Describe your startup in a nutshell: What problem does it solve, why is it unique and what is the market potential?
PaySquad helps groups of consumers buy together at checkout.
Checkouts are stuck in single player mode - multiplayer payments are almost never supported or encouraged at the point of sale. Consumers face unnecessary friction and merchants miss out on benefits.
Our solution is an embedded finance API at checkout that:
- Reduce customer friction, by handling contributions, allowing for different payment methods, bringing transparency and deadlines to show the Squad how close they are to 100%. This leads to better payment experiences, repeat purchases etc
- Add value and give insights to merchants, by increasing AOV/Cart Size, conversion rates on high priced purchases, turning consumers into marketers that organically share their products and reach new demographics, having the chance to 'meet' each contributor (as opposed to just the organiser) and a lot more. It's like the ultimate affiliate traffic channel.
What brought / motivated you to solve this issue? Is there a faith context to this?
Organising and paying for things as a group is a persistent personal pain point for everyone in our team. We feel it when trying to buy gifts with others, travelling together, going to events/concerts, and paying utility bills in our flats.
As an ‘organiser’, I have to go out and make the purchase, take a big hit on my account upfront, then begin the arduous process of sending out my bank account number, updating the group chat regarding how close we are to the target, checking the references in my account to see who has/hasn’t paid, as well as fielding all sorts of group dynamics/questions.
As a contributor, if the organiser is not proactive, you’re mostly in the dark - not sure about what an appropriate contribution is, how close you are to the target, exactly what is being purchased and constantly inundated with group chat messages. Secondly, we’re passionate about the environmental and financial sustainability in multiplayer payments. This is more than just a buzzword. Environmentally, multiplayer commerce enables the purchase of high value, more sustainable products and services from demographics that previously may have been unable to afford them. The UN indicates that plastic pollution is on course to double by 2030. Oceana estimates that of the 599 million pounds of plastic waste generated by Amazon, at least 23.5 million pounds reached the oceans, rivers and lakes. Our current methods of rampant consumerism contribute greatly to this. Any moves toward collective purchasing and ownership will reduce this impact. For gifting occasions, a smoother group payment process may be the difference between 10 people buying ‘landfill gifts’ versus those same people combining their funds to buy something that will last.
Financially, the meteoric rise of ecommerce and alternative payment methods - further fuelled by the pandemic - has given consumers (especially Millennial and Gen Z) a lot to adjust to in a short span of time. The desire to keep up appearances and have the latest tech has led these young, impulsive consumers to take on debt, but not from traditional credit cards; from debt that doesn’t look like debt. Credit that doesn’t look like credit. According to Forbes, the percentage of Gen Zers in the US using BNPL has grown six-fold from 6% in 2019 to 36% in 2021. Millennials’ use of BNPL has more than doubled since 2019 to 41%. A September report from Credit Karma found that a third of all BNPL users reported being behind on their BNPL payments, impacting their credit scores. Afterpay collected $87m (AUD) in late fees for year end June 2021. We want to stand in contrast to this, leveraging young people’s connectedness rather than their impulsiveness.
All this is a part of ‘redemptive entrepreneurship’ - creating products and services that extend the Kingdom of God on earth ‘as in heaven’.
How do you know Alex Carpenter and how has he helped you? Eg idea to product, product validation, focus, research, business plan, sourcing funds, partners etc…
I found him on Linkedin, the ✞=♡ stood out to me. He then introduced me to his ‘Guild’ community, got me connected with a ‘goal group’ that he runs, and introduced me to several great people that were able to help me in the domains of:
- Product/Market fit and
- His library of resources is also legendary.
Do you have an example or story of how Alex worked with you?
As mentioned above - he helps keep me accountable to goals with his ‘goal group’, as well as a monthly Christian Guild meet up, and is always open to chatting
Would you recommend Alex and his network (the guild) to other Christian entrepreneurs and why?
Without reservation, yes. It is a beautiful blend of top notch entrepreneurs, believers and resource.
Alex and the team at Alphacrucis are launching a service to help churches better use their assets (eg church buildings, volunteer staff, local knowledge) as a source of funds for their ministries. What do you think of this idea?
If executed well, brilliant! A good model to compare it to would be my friend Ian Storrar’s ‘this space’ https://www.usethisspace.com/
I think you would find out quickly how people felt about churches, interacting in them etc