This Is The Best News A Startup Can Get
We have now been in the market since November 2016 with PayPhi – a digital payment solution we believe to be truly revolutionary. The team behind PayPhi has, conservatively speaking, over 120 years of accumulated experience in the payments space and over that time we have had roles to play in card and payment methods that have now become industry standards. Even with that background though, it’s safe to say that today is one of the most exciting days in our lives – let me explain.
I have been told that a challenge startup founders often face is that they are so close to their own ideas, have so much emotional investment in it, that they cannot take objective decisions about it. Is it as good as they think it is? Is it as useful as they believe it should be? Are there enough likely customers out there to let them build a business around it? If this is true, and I think it is, then the best news a startup can get is a validation of the idea. That validation is what I think we have got today.
Of course, validation comes at various stages in the journey. The first sense you get is when the founding team puts their heads together and gets a real sighter of the size of the opportunity. We started out with a vision of enabling frictionless payments, and with the belief that existing models of digital payments were failing. The drawing board showed us that 50% of India’s $ 30 Billion eCommerce market was adopting Cash-On-Delivery even though it was such a painful option for everyone in the ecosystem – the customer, the logistics company, and the etailer. Clearly, such a big, everyday problem was crying out for a better way. This sense of validation got stronger as the PayPhi solution took shape before us. We could see the pieces of the jigsaw coming together and fitting together so naturally to form, what to our eyes at least, seemed to be a comprehensive solution. A form of validation again – even if it was internal.
The next stage is the validation the market offers. We seem to have done well enough here – eCOD payments enabled for consumers of 192 online retailers across 5000 PIN codes over a period of 6 months since launch. We have managed to get some of the leading eCommerce logistics players and financial giants interested in the solution. Consumer acceptance seems high too – since there is no app to download, and consumers transact from their own devices with their own cards or banks, conversions are as high as 55%. This validation is incremental. It creeps up on the startup – suddenly one day when you step back and take a look you realize just how far you have come.
As professionals though, one form of validation we all crave is from our peers and the leaders in our game. It’s a moment of rare pride when a jury of eminent and highly respected people from your field get together and recognize the value of what you have to offer. I, and the entire team at PhiCommerce are feeling that pride right now on winning 3 prestigious awards at the “Payments and Cards Summit 2017”. PayPhi, our revolutionary eCOD solution, has won the “Best Online Payment Solution of the Year – Consumer” and “Best Online Payment Solution of the Year – Merchant”. To add to that happiness, PhiCommerce has won the Crème-De-La-Crème award as the “Best Payments Start-Up of the Year.” Being chosen by a jury that includes some of the very top professionals in the payment space is just the icing on the cake.
We are extremely thankful for all the help, guidance, and support we have received so far from our many well-wishers, partners, associates, and the companies that believed in us. We are also conscious that this is only the beginning – we have a long way to go yet. We have many more features to add to PayPhi, new geographies to expand into, and a serious push into brick-and-mortar merchant stores already beckons. That said though – this is a time for celebration, and for justified pride for all of us. Validation of your core offering is the best news any startup can get – with that achieved, it’s on to newer goals with a note of confidence in our step!