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Dear Salv family,

I went for a run this morning in the countryside near my home. I met 3 goats, 1 fox, some geese likely flying back from Egypt, and had some time to think.

It’s strange to think that what was normal for us a week ago is no longer normal.

COVID-19 is serious. And it’s on all of our minds. It’s so easy to wake up and consume worrying news, blogs, and social media posts throughout our days. Then, as a result, we end up falling deeper and deeper into this pit of anxiety and fear. (At least I assume I’m not the only one who’s been struggling with this.)

But I’m also starting to realize, like you probably are, that this is our new reality. We’re all stuck in our respective homes (sometimes with screaming kids), doing as much as we can to help ourselves, our families, and our communities around us. Sadly, we already know that these numbers will continue their devastating trending upwards, but at some point, like it or not, our internal “normal” will reset. Our panic will start to subside.

Let me make this clear, keeping you and your loved ones safe still comes first, but I’m also seeing that, almost more than ever before, Salv’s mission needs you, Salvers. Our future at Salv is still bright.

Let me try to explain why.

Money laundering won’t be pausing any time soon

Maybe you’ve noticed, in the midst of your panic news reading, that there are already articles popping up that highlight COVID-19 scams. At first, I couldn’t believe it, “Really? Right now? You pick this time to pick on the most vulnerable among us? What kind of despicable human being would do that!?!?”

But then I paused and it dawned on me what we’re working to do at Salv. #beatfinancialcrime

Our entire mission is to stop criminals who take advantage of society’s weakest so that they as criminals can profit. It woke me up — if there are already shady people taking advantage of the weak right now, then it’s important for me to remember that money launderers won’t be taking a pause just because the world is in crisis. If anything, they’ll double down on their efforts because they’ll be convinced this is the easiest time for them to get away with crime. Which is why, Salvers, what we’re doing is more important than ever.

Money laundering still has a huge global impact

This morning, as I was trying to order my thoughts, I did a quick calculation and realized that the AML problem we’re solving incredibly still has a BIGGER impact on the world’s economy, human lives, and quality of living, than COVID-19 probably is going to have. With dire circumstances and vulnerable populations, sex trafficking, wildlife trafficking, and child labour trafficking is likely going to skyrocket in the coming months. Just because it isn’t visible in our daily lives doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Yes, we must do everything we can to help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the world around us right now, but at Salv we have a fighting chance to help protect those even more vulnerable than ourselves.

Salv is in a lucky position

Unlike many other businesses in these increasingly troubling times, we’re in a very fortunate place as a company. We aren’t operating a physical storefront, we already have a great financial runway, and our investors and enterprise customers will continue to be a huge encouragement. In the coming days, to help reduce costs, the businesses we help will likely cut out spend on things like marketing — not compliance. Which means that we’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

We have a huge part in determining our destiny

And last, but not least, we’re in full control of our company. As shareholders and very early employees, we can do whatever feels right in the current circumstances — in many big orgs you often have to worry about “someone else” deciding important things that define your company’s destiny. Luckily, we don’t. Of course, that also means that each of us have a huge responsibility. But many successful companies were founded around the previous world crises (e.g. Skype right after the dot-com and TransferWise after the 2008 financial crisis). Which means it’s up to us to adapt to and through these current turbulent times. Because nothing is certain anymore.

So, all in all, I’m encouraged about our future. A bunch is going to change, some for the worse, but some for the better. So let’s lean on each other, our loved ones, and the great stuff we’ve built so far to get through these difficult times and come out on the other side as a salve to the world to beat financial crime.

Still doing what we can,

Taavi

CEO & Co-founder @ Salv