Harnessing AI For Global Success: A Closer Look At Opuna

by Marios Roussos
Igor Monakhov, co-founder of Opuna

Igor Monakhov share his vision for worldwide entrepreneurship

In our days, digital transformation and rapid technological progress are revolutionising industries at an extraordinary speed, forward-thinking entrepreneurs are leading this change by developing platforms that enable people worldwide.

One such trailblazer is Igor Monakhov, co-founder of Opuna, who is set to redefine the landscape of online entrepreneurship. With a robust background spanning 25 years of pioneering in the digital space, Monakhov has consistently demonstrated an acute understanding of the evolving needs of online businesses and the potential of technology to democratise opportunities.

In this exclusive interview, Monakhov delves into the inspiring story behind the founding of Opuna, a groundbreaking marketplace designed to simplify the creation and sale of digital products and services through the power of artificial intelligence. He reflects on his extensive entrepreneurial journey, highlighting how his prior experiences have shaped the development and launch of Opuna.

Monakhov candidly discusses the formidable challenges faced during the early stages of Opuna and the innovative solutions his team employed to overcome them.

Further, he shares his passion for innovation and his unwavering commitment to helping others succeed, offering valuable insights into the dynamic trends currently shaping the digital product marketplace. From the exciting reception of Opuna on Product Hunt to the transformative potential of Web3, NFTs, and blockchain technologies, Monakhov provides a comprehensive overview of the industry’s future direction.

As a company strategically positioned in Cyprus, Opuna benefits from a unique blend of global talent and local support structures, navigating both opportunities and bureaucratic hurdles with resilience. Monakhov offers sage advice for entrepreneurs looking to establish a business in this burgeoning ecosystem, emphasising the importance of patience and strategic planning.

Looking ahead, Opuna aims to revolutionise how users interact with AI, offering seamless integration with popular messaging platforms and a commitment to continuous improvement based on user feedback. This interview not only highlights the innovative spirit driving Opuna but also underscores Monakhov’s dedication to creating a more accessible and lucrative online marketplace for digital entrepreneurs worldwide.

The beginning

Can you share the story behind the founding of Opuna? What inspired you to create a marketplace of this kind?

My partners and I had a desire to help people earn money online. We wanted to help people from all over the world who dream of earning with the help of technology to achieve that goal. Our vision is that the development of AI makes the creation of digital products and services increasingly simple, and we want to make online entrepreneurship with the help of AI accessible and easy for millions of people.

How has your previous entrepreneurial experience influenced the development and launch of Opuna? 

When I started my journey 25 years ago, I helped entrepreneurs earn money online. They were interested in how to create their website, where to host it, how to attract users, and how to monetize them. Gradually, by helping entrepreneurs, I began to create products such as ad networks for websites aimed at helping them earn money from online advertising. Almost my entire successful business journey has been through affiliate programs that help others earn. Several successful businesses within Embria, where I was a co-founder, also utilized affiliate program mechanisms. For example, Propeller Ads is an affiliate program for websites looking to earn more.

Challenging passion

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced during the early stages of Opuna, and how did you overcome them?

The very first challenges were about how to help people sell any digital product in a way that was simple and understandable. Here, we were inspired by the Apple App Store, which allowed for the creation and sale of literally any goods and services in the form of applications. We implemented a marketplace for AI applications.

The second challenge was the implementation. Creating such a product is very technically difficult. Fortunately, my partners are extraordinarily talented programmers and architects.

And something more personal, what drives your passion for innovation and entrepreneurship?

I enjoy helping people earn money and earning money myself. I feel successful and useful if someone has earned with my help. Plus, I need money to help other people. I believe that charity is a very important activity.

Transformative potentials

Can you tell us about the recent launch of Opuna on Product Hunt? How has the initial reception been?

Product Hunt users are very responsive and creative. They helped us realize that there is a great interest in a web store for such AI applications. Perhaps the main value of this launch is the user feedback, and it’s also very nice that everyone congratulated us on the launch. It feels like a birthday as if we are celebrating our birthday. And everyone on our team noticed this.

What trends do you see currently shaping the digital product marketplace industry? Do you have any tips for Web3, NFT, and blockchain industries in the next few years?

I see development trends. Web3, as a principle where content creators participate in profits at all levels, is moving across the globe at a tremendous speed. It’s no surprise that YouTube shares its advertising revenue. We want to go further and not only share revenues but also offer reward points for creating content and attracting users, which can later be exchanged for tokens and NFTs as our brand gains value.

NFTs are incredibly useful tools for major brands like Dior and Louis Vuitton; it’s no wonder this industry is especially popular in France. Blockchain, in general, is developing at the same speed as the internet once did. Yes, compared to AI, it seems slow. But objectively, it is incredibly fast. For example, Swiss banks now allow holding digital assets on their balance sheets, and this is snowballing.

A unique value in Cyprus

How do you see Opuna positioning itself in the market compared to other platforms?

Our unique positioning now focuses on creating products and services using AI. Yes, you can sell your GPT chatbot through, for example, Patreon or Gumroad. But it’s inconvenient, requires programming skills to create a chatbot on some platforms, and most importantly, it will be inconvenient for users, which means less money. With us, you can list and start selling your chatbot directly on Opuna.com without needing to know how to program, and without requiring the user to switch from one site to another.

What unique value does Opuna offer to digital content creators and consumers?

We can offer you to create a single link, through which users can access your unique chatbot on Opuna.com, purchase access, and gain access to exclusive community and educational materials for buyers.

What advantages and challenges have you encountered while founding and operating a company in Cyprus?

The ability to hire foreigners for our company is very valuable. We have a Cypriot company with a distributed team from Thailand, Indonesia, Cyprus, and Georgia. There are also many bureaucratic challenges – for example, registering a new company took three months. We were refused registration of the company name Opuna without explanation, and we had to try different names containing Opuna, completely without feedback, to find a name that would be allowed.

How has the startup ecosystem in Cyprus evolved in recent years, and what support structures are in place for new entrepreneurs?

The dialogue between the government and entrepreneurs is beneficial. For example, TechIsland is a community of entrepreneurs in dialogue with the government – it greatly helps to understand the issues and represents the interests of tech entrepreneurs. I am very grateful to the government of Cyprus for being interested in the development of technology and for being willing to solve problems. Problems are common, but dialogue with the government is unusual and very valuable.

Looking forward

Can you share any insights or advice for other entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Cyprus? And what are your plans for Opuna?

Be patient; in recent years, opening accounts in Cypriot banks, for example, has become a months-long quest. However, it is still a very good location for business.

Soon, it will be possible to interact with AI directly on Opuna.com. Later, we plan to help with creating and customizing your solutions. We also plan to integrate with messengers like Telegram and Discord so that AI chatbots can communicate with users where they already are. We have many plans, and their order largely depends on the feedback from our users.


Become a Speaker

Become a Speaker

Become a Partner

Subscribe for our weekly newsletter