it gave them a sense of the size of the idea behind this name, it's an amazing branding point. I believe in domain names.
Alongside your role at Wealth, you're an active investor, is that right?
Yeah, I've been investing in companies since 2017. At Bela Juju we have about 40 companies, so investing very aggressively. we spent $20 million last year, and I'm exposed to a lot of deals. Whenever I feel that there is an opportunity, I invest in it.
I think that's good for me, but also for the CEO that has been connected to me. I can open doors for them, and I've become an advisor for CEOs. I don't usually take board seats, but I do if it makes a lot of sense for them and for me, because it takes time. I don't want it to be 20 different boards.
I love the idea of entrepreneurship, the ideas and validating them and starting from scratch. So it's kind of my full-time job now. Of course, at Wealth, I have a team that takes care of it, but I'm not day-to-day, which gives me time to do all the other things.
Do you ever advise startups to acquire the right domain?
Yeah, I think it makes sense. I think the ability for people to find you quickly is important. I invested in a company called SpeedBird.aero, a drone company in Brazil.
Their domain name is their brand name, but it's a long name. When I invested in them, I led their Series A, and instead of giving them champagne because we closed the deal, I gave them a domain name. I gave them SpeedBird.com.
I gave it to them, so they don't lose any leads, but is also gives them the branding to go global. It's hard to tell people that your domain is .aero, but I think if the company goes with SpeedBird.com globally, everybody's going to know it.
It's very telling about how I feel about domain names. I think they're super important.
Thanks for Rei for chatting with me. If you're interested in signing up to use Wealth, you can visit Wealth.com to join the waiting list. you can also follow Wealth on Twitter, and you can find out more about Rei's investments at BelaJuju.com.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.