Fireside Chat with Aldo Mora Sanchez, Co-Founder at Peccala

July 15, 2022
5 min read

Hailing from Mexico, Aldo Mora Sanchez has a deep passion for neuroscience, having a Ph.D. in Neuroengineering and Applied Mathematics, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Before joining Peccala, he was the CEO and co-founder at Immune Compass, where he aimed to use AI algorithms to help make better matches for egg and sperm donors. Now, he has teamed up with JJ Jones and Laura Arcade to help people achieve passive income.

Aldo, tell us a bit about yourself.

After completing my bachelor’s in Physics in Mexico, I left and moved around to various places such as France, the UK, Sweden, and currently, I’m in Estonia. I used to be a musician and combined my studies with music school. I played the cello, but it’s a large instrument to travel around with, so I don’t play as much anymore. I love to learn various instruments. I set the goal to learn one song, and then put it back on the shelf. Aside from that, I love to travel a lot. I especially enjoy staying in a single city for 1–2 months to understand the society and political situation and learn the history. Even if it’s on a superficial level, I just love to know how the world works. Also, I’m an adventurous eater, so I’ll sometimes even travel to a place just to try a specific cuisine.

I’m really passionate about the brain. It’s probably the most complex object known to us, and yet imagine neuroscience is all about that object trying to learn about itself.

What work experience do you have?

I’ve been doing research most of my life. I did my bachelor’s in Physics since I felt passionate about the universe and all the weird things behind it — how things behave from the subatomic level, to black holes and the stars. I soon realized that as vast and interesting as it is, physics could still be restrictive, and that you can spend your whole life in it without making an impact.

So then I did my masters in applied mathematics because I can go into any field and make some kind of contribution. I’ve been involved on many projects, from policy making in agriculture to neuroscience, as I’m really passionate about the brain. It’s probably the most complex object known to us, and yet imagine neuroscience is all about that object trying to learn about itself. I also studied the human immune system, I worked for a startup that does quantum computing for finances, and worked in the fertility domain with my own company, Immune Compass, where I tried to improve the process of gamete donation and achieve a better success rate for recipients.

Unfortunately, my co-founder and I had overlooked the changing regulations in Europe, and compliance ended up depleting our budget. In the meantime, I was working on my side project which is now Peccala and that’s currently what I’m focusing on.

How did you come up with the algorithm behind Peccala?

I was working on Peccala for about 4–5 years. It started as a part-time gig on the side. I was writing a scientific article about the mathematical similarities between data I collected from the brain, and financial data, since I was doing my Ph.D. in neuroscience.

After all, both the brain and financial systems are made up of small elements that aren’t sophisticated on their own, but when combined, they create a complex environment, which becomes something entirely different. I also had friends who were crypto trading for fun and I started seeing an application for the toolsI was working on.

So I thought I could start doing some short-term predictions. I started being convinced that it could happen despite most of the quantitative finance community believing it is not possible. As my startup started to decline, I devoted more and more time to Peccala. Then, when I was stuck in Mexico for a few months due to the COVID-19 lockdown, I spent 10, sometimes 12 hours a day for five months improving the algorithms. When they became mature enough and I started making money off them, my friends and family wanted to invest too, so I decided to make a product that everyone could benefit from.

I liked JJ and Laura because of their skills and personality and thought it was a good mix.

How did you meet the team?

We met in an early-stage VC in Berlin, Antler. They scout for people who have interesting profiles and then you can talk to the 50–60 people in your cohort to find a fit for your business. I liked JJ and Laura because of their skills and personality and thought it was a good mix. We’re aligned in the expectations and vision and that’s really important.

Why crypto?

I started trading myself for fun in 2017 but lost money at the beginning like everyone else. That’s why I thought of automating the trading so that I could avoid making emotional decisions and better detach. So the ambition was to automate it so I can robustly trust everything.

Despite not having much trading experience back then, I was familiar with creating algorithms from scratch, which I’ve done several times in different fields. as I started seeing positive results in my trading, I thought that if I could find a way to navigate its volatility while also getting high returns, then I could even offer this to other people. Some of my early users are super happy now because they can afford things they didn’t even think possible. For instance, one person who invested some months ago was now able to buy a car and even reinvest more than the initial capital.

So all in all, crypto gives you an opportunity that other assets don’t.

How would you describe Peccala’s mission?

In a nutshell, we all agree that we want to allow anyone to have access to resources or tools that are normally only available to wealthy people.

We also use our own tools personally. At one point, I was able to stop working and live off my earnings which allowed me to further improve them, to be confident to offer them to others. I’d like to give a financial product specifically to people who aren’t too familiar or wealthy enough for the financial ecosystem. I want us to reach mainstream audiences.

I actually was offered almost half a million before Antler to manage the money of a couple of individuals. Thanks to our performance last year, that amount would be significant now, but I don’t want to make quick money. I want to build something that could offer people passive income and more freedom to do things they might not afford otherwise.

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