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The fintech empowering microentrepreneurs | IppoPay
Do you think digital payments are risky? This podcast episode will change your perspective!
Picture this. It’s the year 2006. Mohan K is a young engineer who was born in a village and managed to secure a job in Chennai as a web designer.
But he got laid off, and instead of accepting defeat, Mohan took inspiration from Zoho and decided to build his own business.
And that was the start of a 16-year journey into entrepreneurship.
Mohan failed many more times than he succeeded, but he never stopped trying and his sheer determination and resilience are what have made IppoPay one of the leading payment solutions companies in South India.
IppoPay is a Chennai-based fintech startup serving the vast underbanked and unbanked sector in India, helping it adopt digital banking swiftly.
They offer Banking as a Service (BaaS) solutions to traditional financial institutions by providing comprehensive technology APIs.
Mohan talks about his learnings over his long and varied path as an entrepreneur and shares how he created luck for himself multiple times.
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Mohan: I'm Mohan, co founder and CEO of IppoPay.
Akshay: What's like an elevator pitch of IppoPay?
Mohan: IppoPay is a verticalized payment infra startup.
Akshay: What is the implication of the word vertical here and what is the implication of the word infra here?
Mohan: Okay. So if you see other pay in the market, they go to horizontal. Okay.
Akshay: Other Pay means like Razorpay and Cashfree...
Mohan: They provide API, they provide the infrastructure for all the verticals, but IppoPay is something different. We go to the vertical, let's say we choose SME vertical. We go to into verticalized, understand the real problem and give them a full stack solution. So when we choose SME vertical the offline business retail so we wanted to help a 100% of their Transactions.
Akshay: Like People who sell say fruit juice and all the stuffs.
Mohan: So they walk all 365 days. You know they don't have a time to go to bank, open a bank account, all those stuff. So we help them to open a bank account within our applications. Okay. We offer a co branded debit card, which we partner with our banks and the QR code. So that means we give them a full stack solution for postcard vendors to keep their transactions in the digital format.
Akshay: Amazing. Very interesting. So we'll dig deeper into which all verticals you're targeting but yeah, that gives me an idea of vertical here. And what is the meaning of the word infra here? You said you are a payment infra.
Mohan: See infrastructure. We provide a mobile application, we provide a card, we provide soundbox like we consider all this infrastructure for their business. It's all like digital transaction in Infras.
Akshay: A payment gateway is just providing a checkout option at a time of checkout. So you in addition to that, you're also providing banking through the debit card and bank opening and all of that, and Yes. These additional services to enable payment. In today's world, is there a distinction between offline payments and online payments. There was a time when, for example, Pine Labs was known as the offline payment company. Like they would process through POS machines and like say a Razorpay would, or Cashfree would be online payment company. Does that distinction still exist? Are these two separate?
Mohan: Yeah, of course it's already exist. And even according to RBI, they have a different, policies and regulations for an offline and online.
Akshay: So most of these companies are doing both like pine labs is also now doing online.
Mohan: Yeah. Fine labs started as a offline focused startup. Now they just started into online payment gateway or payment checkout. Cashfree and RazorPay kind of people started purely focus online businesses, they provide end to end solution, checkout process for the e commerce marketplace if you run any online business they can integrate their API to collect the payments. So when I started, because I wanted to like, tell you the complete Journey ofIppoPay.
Akshay: Let's talk about your journey as a founder. You're a serial founder. What was the story behind the very first startup?
Mohan: Okay I'm originally from Rameswaram from a small village fisherman family, in Government school, very T2, T3 engineering college so, when I was entering into engineering, it was very difficult because first like up to 12th standard, I was studying Tamil medium. So I had a like complete struggle finishing my engineering, I still remember like my seventh semester I had 23 arrears. So 23 ideas plus..
Akshay: All the exams were in English..
Mohan: Yes you are right. From the Tamil medium, I was really struggle a lot and the same time it's not only about the medium, I'd say like I was about to enjoy my college life. Okay. So. 23 plus in the current semesters but I managed to finish my engineering like without a year when I come up when I came out of the college. Okay. 2006 I came to Chennai technically I didn't have any knowledge even in those days, if anyone asked me to tell about myself, I was struggling. I started my career as a web designer. Those days, only web designer and web developer. Nowadays, everything is changed like people are saying UI, UX, Frontend developer, Backend developer. I started as a web designer 2006. I joined a very small organization like only six people were working in the organization. That is the place I learned a lot. Then I wanted to start my own company. That was my passion and 2008 I started a small one. You know what? I'll tell you this, a small story. First company it was a very small company. We were doing all the static website in the organization. The second company which I chose, little bigger than the previous organization.
Akshay: Why second company? Within the same company only you can keep doing more things, right?
Mohan: Correct. I tried my best to like speak to my boss told him that, sir, let's take e-commerce website. Let's take like a dynamic big website.
Akshay: But he was very clear job.
Mohan: Yeah okay. He told me like Mohan you are fresher. How we can manage if I take this big project, I don't want to spoil my name. So then I decided to move out. I joined in another company, after 15 days of completion, like my boss called me to his cabin. He said, Mohan, I'm extremely sorry. You are not performing well. So you are to leave now. Then I said, sir, I completely accept. Because I know about myself. But here I'm learning a lot. Can you give me the opportunity as a fresher? He rejected. Then I tried my best to convince him. But, end of the day I failed. Then I said okay, sir. From tomorrow I'm not coming. No, you have to leave now. So that was a really, like a paining point. Then I left, I cried a lot. Then I decided myself saying that I couldn't tolerate, I couldn't control this failure. What should I do? If I no one can fired me in future, then my inner heart saying that then you got to be the boss if no one wants to fired. That was the moment I decided to start my own company. Okay, then I started as a freelancer first one year I used to do freelancing work. I go to the people meet people trying to take static website for you know 5000 6000 rupees that's how I started Romesoft. Okay So being in chennai we always fascinated by Zoho, right? Yes. So even all my friends like they said like we have to walk with Zoho kind of company, what infrastructure, what are people, what kind of salary they are giving, like a laptop the first day when you join so. I was really passionate about the Zoho. I start reading about Mr. Sridhar Vembu. He's my guru then while I'm doing Romesoft as a development company, I wanted to do start The first startup which I built was Topcook. This is a food tech. So I started before even you heard about the word called Swiggy. Zomato, those days like a review based website. So the logistics was not like familiar in those days. Only the restaurant people, whoever has a driver, they usually deliver.So I myself onboarded, around 300 restaurants. I didn't know what to do next. Okay. I failed. Then I started, I just changed the technology. I convert into a single restaurant management software. Okay. It's called Menu order App. And I didn't know what to do next. Failed. Then I started a company called Justmade. Inspired by JustDial, I was thinking, like now people going to JustDial, dial and get the service. What will be the next? People has to do it via email app. So this is also even before you heard about work called UrbanClap.
Okay. I started JustMail, I onboarded some AC mechanic kind of people failed. Then I started, I co founding with another people started Rawon as a B2B marketplace before Udaan, okay. So, like this like I founded seven startups. Wow. All got failed then like every time when I failed when I go to bed I feel like Very bad, very sad like sometimes even I didn't have the maturity, what I have right now, those days, right.
I usually cry but next day morning, I get up with the same power and energy. Okay. I usually say like no I'm not going to give up. Let me try again. Okay. So, after four or five failures, then later stage in a failure is used to me like failures. Like I used a lot about the failures now. One more failure. Let's try one more failure. So that's how, my journey was there like beforeIppoPay luckily, like I met a person in UI called Omar Binberg. We both co founded a startup called Felucy in 2018. So that's the place I learned about FinTech, banking, all those stuffs.
I was the co founder and CTO. My responsibility to build a product, technology, Omar was taking care of the business. That was my first success, you know. As I said, I came to Chennai in 2006. Okay. First success, which I saw in 2019, 13 years of my study. Wow. Okay.
Akshay: And Felucy was a B2B SaaS business?
Mohan: B2B FinTech, payment gateway, pure payment gateway. In UAE.
Akshay: Like a Cashfree, RazoPay model. Okay.
Mohan: So like what happened? I used to implement a lot of good things. I mean, new things. According to UAE is going to be like, it's just a new, but in India, I just copied from RazorPay and Cashfree. Simple. So in less than a year, we become a very famous even Forbes magazine listed a Felucy top 20 tech startup merchants most of the people, business people from India. So whenever I meet Indian people in UAE, they say like Mohan, product is amazing so why don't you focus something like this in India? I said, sir, I just start seeing the success in my life. Let me explore something more than we realize. So what happened one day, I reach out to Amrish Rao, PineLab CEO. So if it is FinTech he's the father of the FinTech. Okay. If it is payments, he's the one. So the person who founded CitrusPay and sold his company to $160 million, this is unbelievable. So out of my own curious and interest. I texted via LinkedIn Amrish. Okay. Amrish take a look this Felucy. I'm the co founder like give me your feedback so he replied within 10 minutes. He said the same, Mohan, this is amazing. Why don't you focus India? The market is very big. There is a UPI coming.
This is going to be the future. Why don't you consider to launch something like this in India? I was literally shocked. So now it's getting very serious because. The person who, done something big in the industry saying something, we ought to take it very seriously. That was the moment I decided I'm going to do something in India. Okay. And I pitched this idea to Omar. He said, okay. We spoke to our investor. They said, okay. I came to India and I called my friend Jay. He's a techie. He's a pure techie. I called Jay. I said, Jay, I have an idea, something like Fraser Paye. Okay. So would you like to join? He said, yes. Okay. Then we immediately like, started building a product, IppoPay. Okay. So one day like I called Jay, I say, Jay how about the name called IppoPay? Okay. IPPO means now in Tamil. So, because, we want to focus B2B. We are telling our merchant guys, we provide a technology tell your customer pay now.
Right. Okay. He said, Mohan. This is amazing name. Let's do it. The name. Okay. Then we registered a name. We do trademark, all those stuff. We started a January, 2020. Okay. So we hired the five people and me and Jay, seven people, we started together. Jay was focusing on building a product because when we decided to do something like this in India, we were clear about one thing we don't, we are not going to focus a white table. We don't outsource the technology to any other company. Let's build from the scratch. Okay. Because even I needed some time to.
Akshay: The Dubai product was also built from scratch?
Mohan: From scratch because the Dubai market is very small, okay. So for those market is enough, but when it comes to India, the scale is going to be like large. So even we changed that technology in IppoPay.
Akshay: You needed it to handle more transactions.
Mohan: Like, more transaction, more me scalability. So now I used to call my friends.
Akshay: One more question here IppoPay was focusing on what segment?
Mohan: I'll tell you this is very interesting story.
Akshay: Felucy was in with Segment and IppoPay was in with Segment.
Mohan: Okay. So Felucy was focusing online, small businesses.
Akshay: Like D2C websites?
Mohan: Yes, exactly. Right. Very similar to Razorpay. We provide API, we provide a payment link where the merchant can collect money from the customer. Okay. So when we founded IppoPay, we founded IppoPay for the offline retail businesses. You know, so I came from Ruler Village. I personally know what exactly they need. Okay. So we wanted to start, as a offline like Paytm, Phonepay kind of business. Okay. Then we start building a product. Okay. I spoke to a couple of banks, then I realized that if we need to do something like this, we need a lot of capital.
Akshay: Obviously, Paytm, Rozapay spent millions of dollars of investment spent.
Mohan: Exactly. So, they come up with a hundred million dollars of funding you can only penetrate or monetize from the lending side in the offline businesses. Obviously, the first year is going to be a complete burn, right? So... Then we changed our idea. Okay. If let's start online. Because the beauty of the online business is like you can start making money from the first transaction itself. Whether two rupees to 20 rupees. Revenue will start flowing from the first transaction, right? Then we change the technology to online business. We partner with again Recipe, Cashfree, couple of banks to start building a product. Okay. Now, we need to have a nodal account. To help online businesses I called a Very big like a startup bank in India, Chennai branch. I call them. I said I want to speak to the consent person who is handling payment gateway. The lady asked me like, what is payment gateway? I dropped the phone. Okay. There is no point to like spend my time. Then I, somehow I managed to like convince Mumbai team. Then I call reach to Chennai. I started working with the bank. Okay. The bank asked me to like, give me the, five years projection.
Okay. I don't know anything about projection. I don't know anything about Excel. No nothing. Right. I told them, boss, I don't know what I can do for next year. But you're asking me five years projection. No, banks must need this kind of projection. You should know how much volume you can do. How do I know how much volume I'll do for after six months. Okay. Then somehow like I used to, convince them. I spoke to them. They rejected. First reason they said, from Chennai. Payment gateway. Not possible. Okay. So no one was approached me before from Chennai. Second you don't have any experience in India for FinTech. Okay, then I spoke to that digital banking head.
Akshay: So all the struggle was for a nodal account. What is a nodal account?
Mohan: Nodal accounts, when we manage merchant's money. Okay. We are not eligible to handle everything on our own. So the bank has a specific account called nodal account to manage merchants money.
Akshay: Okay. The money sits there before it is further transferred to the receiver.
Mohan: Correct. So that I was very angry. I told the the digital banking head, I said, boss, if you don't accept, I'll go to the next bank. Okay. If they don't accept, I'll go to the third bank. No one accepted me and I'll occur a bank.
Okay. He said, Mohan, you are speaking out of your anger. This won't work. Okay. Then somehow like I finally managed to work with them after one year, the same digital banking head is about to leave from the bank. He met me in my office for the Curtis like last day. I remember when you spoke to me first time, you said you are going to acquire a bank, right? I was thinking this guy is like completely rubbish. He's talking rubbish stuff. Now I realize something on you that I'm very sure one day, you'll own a bank. Wow. So then that's how the journey started Akshay as per my plan, we were making money.
Akshay: What was your go to bucket how did you acquire?
Mohan: So we decided to focus day to day three merchants. Okay. And we connected with lots of referral partners. So let's say if you go to Delhi, if you go to like Punjab, there are some people, referral partners who has lots of tier two, tier three merchants.
Akshay: Distributor, FMCG distributor will have a lot of retailers that he will be supplying to.
Mohan: Yeah. So the register pay, cash free kind of people were focusing API, we were focusing invoicing and the payment links like if you don't have, let's say we were working with a freelancer, people the freelancers, most of the freelancer doesn't have a website. Right. So they provide a logo design. They provide some online services. We provide app, we provide an invoice option very similar to Zoho kind of they create an invoice, send it to their customer and collect the payments. Okay. So my focus was not API. My focus was tier two, tier three people who doesn't have a website. Okay. That's how we started. Then later like, I start getting some big merchants, you know decent merchants, we start making revenue that time we were still focusing.
Akshay: What kind of big merchants?
Mohan: So there are some, big merchants, good merchants from Chennai. It's not like Flipkart, Amazon. It's a decent..
Akshay: D2C companies or..
Mohan: D2C. So then finally like we were planning to raise funds. So when was this? This was 2020 like around the covid time. Okay. Second wave of you know.
Akshay: That the lockdown did not really impact too much because I guess online payments became more popular.
Mohan: Exactly. My development company I got a home set. Right. Impact big time, you know? But IppoPay is really helped me because those days we only, we were focusing, building a product. Okay. All our work from home, Jay was focusing that everything's like move to online. So I used to make a lot of zoom calls to convince the banks. Okay. It was easy for me. Otherwise we have to travel to the banks every time. Right. So when I started IPPO pay, most of my mentors relative, friends, all set, Mohan, don't do this. Okay? Because the competition thin margin, how you are going to compete with Razopay like Cashfree kind of people, right? Then, the real struggle started after I start raising funds. Okay? You won't believe Akshay, I pitched it to more than a hundred investors, more than a hundred and fifty guys.
Akshay: And it's just all like funds.
Mohan: You name any funds in India. Okay. Axel, Matrix. Okay. Two small angel investors. All are rejected.
Akshay: How did you keep going? 150 times you heard no, wow. That's amazing.
Mohan: You know what?, there was a time, lockdown time. Second wave lockdown time. Yourstory arranged a pitch session. Okay I should pitch it to 11 investors. 30 minutes slot. 11 investors all same day. They arrange the, they manage really well so every 30 minutes I ought to speak to the investors. Okay. 20 minutes pitch, 10 minutes Q and A. 11. Okay. I was prefer the end of the whole day. All 11 investors told me same rejection story. Same, no changes.
Akshay: Everyone felt, how will you compete with RazorPay?
Mohan: I was thinking maybe all these 11 people may be the close friends. They decided what to answer to Mohan. I don't know. Same, no changes. Not even the single word change, you know. Mohan, you can't do this. High competition. Like you can't compete with RazorPay. The margins is very low and same story. But I didn't give up. Trust me. Okay. So the same day I pitched it to one big top level guy at Flipkart, right? He asked me like Mohan, what is your USP? I said sorry, I don't have any USP right now. We just do what RazoPay guys are doing. But we'll come up with the USP later. We are in the very early stage. He said, Mohan, what is your USP? Sir, I don't have a USP. Third time, Mohan, what is your USP? Imagine, right? Someone asking you the same question and they knew that you don't have an answer. What do you, what do you can do? Okay. One we can tell them that guys like go away. We can't do to the investors. Or the second option, like Right. Same we ought to like take out of this anger or frustration. Right. So the whole day I was so sad, the same person like texted me after a one year LinkedIn. Mohan, I'm extremely sorry. When you pitch to me like those days I was so skeptical about, you and the product, but you proved me wrong. Okay. All the best. Okay. So, you know what when I building a product, I pitch it to the early stage like I was pitching to some investor, they say, Mohan, it's a good, but you have to go to market, finish the product. Then I finished the product. I went to other set of investor. They said, Oh, product is nice, good, but you have to go to the market, create some traction. Then I created some tracks and I said, I went to other set of investor.
They said, Oh, and traction, but now you have to scale up I said what? Know what? I realized one thing the same day. Okay. Investor ask like our wife, even if you love, if you live a hundred years, we can't understand them. Okay. So then like finally I managed to rise from kind base like we raised $2 million. You know, now we have money, we have name..
Akshay: Like these are your clients who were using the product, who Coinbase Coinbase. Okay. .
Mohan: Coinbase was our lead investor.
Akshay: Wow, which is into crypto. How did they get interested in?
Mohan: Okay. You know what?, when I was running a, software development company, so one guy told me like he's supposed to pay, 500 dollars. I think this was 2015 or 2016 he said can I pay you Bitcoin? I asked him what is Bitcoin? Okay? He said, bit kind is a cryptocurrency. What is cryptocurrency? Are you trying to cheat me or what? And I was souting. I said, I canceled the project. This guy is like trying to cheat me he's speaking like alien. Then, I started reading about Bitcoin. I started reading about cryptocurrency, all those stuff, right in that journey. I learned about Coinbase, I learned about Brain Amsterdam then I read his story, how he started Coinbase, right where he started. He was with Airbnb head of payments. Then I read everything. I was thinking on in my mind saying that someone build up a marketplace for cryptocurrency in 2012, how genius is. Okay. So then he become my mentor I usually watch large service interview. Then I said, one day I want to take a photo of this guy..
This was in 2016, Right? .. When I started IppoPay, I sent a call email, I mean, LinkedIn message too, brain Amsterdam. Okay. I said, Hi Brian. Welcome to India. I still don't know like why I said, welcome to India. Okay. I said, welcome to India. Okay. IppoPay we do this. We do that. So I want to speak to you. You are my mentor. All this stuff. Exactly. After 30 days, someone called me from Coinbase. He said Mohan, you reached out to my CEO. Why? What's the matter? Then see, I was not prepared for the conversation. I supposed to say that he's my mentor. I need to speak to him. You know what I said? I said okay. Okay. Thank you. I reached out to, because I want to raise funds because I was in the trend of raising funds struggling to, struggling with investors. Then he said, Oh, nice. Then you should speak to Coinbase ventures, not Coinbase. He said, I'll connect. Next day like evening, early morning. So not evening, early morning, 7AM. I got a WhatsApp call. Okay. His name is Mr Sean Agarwal. He's from Coinbase Ventures. He called me, Mohan tell me like Ippo pay. I want to know about it. That was very unformal WhatsApp conversation. Akshay, remember I used to prepare multiple texts. I improved text every day. Pitch tech I changed pitch tech for each investors. If someone specifically like, investing into SaaS, my tech says it's a SaaS based FinTech. If anyone says we are a FinTech focused investor, I say we are pure FinTech. I used to have 10, investor pitch deck but this was very unformal WhatsApp call. I said, I'm doing this, that this is my vision. I want to help tier two, tier three people like all those stuff. He said, Mohan, I strongly believe there is a synergy.
Okay. I'm in very interested. I mean, wow. Okay. Okay. How much you want to raise? I said $ 2 million. Okay I'll take care. This was early morning, 7AM right? This is a late night for U. S. right? Evening, 8PM I got a term sheet. Wow. Which is early morning for them. Amazing. So, he sent me a term sheet for $2 million dollars. I said, $2 million is too much for me. I'm okay with 1.2, because I want to rise from the local investors. Then, I rise from some angels all those stuff. That's how we managed to raise 2 million.
Akshay: Why not make that 2 into 3 million? Like, why say no to money?
Mohan: You know what? Those days, RBI says every payments company should have 15 crores of net worth.
Mohan: Okay. My focus was to get the network simple. So now we have investors. We have name, we have product. Now. We are shifting to our original idea for the offline.
Akshay: What was your some numbers at that time when you raced with Coinbase? GTV would be the right number to track?
Mohan: Honestly, I forgot about the GTV. Okay. Those days we were making revenue we were in $3 million annual revenue. Okay. So even when I pitched to Coinbase, I said he asked me the valuation, I said, $30 million dollars next but like finally we managed to rise in $10 million premium money valuation.
Akshay: Okay. Yeah. But $3 million is, how much is that in crores?
Mohan: About 25.
Akshay: 25 crores. Amazing. So you were doing 2 crores monthly revenue at that time?
Mohan: Exactly. At those days. Yes.
Akshay: Okay. That's pretty amazing because your earning is just like maybe one to 2% right? Per transaction.
Mohan: Per transaction because we have to share with the banks. Cross revenue on the table usually will 20 to 30 bips, which is 0.2 to 0.3%.
Akshay: That's the share left with you. This 25 crores revenue is the total gross revenue, not what is left with you.
Mohan: Yeah, yeah.
Akshay: Got it. Okay.
Mohan: But technically we become a profitable from the first quarter itself.
Akshay: So right then you decided to go back to the original vision of..
Mohan: Yes. So in terms of a team, because I want to say something about the team also, right? Like a Chennai based startups I still hire from tier two, tier three colleges. We hire firsts, train them for six months. So all our runways for even when we raise 2 million funding. We, we had a very small office. Okay. So that was 26 seated office like until we rise, even after we rise six months, we were there in the office only. Okay. Because, I usually very conscious about spending. So all I learned from the, my service based company Romesoft when I was running a service based company what was my ambition? My focus was simply have three months runway. Okay. I was trying this from 2010 to 2020. All 10 years my focus was to have three months runway, but never happened. Not even one month runway. So we usually pay salary every 15th. Okay. I will start begging from my clients.
From 25th. So, even $100, I have to speak to them for 30 minutes. So like sometime like salary will come before time after 25th like even if I smile for anything in my home, my wife used to ask me, Mohan, what happened? Salary came, huh? You look so happy man. Okay. So this helped me a lot when I was starting honestly, I'd say, okay. So nowadays like even now we have a big team, we have CXOs we have CF, all those stuff they usually say yearly you know, they will say we'll make this for a year. I used to say like, how much we are making this month. Tell me Mohan. You have to protect it for a year. Let me know how much we made. This month and how much we spend simple. Okay. So every penny, we usually spend very carefully. Right. So when I like I told you about the first office 26 I only changed to another office after we have like more than 26 people. We started our own plan. We start building a product for QR code and I approached S bank, I approached ICICI, HDFC to help me to, launch a QR code. Finally, like Yesbank and ICICI bank, now I can give you the projection because I learned a lot. Now we have a projection, we have an experience, we have a GTV so based on that..
Akshay: For this would be similar to what Bharatpay does.
Mohan: Is very similar to Bharatpay model, right?
Akshay: One QR code which will accept payments from all apps. Person can pay through Paytm or Google pay or phone pay or any of these and you need a bank because the UPI provider like Google pay has I think ICICI bank or..
Mohan: So we got to work with the NPCI for the UPI. Okay. So now we got the bank, we got, we got everything so I was telling like we were focusing online, right?
Online. We were very similar to Razorpay, Cashfree kind of people. So easily, like I have my own theory. Okay. For businessmen versus entrepreneur. Okay. So if you do what others do in the industry, you are a businessman, simple. But if you are solving a real problem, you are an entrepreneur. Okay. So I decided myself that first two years I'm going to be the businessman. Okay. Simple. So we were just copying from other competitor. We were doing what they do. Okay. So then now my real entrepreneur journey started. So when I do research in the offline industry, in the market right now I realized I came to know something that every company like a Paytm, Phonepe... they hire freelancers they hired agencies to deploy the QR code.
Akshay: Right. To onboard merchants. That is the big spend for them. Like merchant. Where they have to burn a lot of money.
Mohan: They offer 150 rupees per successful QR code. So imagine if you walk with this kind of model, your focus is to onboard more merchants, right? So if I joined like I say like my focus is to onboard 10 merchants, 1500 rupees, 45,000 rupees salary per month class. So Then I created a new strategy in the market. Okay. So IppoPay was the first company who hired a full time employee for the QR code deployment. We had from my, our competitors, right? We call all the freelancers. I asked them to come to our office. There were 50 people came on the first day. Okay. I said, I'm going to take you as a full time employee. Whether you do onboarding or not, I don't care. We will give you the monthly salary. Okay. They said, wow, this is amazing, sir.
This is something new to us. I'm happy. Then I said like you will get all the benefits, the developers who is going to get in the AC room, who's sitting in the AC room. They asked me what I said, you are going to, I'm going to give you the provident fund. He asked me, what is my provident fund? I say, we take 12% and put it to our account. You won't believe, I'd say 30 people left from the same call. Because they really understand. They don't know what is this. Okay. One guy told me on my face saying that, sir, looks like you are trying to cheat me. You are trying to take my money. I said, it is not, I couldn't convince, but he left. I started with 20 people. Now we have around 200 people in Tamil Nadu alone, all full time employee. Okay. I told them that boss, you are onboarding 10 per day. At IppoPay Just focus 5. Rest of the 5, you have to go to the existing merchant to build a relationship. Okay. Speak to them, ask them what they need, ask them what kind of struggle they are facing with other competitors and let me know. Okay. So when they got the ownership from the company when they become a real employee of the company they felt very happy. Okay. One guy, I think around 9 PM texted me via WhatsApp saying that, sir, can I have a video call with you? Okay. I said, because I was very scared I said, why in the night time? I want to show you something, sir. I said, okay. Okay. He showed me the awful letter, which I sent. Okay. He's, he showed me his parents nearby. Okay. He said, sir, I was working with the same industry last three years as a freelancer. First time ever I saw the offer letter. I'm happy. Look at my parents.
They're very happy. So when they get this kind of ownership, when I told them that boss, you are part of the company their onboarding level like number of onboarding reach out to 12 sometime so one guy from Salem, he usually do like 25 per day. So then I asked them to slow down. I asked them to, I get them to know like a focused merchant try to understand no more problem from me like I usually give incentive based on the problems that I didn't defend from the market. We don't offer incentive for the number of onboarding so what I do is I dedicate one day in a week, go to the market, the street travel with my FSCs. Speak to the merchant I go to the merchant, I ask like who is your, person at IppoPay, if they didn't tell me the name of my team, they'll get fired immediately. That means they don't even know your name that means you are building a relationship so onboarded. Successfully 3.5 lax merchants in Tamina alone in a year. Our focus is tier two, tier three. Like all our competitors focus in urban cities but we started from tier two to rural area. 76 percentage of our merchant is from tier two to rural area, and 50 percentage of our merchant is the first type QR code.
That means we introduce the QR code to them. He helped them to like deploy or receive payments via UPI. Even my own village we have five Kerala stores small grocery shop all are using UPI so, we onboard a lot of autos, a lot of cab so we give them a free accidental insurance. For one year on board them, you know help them, you know So this is how like we are very successful in Tamilnadu market right now, we just started Akshay to karnataka, Telangana we are doing some pilot, you know there Because my focus is very simple I want to focus south india for next two years, you know you know, like Chennai or Tamil Nadu market is very different from South India. Pan India is very different from the South India so first two years South India, then we'll go to Pan India. That's our plan.
Akshay: What is the journey for the merchant who is getting onboarded? What does the team do for them? Do they like ask him for bank details and then do the KYC and then connect his bank account and. Print a QR, like what do they do?
Mohan: Yeah. So our FSC will go to the store. Okay. We collect PAN card and Aadhar card.
Akshay: FSC means Field Sales Executives.
Mohan: Right. So we collect a PAN card and Aadhar card but luckily 100% of the people has Aadhar card. There are some people, they don't have a PAN card, . But we always do full KYC. That means we, we should get a business proof, ? But this Pushkal of them doesn't have a business proof. So we install Udayam, we create a business proof for the vendors.
Akshay: Udayam is like a Aadhaar for small businesses.
Mohan: Exactly so 50% of the Pushkal vendor doesn't have a PAN card we create a EPan for them.
Akshay: Oh, okay. You can apply and get instantly,
Mohan: Right. Instantly. Then they can request for the physical card. So usually like I tell my friends saying that we are the real digital India amazing per day we usually create, business proof on our, usually like 8,200, we are creating new business proof and Aadhaar card. Business proof and pan card. Okay. So PAN, Aadhaar must. Okay. And we create a business proof. We onboard them. Okay. Then we usually take their bank account to settle the payments to their this is our journey, FSC journey. Yeah.
Akshay: And if they don't have a bank account, then you create a bank account also for them.
Mohan: Okay. So right now they must have a bank account. Okay. The next process, next product is going to be like a create a bank account. So, we partner with a couple of banks, okay. And we partner with some Tamil Nadu focused bank to offer a bank account.
Akshay: You said you issue a virtual debit card in the roadmap.
Mohan: In the roadmap right now. Okay. Okay. So the next product is going to be the card like, prepared our debit card. So the money will reach out to their debit card and they go to ATM withdraw. They go to another merchant to swipe because.. So we are going to build a community based marketplace, B2B marketplace, where they can trade themselves in the platform itself. Okay. So we will offer a card, money will reach out to their card they go to another vendor, swipe again, IPPO pay, offer a POS machine. So we are planning to create some rewards program kind of stuff.
Akshay: You've launched a POS machine also?
Mohan: Yes, We partnered with Wordline to launch a POS machine.
Akshay: Okay how do you make money? Because QR code from my understanding is QR code doesn't make money. You do cross selling.
Mohan: As you know, like we can't make money from the transaction. Okay. We can only make money from the lending side. Okay. Right in Tamil Nadu, those sector tier 2, tier 3 villages, there is a method called Thandal.
Akshay: I haven't heard of it.
Mohan: Thandal means, yeah the people, the local people they are not NBFC, they are not licensed holder local like people offer money, credits and they collect every day. So, technically, they charge around 60 to 70 percent interest rate. Daily collections people will come stand in front of your shop like hey, give me money. Like, collection like hundred rupees or hundred to thousand rupees usually. So, we want to help them to get rid of all these problems. So, we partner with the NBFC. We are not NBFC yet. We are on the process to get our own NBFC. Until then, we partner with other NBFC to offer a loan to our merchants. Same thing, we also collect daily basis. So our merchants should work with us at least three months. Now we have a data. Okay. So we launched a ledger in the application itself. Okay. So even we can track if you have any cash transaction based on all those data, we pass it to our NBFC partner. They will decide. And they will lend the money directly to our merchants. That's how the digital lending guide says since we deployed our QR code, we collect daily basis. If it's 500 rupees per day the first 500 will go to our lending partner directly. Rest of the money, we certainly to our merchants. The second revenue model is going to be insurance. So what we did was we are not only offer insurance to our merchants, we help our merchants to offer insurance to their customers. Okay?
Akshay: Make your merchant and insurance agent?
Mohan: Exactly. Insurance reseller. We tell the merchant boss, this is the product. You have the customer. You sell the customer. You sell the product to the customer. Let's share our revenue. The next, what we are going to do, we are going to offer a digital gold. Because here like gold is means traditional, in India, right? Savings, basically so we build the same way like insurance. Okay. So we tell the merchants..
Akshay: Digital gold, you must have tied up with...
Mohan: Exactly. So, we are telling your merchants. So whenever you give change to people, why don't you offer gold? For the changes. If some people is buying something for 90 rupees, they offer a hundred rupees note, 10 offer a gold? Like then this become a culture. So whatever money we, like
Akshay: Basically your merchant becomes a gold reseller.
Mohan: Yeah. So we make margin. We share with our merchants because...
Akshay: The Merchant here will need to do some KYC when they are selling.
Mohan: Yeah, definitely.
Akshay: Through IppoPay app?
Mohan: Through the IppoPay app we are under RBI. We know, we are regulated. We want to make sure that every step we are stepping should be regulated, properly done. So obviously, we do KYC for the merchant, for the reseller. We do the KYC for the consumer also. But that KYC part, because my ultimate aim is to help our merchant to make money through us. Right. I am not trying to make money from our merchant. I want to help my merchant to make money. Their own money from their merchants.So that's how we build a relationship. That's how I told like when I became an entrepreneur, I want to give them a a real solution. That is why we call it as a verticalized payment. When we choose a vertical, we wanted to go into deep, understand the real problem and give them a full stack solution.
Akshay: Interesting I want to ask you a couple of questions on some of the things that, so you said you have a ledger for the merchant where he can track cash transactions. So that's something like how the book, okay. Credit kind of a product. Yeah. Okay. So. Like they can send reminders through WhatsApp like this payment is exactly send a payment link for the person to make the payment through UPI or something.
Mohan: You know what? If you are running a small retail businesses, okay. IppoPay is providing a one app solution for everything. Okay. You can use our QR code. The transaction coming in, you can use our ledger to track, we have our own point of sale software inbuilt, where you can keep all the stock and the, for the payout also, we are providing a new bank where you can add another vendor as a beneficiary, make payout, and we are going to launch a GST based, we are going to launch invoice based is going to be upcoming product, the end of the day. The reconsolation will be very simple. You know what you have in your packet right now.
Akshay: I understood the POS product also. So you probably also have some sort of a CRM then for the ledger and for, Tracking which customers have to pay and also for tracking which customer bought gold, which best customer bought insurance from the merchant. So the merchant would have some sort of a CRM in the app also.
Mohan: So merchant have their own CRM and even for that we have our full dashboard so we can track like what kind of merchant how much to transaction like see if. We are getting alert if anyone eligible to get a loan from us because we offer no, like 30,000 to two lakh rupees is worth of loan. Okay. So we have the complete CRM in the backend to keep tracking. Even like we track the ledger, send them a reminder insurance, all those steps.
Akshay: So the, person who's buying insurance can come back to the same merchant for. Paying the premium next year or for seeing how much is his digital gold balance for taking cash instead of the digital gold. All of that he can do with that.
Mohan: Yeah, that we can do. And we have our own support team to help their merchants to because we have the complete record know. I want to share something about our, support system. When we started like offline, I first 50 merchants onboarded by me. I personally go to, because I'm a foodie I go to restaurant. So wherever I know people, I usually go and onboard the merchants. So one of the merchant told me like something. I am using Google Pay. He said like the Google Pay or UPI's have some issues. So, whenever we got stuck, we usually call Google Pay customer support. Most of the time, they don't pick up. And even if they pick up, they speak in English or Hindi. Yeah, right. Okay. How do you expect me to speak in Hindi, English?
We are completely uneducated. Now, how are we going to solve this problem? That triggered me something. Akshay, very next day, I placed a Tamil focused call center at IppoPay. Okay. In Tamil Nadu, if anyone called our support team, we say like Vanakkam. That means how can I help you? Because they're using QR code last two years actively from our company, maybe three years, right? When they had first time someone speaking our own language, they said, wow, this is the company I should work with. Because FinTech is all about trust. So I want to launch the same concept for every state, we should focus differently where vernacular focused for the support so now we are trying to automate the complete support, even vernacular side.
Akshay: Google pay has a support where you can call, is it for merchants?
Mohan: Try you can try yourself.
Akshay: I thought these payment apps would like pure online. If you have a problem, then you but it on the app only.
Mohan: Yeah. How do we expect like send a ticket from the postcard vendors saying that my payment card stack it's is impossible.
Akshay: This payment not getting processed is a pretty big challenge.
Mohan: Exactly. The payment could be maybe like 20 rupees to 200 rupees Akshay but for them it is the main they're doing like 2,500 rupees every day, this kind of postcard it's a very big for them.
Akshay: How do you do, credit underwriting? Because, I'm sure these people will not have a civil score.
Mohan: Obviously like, we do unsecured loan right now. Okay. We have the complete KYC of the merchant number one. Yes. Okay. So we do have our own credit analyst. Saying that if one, if someone is doing 2000 rupees per day, they are making 60, 000 per month. Of course they can definitely pay. 200 to 300 rupees per day. Based on that, we say you are eligible to get 30, rupees once they cleared our credits check, then only we pass to our lending partners.
Akshay: And the lending partners are comfortable giving loan to people without a Bureau.
Mohan: They do their own check. Okay. And the way we build a relationship they trust, but they'll do all the check. Then only they approve. We have multiple partners so we have around seven partners. So each one have their own like credit score criteria.
Akshay: So what percentage of your loans are given to the new to credit segment? Like people who don't have a bureau credit bureaus.
Mohan: Right now, a hundred percentage loan is going to the unsecured side.
Akshay: Okay. But after this, how many are new to credit, partners?
Mohan: So, in those case like you know the percentage is different. So we do email and all those stuff, because we can give the collection is very important.
Akshay: Okay how do you train the merchant because you are. I almost like a neobank for the merchant where you're allowing him to sell insurance and sell savings, which is digital gold. And you're giving him loan also a lot of things, which banks do. So how do you train a merchant on how he has to sell insurance, how he has to do the KYC for his customer? And if the customer comes with a complaint, how he has to do customer service for his customer.
Mohan: Okay. So this complete credit should go to our FSC. Okay. So when we hire FSC, we hire from the local area. So this guy is already familiar person in their street. Right? So of course I do agree with you. The education is the toughest part for us our FSC, since we are our own full time employee, we go and sit with them sometimes like they're very busy. The store is very busy. They have customer, so that is the reason we want to build a local people they know when the store is crowded when it's not like something. So we go and sit with them. Luckily, like we have a very good app. Tech side like we have our own Tamil vernacular app itself. Okay we help them, we sit with them and educate them. The best part they love to learn seriously whenever they see application, they see technology, they want to know more about that. And, sometime like since we have our own call center, Tamil call center, they call our call center. Hey, how this work? How that works? I'm stuck with this. Can you help me to understand? Can you tell me to release this? The education stuff, but we are getting better and better every day.
Akshay: What is the kind of NPA rate you've seen so far in your portfolio?
Mohan: Okay. So since we have our own risk check, once we clear this, then they will have their own check. So right now we, it's definitely in the very early stage of lending we start giving nowadays.
Akshay: How long has it been since you started lending?
Mohan: We are doing like last four months. Okay.
Akshay: Very early. Very limiters.
Mohan: Yeah, exactly. So the market ratio if you keep anything under five percentage, it's really good. You can go up to 10. If you go more than 10, you are finished. Yeah.
Akshay: And for this lending, your earning is like a sourcing fees. The, the lending partner gives you a sourcing fees.
Mohan: Exactly. Okay. We make percentage. We still make, we make percentage.
Akshay: Okay. Percentage of the loan dispersal. Exactly. And what is your monthly loan dispersal? Like, what's the current?
Mohan: So right now as I said we are doing around less than a crore. For a month. Okay as like we are also learning, we want to be like very carefully lend this money to the merchant because unsecured, most of them are postcard vendors? So according to question is a less than a crore, but we are getting better.
Akshay: If you scale up too fast, you'll end up with a high NPA rate.
Mohan: That is better to go slow.
Akshay: What about for insurance and digital gold, what is your monthly premium collected or digital gold?
Mohan: Digital gold, we are in very early stage, but insurance side per day we are doing around 80 to 100 insurance we are selling.
Akshay: And this is what kind of like health insurance policies?
Mohan: Health shop and vehicle.
Akshay: Okay. Vehicle insurance is a very big market.
Mohan: Very big the bus call vendors, they usually do everything via small bike yes. Almost each retail offline business has a bike.
Akshay: And this is through a partnership with someone like say newbuy or someone like that.
Mohan: We partner with the insuranceECO. Now we are partnering with the star health.
Akshay: So in the long term, when you are a pan India player, what would be like, what do you foresee or what do you predict will be the revenue contribution from these streams? Like you have one stream of insurance premium, you have a stream of lending and you have a stream of. For digital gold what do you think will be, or will there be new streams of revenue also?
Mohan: So the idea is to create multiple revenue source, but we will go step by step. Okay. So I'll tell you the company point of view instead of talking about the revenue side actually. Okay. Phone pay, paytm Bharat pay correct. So my focus is very simple actually I'm not saying that I'm going to be the number one next five years. Okay. I'm going to be very practical. Even a third place, fourth place in India is a big, I'm happy to place myself the third player or fourth player in India, in five years. That's my target. Okay. And another thing we still wants to focus tier two, tier three ruler area. Okay. And we'll be the market that I can assure we will in TamilNadu for sure. Okay we have around three 80 people overall in IppoP ay. We have office in Bangalore, we have office in Mumbai. I want to give at least 3000 job opportunity to people. I still want to hire more people from tier two, tier three. I still want to do our own fse. These are my target. I can give you the very fancy answer also. I'd say I'm going to be the IPO next for years.
Akshay: Wow. Amazing. What I want to understand is, these three revenue streams, are they it or are there other streams also? Will you earn on transactions?
Mohan: Okay. So we will make transaction from the card. We, I'll tell you, first lending insurance. Gold savings. We'll make revenue from pass we'll make revenue from sandbox, which is very good revenue model right now. You know the sound website?
Akshay: That's a monthly rental, monthly pay, monthly rental, sound box. The paytm was the pioneer of that..
Mohan: Yeah. Pioneer of the one, so the next we are going to focus in the transaction not UPI for the card. Okay. So we will make money from the interchange. Okay. So right now see, people are saying that, the credit card I strongly believe like a credit card, they will keep their market as it is, right. NPCI, RBI focus is to eliminate the cash. Not the card transaction, they want, they launched a UPI to eliminate the cash transaction. Okay. So the industry talks in future, maybe P2M, the merchant. They may charge interchange rate from the UPI also. Maybe like I am projecting, maybe this will happen after two years.
Akshay: But there was already some notification about..
Mohan: That's for credit card connected with UPI.
Akshay: But there was also something for merchants above a certain value or something like that for a UPI payments.
Mohan: It's not implemented. Again, that is for the credit card with the UPI.
Akshay: How will that marketplace be monetized? Like you will take a fees for listing, or you will take a transaction fees.
Mohan: We won't definitely charge fees for that listing. We will only charge from the successful transaction even the B2B is always, work with the credit base.
Akshay: This B2B marketplace is like a completely different beast. Will you do everything that Udan does like logistics also?
Mohan: No we don't want to focus Udan B2B concep. That's what I clearly mentioned that community based marketplace. It's going to be like nearby. So logistic is not my concern at all. So that is why I said community based if someone is offering a better product, better price, I'm ready to go to the next street. I won't go to the second street, third street. I know this industry very well. That is completely different beast. . They handle logistic. They handle shipment and everything.
Akshay: And what do you think will contribute to which will be the top three contributors to your revenue? Will it be like insurance or lending or like what will be..
Mohan: Definitely lending the number. Lending is going to be the number one. I specifically want to bring this marketplace to the second place. Okay. It's very hard. It will take a lot of time. I want it to be a third is definitely insurance. Okay the card interchange gold soundbox is all will place the next step.
Akshay: So I'm wondering how you are funding the business today. Are you Profitable right now.
Mohan: So Akshay like, as I said, we are vertical. So we were talking about SME vertical. We have another vertical, which is online business, raise and pay cash free model. Okay. We make very good revenue from there. We still keep the revenue stream. We make very good revenue and now we are building a infra business. This is another vertical we are building our own switch. We are building expense management this product will. We'll go to the banks, the majority revenue right now is comes from the online business only. So we have a good runway. So everyone was Everyone is talking about the runway nowadays in india Right. So even if you go zero To revenue, we have another 30 months of running..
Akshay: Amazing so let's say this is like your corporate business.
Mohan: So in this corporate business, one is, of course, you are earning through payment gateway fees. Then you said, you are building some other infrastructure like a switch. What is a switch and how does it earn money for you?
Akshay: Switch. So there is a bank connected with Visa Master.
Mohan: So bank has a bin. There is a technology called switch where you can connect a bank with the Visa Master. So purely technology, .
Akshay: Okay so that's electronic data interchange kind of..
Mohan: You know, like banks we are helping banks to speak to the card providers.
Akshay: This is such an old, Industry, there must be already players doing this, like, why do you want to get it?
Mohan: You know, what's that say this is a very old technology. Okay. So when we are into payments, right? So I'll put it a different way. This question asked by many people nowadays. Okay. So more on one side, you are helping the ruler area, other side, you are building a product for the banks. It's not matching. I was reading about, Amazon. Okay. When Amazon is getting familiar, when they scale up their business they could not scale their website and application because of the server. Then they decided to start their own cloud AWS. Look at the combination. Selling a goods or books. They said they are building a cloud based company. There is no connection. Okay. When they decided that there is a scope for cloud, because, when they started AWS, they started only for them.
Akshay: Yes. Amazon was the internal customer for AWS.
Mohan: Exactly. The penetration for the cloud. We are also using AWS. Okay. So, I was just implementing the same story to IppoPay. IppoPay is an amazing kind of company in India. Correct? So when we work with banks, we realize that there is a technology called switch. We should partner with switch providers. . And we should share our revenue to them too. Okay. Okay. Then why don't we start our own? If there is a revenue stream, even though it's small. Then we decided to build our switch in house We partner with the bank now. We are going to use for our own then we distribute to other vendors, too.
Akshay: And this switch market, is there some scope for disruption in the switch market?
Mohan: Definitely there is a scope. Okay. Luckily this product is a global product. It's not India focused product. Okay. That is a very good market. when we approach, when we running a payment gateway, we understood that is a. There is a, one of the biggest vertical is the education side.
Akshay: By education you mean edtechs?
Mohan: No, Education in the sense college and schools, right? So now we have a switch. We have our own card. Why don't we offer this card to the students? Okay. So now we have a lending product, lending partners. We are going to be the NBFC. Why don't we lend to school fee for the students? So we see opportunity in, every verticals where we can combine our product as a single product. Okay. So that is the main reason we started switch business.
Akshay: So for education, you also acquired a business?
Mohan: We invested. We have the majority share in the company, which is called iBuddy.
Akshay: What does that come?
Mohan: They offer ERP solution for the school and colleges for managing admission and fees and exactly everything end to end attendance to exit. So we invested and they are using our gateway to process, fees. Payments. Yeah. Next we are going to walk together for offering a card, offering as I said, lend loan for the tuition fee, all that stuff.
Akshay: A card would be like a say in college you spend money on photocopy or canteen. So within the college the, tech shop and a photocopy shop and all will start accepting that card. So that's for campus life basically. You've done more acquisitions also. Besides this iBuddy?
Mohan: We Acquired a company called Titler. The reason we occurred, because when we are running a online payment gateway, a risk factor is very important ? Whenever we talk about risk some foreign companies come and solve? So Razorpay using CyberSource, Cashfree and other companies are using some foreign companies.
Akshay: What? Give me an example of what is the risk?
Mohan: Okay. Risk. The transaction risk fraud detector..
Akshay: Like someone is using a stolen credit card.
Mohan: Is that stolen credit card? Someone using, try to like steal fake transaction, all those stuff okay. KYC. So when I was running online business. Okay. Banks forced me to take a risk management product, without risk management product bank won't work with us. Okay. So now there is a dependency. I must work with any third party company. Okay. I must have my data. I must have the revenue to them. Then I decide why don't we build our own. That is why I keep telling like, we are like amazing kind of company. Then I came to know Twittler is a Chennai based risk management company his name is Mr. Pradeep. He walked in risk last 15 years, he walked from the banks, he walked from EBS, highly experienced person in the risk side. He was building a product Twittler and he approached him for the investment. Then finally, we shared the story was like similar. Both of their story. Then we decided to match together. Now they come to IPPO pay like we occurred them, we scale up the product, we scale up the technology. Now, like, we are going to use Twitter for a vote. Then we are going to distribute to, other businesses. Luckily we got some some, like high level aggregator interest to use Twitler we got very good interest from UAE market, a couple of banks are very interested in Africa too. So when I started IppoPay. Okay. I needed risk. Okay. I needed switch. Okay. I needed a school. That is why I, combined everything at one place.
Akshay: So these companies are being run independently by the founders or, are they merged and everyone sits in the same office or like how deep is the integration?
Mohan: Everyone sits on the same. Same office. They're also here they are not running independently. They are running under IppoPay only.
Akshay: Like HR and finance.
Mohan: All, all finance, all there, came and into our runway monthly salary. All those types.
Akshay: My final question to you what's your advice to young aspiring founders? People who want to build their own business.
Mohan: You know what Akshay till now, the last one and a half years. I invested into more than 25 startups.
Akshay: As an angel investor.
Mohan: As an angel investor. Okay.
Akshay: What sectors do you invest in?
Mohan: I diversify in the sector actually. So there are 14 deals by AngelList. Okay. The rest of them are all direct. So when I started HIppoPay, you know my struggle. To raise funds. When I got the first check things. Changed.. So everyone was waiting for the first change, Right? Though I decided saying that why don't we help the early stage startups offer a small capital, and my advice my mentor chief, all those startups, right? So technically I invested I think at around eight to 10 startups in TamilNadu alone. And others are Angel list other states too. Okay. So in Tamil Nadu, there is a organization called Startup TN is very active. They are helping a lot of startups,, come up with this is a common organization. I usually tell. Nowadays, the college is called me for the speech.Yeah. Whenever I go to college, I say why this too much hurry to start your own company? If you don't have 10 lakhs rupees, please don't even think about to start your own company. Okay. Spend three lakhs to build a product. . Build a MVP. Spend another two lakhs to form a company, form a small team, form a digital marketing guy keep this five lakhs rupees for the next six months. For six months you did, you should dedicate. 10 lakhs plus one year first three months build a product. Second three months, go to the market create a small transaction. Rest of the six months you should dedicate for the scale up. Okay. If you don't have a 10 lakhs, please wait until you make 10 lakhs. There is no hurry because I started when I was 36. Right. So whenever I go to college, I say like, Anna, I should start my own startup next month. What should I do? Okay. I should ask them, how old are you? 21. Okay. So I advise colleges saying that like you are running a final year education, you should run your own startup incubation whole one year. Okay. So I tell students that if you want to fail at the college. Yes. Right, if you are running to. If you are running a startup for a five year student, if you failed, I promise you, you'd be the best employee in your next organization absolutely. Okay. So go work for two years, three years, learn the process learn the technology, learn the finance, build your own confidence do something for your family too, right? Make some savings, help your parents to, like have a steady lifestyle, then go for your dream.
Akshay: Amazing. And do you plan to continue to bootstrap or you want to raise more funds?
Mohan: So the idea is to bootstrap for next one and a half, two years the market situation too. So market is very bad we may go to market after 14 to 15 months. So let's see, because I strongly believe that if you want to scale you should have capital. That's the power of money I may push that for entire Tamil Nadu market, but I definitely need funds for Pan India..
Akshay: Very good. Thank you.
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