Editor’s Note: RayCo Media has been named to The Story Exchange’s list of 12 Brilliant Business Ideas.
RayCo Media, founded by Fairlane Raymundo and Rebecca Binny, bills itself as one of the first communications agencies in the world to incorporate buzzy Web3 expertise into the public relations strategies it crafts for businesses and nonprofits. What does that mean, exactly? The agency is doing everything from helping a domestic violence nonprofit use NFTs to earn income, to providing digital marketing for a cryptocurrency investment company. Binny adds that they will soon offer clients services for the metaverse. The Los Angeles company’s concept — featured in Yahoo! Finance, PR Week and more — speaks to the future of both our financial and business worlds, while doing some good in the process.
Here’s our lightly edited Q&A with Raymundo and Binny, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.
What was your reason for starting your business?
Raymundo: As an illustrator, I found a way to integrate my passion for creating digital art (which I sell as NFTs) with my career in marketing. I’m also passionate about trading cryptocurrency, and I saw the possibilities for how all these things can combine in the future, so I thought I’d step up and create it.
How do you define success?
Binny: While every endeavor has to be treated as a business to attain profitability and growth, what caused me to pivot early on in my entrepreneurial journey was the lack of and growing significance and need for support for social, environmental, and other greater causes. Success then was redefined, to me, as the ability to cast a wider net and set a longer table as my journey and business grow. The aim of generating wealth then becomes the vision to help those in need.
What is your biggest success so far?
Binny: I note several areas of success through my entrepreneurial journey beginning at a very young age and spanning across several continents. Two decades (and more than a handful of failures) later, I define my greatest success as the ability to overcome adversity, attributing this to a great resilience that I’ve cultivated over the years, and with this, touch the lives of various individuals through the businesses I’ve built and the endeavors I’ve pursued. I’ve been able to bring parts of my culture to America and integrating the east and west in businesses I’ve established, assimilated successfully into polar-opposite cultures and traditions, and advocating strongly for diversity and social entrepreneurship in all these ventures. In addition, my latest success is unraveling the advantages and of Web3 and the metaverse to grow and raise funds for nonprofit organizations and those they help.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Raymundo: The brilliance of technology, which has often overshadowed the need for humanity. I’m an artist, so I have a deep need for the human spirit as the source of all creativity. I love technology too, but we can’t be so seduced by it that we allow it to replace genuine human connection, concern, and nuance. When you’re an entrepreneur with a big idea you want to share with the world, it can feel constricting to work within a world obsessed with surface-level controversies.
Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?
Raymundo: My father passed away two years ago, during the pandemic, and I couldn’t go home to the Philippines, so my mother was there grieving him alone. At the time, we were the middle of creating a comic book NFT (he was doing the illustration, and I was doing the writing), and we never got to finish it. I had two choices: either wallow in pain that doesn’t change anything or try to finish what we started in his honor. I chose the latter.
What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs?
Raymundo: Defense is the greatest offense. If you want to venture into something big, first make sure your most basic needs are secure. You don’t necessarily need millions to start, but you need to be secure enough to know you can recover from a failure. Luck is a big part of success, not just hard work and brilliance.
How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?
Raymundo: I look at my own failures in the face and remember that I’m still okay, and I will get through this, too.
Who is your most important role model?
Raymundo: My parents, both emotionally and professionally. My father is an artist, and my mother is an administrator, and they instilled in me a balance between creativity and organization. The business idea is grounded in a creative idea, but we operate with money and capitalist operations in mind. I would also say Filipino revolutionary hero Jose Rizal, because after 300 years of the Philippines being under Spanish rule, Rizal led the revolution with his words, not with violence, and that actually led to Philippine’s independence. ◼