LaraPay: We allow you to get paid the hours you worked in real time
Please introduce yourself and your startup Larapay to our readers!
Hi, I’m Scott! I’m living in Prague and originally in the US. Before getting into startups I designed railways as a civil engineer. Fast forward some years later and and a couple of startups living in Amsterdam and London, I then joined as COO at Mews, which is a Property Management System for hotels. Here we raised over 40 million EURs in funding and scaled to over 400 people at one point. Mews is a B2B SaaS product with a fin-tech element, as we were also a merchant for the transactions of hotel guests.
How did you get the idea of Stryber?/ Why did you decide to start with Larapay?
I primarily wanted to build something in the B2B SaaS space and also add a fin-tech revenue stream, simply because this is the landscape I came from and know very well. Add to that my painful experiences around benefits and employee option pools, I saw a real opportunity to improve information around traditional HR systems and adding a functional and data element to help employees and employers alike. That’s when I found the team at Stryber, who is a venture builder and kick-started LaraPay. It was perfectly aligned in the same space that I wanted to play with a slightly different leading product feature, which is now our early wage access for employees. People should always have access to their earned wages in real time.
What is the vision behind Larapay?
Health is a state of complete financial, physical, mental and social well-being. We exist to make people more healthy. The ultimate employee benefit is not a gym membership, it’s the financial wellness to support your lifestyle. That means you have access to things like funds, savings, mortgages, salaries, in a very different way. We want to take the relationship that employers have with their employees by changing typical payroll and benefits from transactional to transformational.
How difficult was the start and which challenges you had to overcome?
Building a minimum viable product (MVP), that works and works well, without going overboard on all of our ideas about features is a challenge. We had to have an extreme focus on the pain point we wanted to solve and what our customers were saying. This concentration is so difficult to get right. You have the tendancy to build the ultimate product all at once, but this can lead to a product that doesn’t work at all or fit the needs of your customer.
Who is your target audience?
Our typical type of customer is a business with 250+ employees that could come from the restaurant, hotel, delivery, trade work, or temporary services sectors, to name a few. We typically are talking to CEO’s of smaller businesses or in larger organizations, HR leaders or payroll and benefits people. Their employees are periodically faced with financial challenges several times a year and they are hearing from their employees on a regular basis about getting paid. Typically they wouldn’t take out a loan for the type of expenses they need to cover, but need liquidity.
What is the USP of your startup?
LaraPay is quite simple. We allow you to get paid the hours you worked in real time. Meaning, you don’t have to worry about waiting until the end of the month! Employers don’t have to do anything different for their pay schedule, as we handle the details. Financial stress kills productivity and retention. So this is a minor investment in an employment for a company to gain a lot of value out of an employee long term. We are also focused on long term financial resilience, meaning a savings tool and education around finances.
Can you describe your typical workday ?
My typical day spends a lot of time talking to potential employees. Building an early stage company is a healthy dose of always interviewing and always selling the businesses to the talent you want in your business. One bad hire and it can set you off course. Aside from that, I usually start the day reviewing emails, then jumping into the sales pipeline, followed by testing the product and thinking about what’s next on the roadmap. The rest of the day is there to help the team and make sure that the communication is very clear about the priorities and that the little things can drop off.
Where do you see yourself and your startup Larapay in five years?
In 5 years, LaraPay will be the most premium benefit that employers can give to their employees in all of Europe. This means the most integrated solution on the market, with over 20% of all mid-market to enterprises using us. We will be a neo-bank, as the likes of Revolut and N26, but instead a B2B solution through your employer. We will be facilitating everything from mortgages to health insurance and even handling cryptocurrency transactions directly from your payroll.
What 3 tips would you give to founders?
1. Think very big and act very small. Meaning, if you can’t even dream it, it won’t happen, but also, if you can’t get one customer you can’t just skip to a thousand customers.
2. Invest in your people. They are your greatest asset. You may not always have the funds early on, but this also can be your time and energy, shares or experiences.
3. Have fun. You founded a company to make change. When it feels overwhelming, and it will, take a step back and realise how you get to write the story and might as well enjoy it.
More information you will find here
Thank you for Scott Moran the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.