Genopay founder and CEO Shaun Quincey is ticking off another goal with his unique solution that makes paying for goods and services affordable.
NZB: Kiwis will remember you from your success in rowing across the Tasman in 2010. In what way did that success help set you up for your journey with Genoapay?
SHAUN: Strangely enough the process of building a business is very similar to rowing across the Tasman – and almost as challenging – so there were a lot of relevant learnings.
When I decided to take on the Tasman, all I had was an idea and I needed to put all of the puzzle pieces together to make it a reality. It began with building the right team of experts.
Once we had a plan in place, and set to work on the different components of the plan, it was a pretty steep learning curve. Many of our assumptions were incorrect and everything took twice as long as we first thought!
Working through those setbacks taught me the real importance of staying positive, persevering and being solutionsorientated until the job is done.
NZB: Where did the original idea for Genoapay come from? And why do you think it has attracted so much investment support along the way?
SHAUN: My background was within a company which supplied recurring payment software solutions for membership-based businesses, like gyms and health clubs.
It was there where I saw the opportunity for a mass-market product which could be tailored for the services sector, to capitalise on that recurring payment model. I was always frustrated that we didn’t offer a solution which ticked that box. So, after building some test payment products, I quit that job and began selling my own solution.
The Genoapay solution is simple and highly scalable, and we have put the product into a massive accessible market. I think our investors see that opportunity as hugely exciting.
We’ve also managed to pull together an amazing team of people to grow the business, which helps build investor confidence too.
NZB: What have been the biggest challenges in getting the business to where it is today? And what lessons have you learnt while launching and growing Genoapay?
SHAUN: I have a young family (two boys, aged two and four) – and ensuring I balance work with my roles as a dad and husband has been a challenge.
I’m hugely focused on the success of Genoapay – which means, more often than not, the business is prioritised over family time. It’s a pretty tough one to juggle.
The key lesson I’ve learnt in this respect is the importance of scheduling in dedicated family time, without any technology around. It’s vital to the success of my business, because it keeps me happy and makes my involvement in the company sustainable long term. Having some compulsory balance makes me reflect on what’s important and why I’m working hard on building Genoapay as an asset for my family.
NZB: From your experience what are the keys to setting your company up for investment? What are investors looking for?
SHAUN: I’ve learned to look at capital raising as a sales exercise – and the importance of remembering that many of the standard sales principles apply – i.e. if the product (equity) you are selling stacks up and appeals to the interest of the buyer (investor) you will be successful.
Everyone raises money in different ways but here are a few basic steps:
1) First ask yourself, “do I really need to raise this money?” Raising capital can be a massive distraction and take a lot of time and energy, so first think through whether you could do it yourself instead.
2) Start by building rapport with potential investors. Network – talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the business, and assess how you’d feel about having each potential investor as part of the journey. Learn to understand why people are saying no, or why they say yes and keep networking until you have a big group of potential investors.
3) Decide how much you want to sell, and then create a great due diligence pack, which includes an investment memorandum, business plan, customer interviews and detailed financial plans. Many people forget to tell investors how they‘re going to take their investment and turn it into more money – which is critical.
4) Then start asking for money! Prepare everything you need to close the deal – shareholders agreements, term sheets, company constitution, capitalisation tables.
There’s huge diversity amongst my investor base – they’re from SHAUN QUINCEY GENOAPAY THE INTERVIEW different backgrounds and have different reasons for investing in the company.
Fundamentally though, they share the belief that our solution solves a problem, is applicable across a large market and that our team can deliver.
NZB: When did you officially launch Genoapay, and has its growth since met your original expectations?
SHAUN: The Genoapay platform started processing payments in October 2017, and we’re now available across 400 automotive, hair and beauty, dental and veterinary practices across New Zealand. Merchant sales are on track with forecasts, but growing the business involves a huge amount of work, and we’re learning how to do it better every day.
NZB: What advice can you share with other tech entrepreneurs to encourage them to press forward with their ideas?
SHAUN: There has never been a better or more affordable time than now to start a business. Research your idea, invite people with domain expertise to critique it (and your business logic), then go for it!
Before you take the leap, make sure you have a cashflow plan to survive personally – because nothing kills fledgling businesses faster than not being able to put food on the table.
NZB: How do you see the future for you and for Genoapay? Do you have any other epic challenges (personal or professional) in mind for the future?
SHAUN: Genoapay is on track to be available at more than 1000 service providers in New Zealand before the end of the year – and shortly we’ll be up and running in Australia.
I’m in Genoapay for the long haul, so fingers crossed I can keep performing and delivering as CEO (and the board keeps me on). Building a company with two children under four is as much as I am willing to take on.