Lujota is preparing for a full launch in Q1 of 2023. Right now the company is in the prototype development stage and already has 50 plus people on their waitlist. Join the waitlist here.
The concept for Lujota began 10 years ago in India, but Akhil Kanodia, the founder, knew it was too early. As he stated to Mug during our interview, “no one knew of digital currencies and the marketplace was not conducive.” Now, opportunities are golden for the launch of Lujota.
What is Lujota?
Simply put, Lujota is a gold savings and payment platform. Lujota allows customers to open an account similar to a standard bank account. Lujota has formally partnered with American National Bank whose headquarters are in Omaha, Nebraska for their initial service.
Once a customer opens an account, the customer is able to deposit cash. Lujota then purchases gold with the money deposited, and stores the physical gold at Texas Bullion Depository in the account holder’s name. Customers are then issued a debit card that they can start using. Once you begin using the debit card, Lujota will maintain the balance and sell the amount of gold on the open market. The customer will interact with her account via a mobile app which shows the account balance in USD as well as gold denomination.
Customers have the option to redeem their balance as gold coins or gold bars and the desired amount is shipped via insured bullion. As a customer, you have complete control of the gold holdings and you can use gold as an investment as well as cash. The advantages of owning gold backed money include: a hedge against inflation, gold transitions into a liquid asset, and flexibility. Akhil stated in an interview with Levi Cermak, “gold acts as a stable asset, is the best known hedge against inflation, and now people can use it like money.” (Maverick Venture Fund Interview, 2021).
A problem that Lujota aims to solve is the fact that paper currency is losing its power through inflation. For years, economists have argued about the relative value of gold as an inflation hedge. Many have cited multiple market downturns when gold has remained stable and provided a hedge against inflation. Others have argued that gold operates within its own market cycle – with supply and demand driving prices independent from inflation. However, no one can argue that the effect of inflation in 2022 has been significant for many households. For more information on impacts of inflation, view the Wall Street Journal article recently published called “Higher Inflation is Probably Costing You $276 a Month”. (Guilford, 2022).
The Team Behind Lujota
Lujota was founded in April of 2021 by Akhil Kanodia, currently an MBA candidate at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, 3 time founder (other startups include Christian Bag and Easy English Speaking), and is the Assistant Director of the Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship at James Madison University. Check out his full bio here. His long time friend, Arshad Khan, is the Directory of Technology at Lujota. Arshad has had numerous software development roles at a variety of companies including Microsoft, Ebay and Yahoo. His current role is Director of Engineering at Roche which is the largest pharmaceutical company in the world.
Lujota has received funding from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development Prototype Grant which they are utilizing for prototype development. Once the prototype is developed, a beta test will be conducted with those on their waitlist. With successful trials, Lujota will be fully launched in the United States first, then globally. After the full launch, revenue streams include: interchange fees, storage fees, commissions from buying, selling, and trading of gold commissions, and physical gold delivery.